What is Clinical Depression? 

 Clinical depression is more than just a depressed mood; it is defined as a major depressive disorder. It is marked by symptoms of prolonged feelings of sadness, disinterest, and other severe symptoms. Depression is a mental health condition that has progressed throughout the United States. It was recorded in 2017 that 17.3 million adults have had a depressive episode that’s 71% of all adults in the U.S. 

People can go years with untreated depression because they are unaware that the feelings of sadness and hopelessness can be treated. Feelings of depression are common, but those with clinical depression often find their emotions can take control and make it challenging to participate in their own lives.

 Those who have clinical depression can feel sad, empty, and disinterested every day for weeks. They may have difficulty staying awake and often find it hard to work or eat. In severe cases of depression, people may feel so hopeless about life that they experience recurring thoughts about suicide.

Depressed people can have problems with relationships, maintaining jobs, or engaging in social activities. They may become isolated and withdrawn from the people around them. Those with depression often try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. This is dangerous as it could lead to the development of a dual disorder.

clinical depression

Symptoms of Depression

Clinical depression is a medical condition that must be diagnosed by a medical professional. For a depressive disorder to be considered, at least 5 of the following symptoms must be present for two weeks or longer.

  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Negative thinking / unable to see a positive outcome
  • Lashing out
  • Inability to focus
  • Withdrawing 
  • Lethargy / Exhaustion
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Weight loss /gain

clinical depression

Different Types of Depression

There are several different types of depression disorders that a person could be diagnosed with. This is why it is essential to seek treatment from a health professional. They will provide insight into what type of depression a person may have, as well as how it should be treated. The following are five different types of depressive disorders that are prevalent in today’s medical community.  

Psychotic Depression

This form of depression occurs when a person experiences symptoms of severe clinical depression and a kind of psychosis. Those who have it can experience delusions, voices in their head, and hallucinations. These symptoms can also include false feelings and thoughts of guilt, inadequacy, or infirmity

Bipolar Disorder

While not technically the same as depression, bipolar disorder exhibits symptoms of a major depressive disorder. A person with bipolar disorder experiences extreme moods that are both high and low. The low moods meet the criteria for symptoms of bipolar depression.

clinical depression

Postpartum Depression

This type of depression is more severe than just having the “blues” after a mother experiences childbirth. While a mother can encounter feelings of mild anxiety and depression after giving birth, those manifestations usually only last two weeks. Postpartum depression is a major depressive disorder where a mother endures symptoms of extreme sadness, intense anxiety, and disinterest in any activity. This includes taking care of her new baby.  

Seasonal Depression

This depression is unique in that symptoms of seasonal depression typically begin during the onset of the winter months. Less natural sunlight encourages low moods that are accompanied by weight gain, loss of activity, and increased sleep. The mood will lift in the spring and summer seasons but tends to return annually in the fall and winter months. 

Situational Depression

Situational depression is just as the name suggests; it is a depressive disorder that is triggered by events or situations. It is short-term and stress-related; symptoms occur during or after traumatic events. Symptoms can also appear when a person is having an issue adjusting to the changes happening in their life. Examples of this can be divorce, illness, death of a loved one, or problems in a relationship. Usually, this kind of depression will begin within 90 days after the event took place.

clinical depression

Consequences of Untreated Depression

People who experience feelings or symptoms of depression usually have a difficult time talking about their issues. This is why they either withdraw from society or mask it in some form or another. This can be extremely dangerous; if untreated, depression can become all-consuming. It can increase behaviors that risk a person’s health and safety, such as taking drugs or consuming alcohol. An addiction that arises as a consequence of the depressive disorder may need co-occurring or dual diagnosis treatment.  

Untreated depression could also result in ruined relationships as well as issues at work and at home. Thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts could increase, causing severe emotional trauma to family members and loved ones. 

Treating Depression with Therapy

Those who are diagnosed with a type of clinical depression do not have to live with symptoms for the rest of their life. Depression can be treated and significantly improved with the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy, antidepressant medication, and living a healthy lifestyle. At Dr. Paul’s By The Sea, we address the many issues of depression. These issues could involve certain behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs and can change them in positive ways through treatment. At St. Augustine’s mental health treatment center, we offer therapy that allows patients to discuss their different mindsets that may have contributed to their depression. 

Our therapists can help to dispel any irrational beliefs that are serving to keep a person depressed. Such as negative thoughts about themselves or their future. While in Dr. Paul’s By The Sea therapy program, our medical specialists can help people to recognize and change how they react to specific events and stresses in their daily life. By learning techniques to control their reactions and thoughts, they can begin to reduce many of their more painful emotions. 

clinical depression

Improving Health and Relationships

Focusing on achieving goals can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. People with negative thoughts can find their mood improves when they set small goals every day and can accomplish them. Accomplishing small goals can help with depression because it supports the idea that problems are solvable. Creating a positive reaction rather than the normal feeling of being overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness. 

Through Dr. Paul’s By The Sea cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy treatment, patients can learn to change their behavior and beliefs while focusing on actively resolving issues head-on. Some symptoms can be reduced through a healthier lifestyle of sobriety, nutritious eating, exercise, and plenty of sleep. It is also vital for patients with depression to improve the way that they relate to and interact with other people. 

At our treatment center in St. Augustine, Fl, our patients will develop closer connections and learn to better their relationships. Community and support from those going through similar experiences can be critical to alleviating depression. Solid relationships with excellent communication among family members and friends can create a sense of stability. This can greatly improve the outlook of people with depressive disorders. 

Our treatment programs are available to help people educate themselves about their mental illness. They are able to learn the strategies they need to improve their lives. Each individual can benefit from one-on-one counseling that focuses on their unique issues and needs. Allowing them to resolve personal problems and make specific goals to help them change their emotional experiences. Patients who are diagnosed with a depressive disorder and struggling with addiction can find help at Dr. Paul’s By The Sea. Where they will receive effective treatment to work through the issues of their dual diagnosis. With successful treatment, anyone can overcome their depression and begin to enjoy life again.

clinical depression