Feeling down or having low days is normal. How can you tell if feeling low is depression or clinical depression? Clinical depression is treatable once a diagnosis has been carried out.
Many of us feel sad or lonely at times in our life. Sadness is normal when grieving, dealing with stressful or unpleasant situations, or suffering from self-esteem issues. But when these feelings start to become more overwhelming and affect you for long periods, it may be a sign to seek help from a medical professional.
Receiving a diagnosis will enable you to understand what is going on in your mind and your body and hopefully help you cope and find a solution. Starting by going to your regular doctor and know this is a significant first step.
Health professionals will be able to test you for depression and seek help accordingly to relieve your symptoms. If depression goes untreated, it can slowly worsen and cause a lot of pain to you and those around you. One in every ten people with depression will attempt suicide.
Check the symptoms listed below, recognize what might or might not be clinical depression.
Symptoms of Clinical Depression
Recognizing the symptoms of Clinical or Major depression is vital in diagnosing and treating the illness. The symptoms could include, but are not limited to;
- Struggling to focus, remember small details, or make everyday decisions.
- Fatigue of the mind and body
- Feeling guilty, worthless, and helpless.
- Being pessimistic with waves of hopelessness.
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Crankiness and moodiness
- Feelings of restlessness
- Loss of interest and attention in things that were once pleasurable for the patient.
- Overeating or a loss in appetite
- Aches, pains, and cramps that don’t seem to go away.
- Digestive issues
- Feeling ‘empty’ inside
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts.
If you suspect that a person is depressed, there are various phrases you can look out for that may signal that the person is suffering from this disorder. Look out for sentences such as;
“I can’t do it.”
“No one cares about me.”
“I don’t want to do it.”
“I feel empty inside.”
“What’s the point.”
“I don’t want to live anymore.”
Diagnosing Clinical Depression
There is no depression test that a doctor can use to diagnose patients. Instead, they have to figure it out by asking patients several questions and running a physical exam. Prepare yourself, a friend or family member for the process by going over a few of these most commonly asked questions;
- When did the symptoms start?
- Ask them – how long have you been feeling this way?
- How have they affected you?
- Ask yourself – Does anyone else in your family suffer from depression or other mental illnesses?
- Do you use or abuse alcohol or drugs?
- Have you been diagnosed before, or have you received treatment for your symptoms?
Helping the doctor understand your symptoms and being open about everything will only benefit you and help you recover as quickly as possible. If a physical cause is ruled out for a patient’s symptoms, they will most likely be referred to a mental health professional.
The prescribed specialist will then help you figure out the best treatment form that will work for you. Nobody’s treatment will be the same as everyone’s case is unique. There is no formula for curing depression but rather several different combinations of treatment suited to each person.
Be prepared for this process as it will take time to find the best treatment for you that will suit you and your condition. It may also take time for the drugs to take full effect.
Suicide Prevention for Patients
Depression involves a high risk of suicide. Having suicidal thoughts or intentions is a grave matter and should always be discussed with a licensed professional. If you think that a friend or family member is having these thoughts, there are a number of warning signs you can look out for;
- Jumping from extreme happiness to sadness and then suddenly being very calm.
- Constantly mentioning or thinking of death.
- Clinical Depression that has been diagnosed or is suspected
- Taking risks that could lead to death and showing minimal signs of caring for it
- Commenting on things such as “I feel hopeless,” “I’m useless,” “I’m not worthy…”
- Finalizing affairs or changing a will
- Verbally expressing that they no longer want to be alive
- Visiting or calling loved ones that they wouldn’t normally speak to or see.
- Continually mentioning suicide or having suicidal intent
Keep an eye out and if someone you know shows any of these warning signs, reach out to the local suicide hotline or contact a mental health professional immediately and seek help.
Learning about the symptoms of Major Depression (Clinical Depression) and the warning signs to look out for will help you and your loved ones understand this condition and the importance of getting a diagnosis early to prevent the possibility of going over the edge of suffering a significant loss in your life. Simply do not hesitate to seek help and advice if you suspect that you or a significant other is going through something.