Depression And Its Destructive Force

Clinical depression is not something that can be overcome by wishing it, find out why.

The recent death of famous actor Robin Williams brings to the table a valid discussion about depression and the tragic and painful havoc that mental disorders can cause. I am not talking about those people who have depressive symptoms, but do not have clinical depression. A clinical depression is more than a temporary feeling of sadness; it is both a physical and an emotional illness, so we cannot tell a person with this type of depression to simply forget it or to seek to feel better on their own.

As I mentioned before, clinical depression is a physical illness too, so it affects the brain. For this reason, in the treatment it is necessary, both the use of drugs and therapy. The two things together: one without the other will never be an efficient solution. Now, we cannot seek the necessary help unless we know that we have clinical depression, so it is my hope that the following guidelines will help you identify if this may be the case for you or the case of a loved one.

I. Emotional aspects

  1. Depressed mood: The person feels sad, empty, irritable almost all day, almost every day.

  2. Anhedonia : It means the inability to enjoy any activity, as well as not showing interest in things that previously produced happiness, in the same way, almost all day and almost every day.

  3. Uselessness and guilt: Excessive feelings that are useless or feel guilty about every situation that is presented to them daily.

  4. Suicidal thoughts : Constant thoughts about death or idealization of suicide, with or without a definite plan.

II. Physical aspects

  1. Insomnia: The person experiences insomnia almost every night.

  2. Changes in psychomotor ability: The person is agitated or shows that his muscles are slow and move slowly, almost every day.

  3. Tiredness: The person experiences fatigue every day.

  4. Concentration: The ability to think or concentrate decreases dramatically.

  5. Weight: The person loses or gains weight, even when not on a specific diet.

It is important to mention that a person must have most of these symptoms and exhibit them almost daily, for at least two consecutive weeks, to consider the possibility of clinical depression. In addition, these symptoms must cause a serious deterioration in the quality of life of those who suffer them.

As I mentioned before, the person with this type of major depression needs professional help. Think that you would never tell a diabetic to seek to overcome his illness on his own; in the same way, a person with clinical depression cannot cope without the appropriate medication and the specialized therapist to attend to these cases. It is time to open our mouths and let other people know that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

Source: American Psychiatric Association Manual DSM-IV-TR

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