Millions of people worldwide suffer from depression at some point in their lives. But depression can be simple or severe. Knowing the differences between them is very important in coping with the problem effectively.
Definition: Simple Depression vs Clinical Depression
Simple depression is exactly what it is - a normal reaction to things and situations that may or may not be expected but which affects your life in a negative way. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is depression of the more severe kind. It is, in fact, a mood disorder that needs to be diagnosed and treated properly. Depression of this kind is of several forms:
- Dysthymia - it's a chronic type of depression. It may not be very severe but presents with symptoms that have been persisting for at least a couple of years.
- Major clinical depression - a more severe type of depression that affects one's activities day in and day out. Depression of this form extends from a few weeks to months.
- Bipolar disorder - this has got to be the most severe form of depression whereby the sufferer goes through alternating periods of mania and depression.
Symptoms: Simple Depression vs Clinical Depression
When one has simple depression he feels sad, lonely, or simply "out of it". The feelings are not intense so as to affect him in a major way. Many regard a person with simple depression as "having the blues". But with clinical depression, the symptoms are more severe. The feelings of sadness are such that cause physical, behavioral, and emotional changes, such as:
- Sleep disruptions.
- Changes in eating habits (they could be in the form of overeating or loss of appetite).
- Indigestion or stomach problems.
- Loss of concentration.
- Loss of interest to do anything productive.
- Lack of interest in performing basic hygienic practices.
- Crying bouts.
- Feelings of worthlessness.
Duration and Treatment: Simple Depression vs Clinical Depression
Simple depression never lasts more than a few days. The person is able to bounce right back to his or her usual self without getting any form of medical treatment, although making some changes in one's daily activities living (including eating habits) can be of great help.
Clinical depression on the other hand may go on for weeks, even months, and yes treatment is often necessary. Among those that will be suggested to individuals with this type of depression are the following:
- Psychotherapy. Conducted by a specialist on mental health care, psychotherapy aims to assist depressed individuals to cope with their depression on a constructive (not destructive) manner. The psychotherapist helps individuals learn how to set and reach their own goals.
- Medications. Medications, specifically anti-depressants or mood lifters, are prescribed to individuals suffering from depression. These drugs are prescription drugs and cannot be bought over-the-counter. They have to be taken for months for one to appreciate their positive effects. Negative drug reactions that include weight gain and loss of libido have been reported.
- Electroconvulsive therapy. Now this may sound like a drastic procedure, and it can be! Electroconvulsive therapy involves the application of electrodes that deliver a current to your brain. The effect is pretty much like having a seizure. But, while it may be effective in managing some symptoms of depression, it can trigger memory loss.
- Vitamins. There appears to be a link between low levels of Vitamins D, B12 and Folic Acid and depression, and so increasing your body's supply of these essential vitamins may help a lot in reducing the symptoms of depression.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These essential fatty acids are especially beneficial in brain development and function. Making sure you have enough of these fatty acids in your system goes a long way in preventing and treating depression symptoms.
- Natural Remedies. St. John's Wort and Kava-Kava are two herbal remedies that are helpful in warding off depression.