Many people experience clinical depression. In fact, recent studies have shown about 20% of the population in the United States will experience Major Depressive Disorder at some point in their lives. But what is clinical depression? How is that different than just feeling down or sad? The information below outlines the signs and symptoms of clinical depression.
A persistent feeling of sadness
- In clinical depression, a person’s mood becomes consistently sad and hopeless. This feeling is persistent, and the person has very little reprieve, if any.
Loss of Interest
- People usually find themselves uninterested in activities they used to enjoy. The activities seem unappealing and pointless.
- People with clinical depression find themselves sleeping too much (hypersomnia) or too little (insomnia). Sometimes they vacillate between these two states.
- Clinical depression can cause people to lose their appetites and eat too little, and it can also cause people to become hungrier and overeat. Unintentional weight fluctuation is common.
- People with clinical depression may seem slowed down. Their speech and movements can appear noticeably slow. The opposite can also be true with clinical depression. People may feel like they can’t sit still. A feeling of restlessness predominates and makes them fidgety.
- Feeling unmotivated, fatigued, and minimal energy is common in clinical depression. Some people even feel like it’s difficult to get out of bed.
Feeling Worthless or Guilt
- People with clinical depression usually feel like they don’t matter. An undeserved feeling of guilt may also be experienced.
- An inability to think clearly and focus is also common in clinical depression. People struggle to sustain attention or make decisions.
Thoughts about Death or Suicide
- Clinical depression can trigger thoughts about death, dying, and even taking one’s life. This a serious symptom that needs attention quickly.
In clinical depression, people experience a majority of the symptoms described above for at least 2 weeks. If you believe you may be depressed and have further questions, or if you’d like to seek treatment for depression, please give our office a call.