Clinical Depression is more than feeling a bit low or unhappy for a very short time. It is common to have periods where we feel down or a bit depressed, particularly during stressful times in our lives. Clinical depression is when there is a persistent sad, empty, low feeling for weeks or months. Clinical Depression is serious and not to be ignored. People cannot snap out of it and should not push themselves to soldier on.
On some occasions, there is a trigger event for depression like a life transition. People with a family history of depression are more vulnerable to experiencing it themselves. But it can also appear to come with no obvious reason. Often, it is a variety of things that lead to a downward spiral of events. Alcohol and drugs can also increase the risk of depression.
Depression has a wide range of symptoms and people experience it differently. Symptoms are real and it is not a sign of weakness. Here are some common symptoms of depression:
- A persistent feeling of unhappiness or hopelessness.
- A loss of interest in things you used to enjoy.
- Feeling tired often
- Negative changes to sleep pattern
- Changes to appetite
- Loss of sex drive
Symptoms range from mild to severe. When severe it can make people feel suicidal and regard their life as not worth living.
Depression can be treated and people can have a full recovery following treatment. Treatment involves behavioural changes, therapy and at times medication.