At some point, everyone experiences temporary bouts of sadness or unhappiness. This is perfectly normal and for most people these feelings are typically short lived with no lasting effects. In some cases, however, these feelings of sadness or unhappiness cultivate into a serious, psychiatric illness called clinical depression, which can be debilitating and dangerous if left untreated.
Clinical depression can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, age, religion or income status. It does appear that it affects more women than men although this may be due to the fact that women are more likely to seek treatment than men. There are many different causes for it. A person can inherit it. It can be caused by traumatic life events such as the death of a loved one, a messy divorce, or serious financial difficulties. Being consistently angry, having poor self-esteem, or having feelings of complete hopelessness can be major contributing factors. A combination of any of the above can also trigger a clinically depressed state.
The symptoms of clinical depression range from mild to very severe. They can affect the way a person thinks and acts or they can appear in the form of debilitating physical disorders or illnesses. One person may suffer from a lack of concentration, fatigue, loss of appetite, and/or insomnia. Another person could be inflicted with suicidal thoughts or tendencies. Each person is different although in many cases there are uncontrollable feelings of guilt, anxiety, or sadness. Clinical depression can also lead to other serious problems such as alcoholism or eating disorders.
Treating clinical depression can be a challenge, depending on the underlying cause of it. Most physicians are quick to write a prescription for anti-depressant prescription drugs that can have some very serious side effects. Often times, cognitive therapy is very helpful in overcoming this illness. It teaches an individual how to approach challenging situations from a different angle. Interpersonal therapy is also beneficial because it helps the patient change negative behaviors that may be causing the depression. Many are turning to alternative therapies, such as exercise, vitamins, and herbal remedies as research has shown that it can also be beneficial in the treatment of clinical depression.
If you think you may be suffering from clinical depression, contact a medical professional immediately. It is a real illness that can be treated. Left untreated, it can become very serious, if not deadly. Also, don't assume that you have clinical depression and don't try to treat it yourself. Before trying any form of treatment you should have a confirmed diagnosis from a medical professional.