It is an astonishing and worrying fact, that (according to recent research by the American Depression Society) over 18 million (of a total of 310 million) individuals currently living in the United States are affected by some form of mood disorder that can be broadly termed as depression. This figure is all the more surprising because the researchers found that although these individuals suffer from different types of depression the effects tend to have the same debilitating effect regardless of sex, age, race or religion.
Apart from the high number and broad base of people suffering from depression and the split between those who take natural mood stabilizers and remedies for depression like BrainSmart Mood vs those who opt for doctor prescribed SSRI’s , it is clear that there are a number of different types of depression and therefore it becomes important to identify each of the major depression types in order to best prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
The range of reported types of depression tends to be quite broad and can consist of, for example, short lasting and temporary periods of sadness to more long-term and debilitating depressive moods that can last all day, every day, sometimes for years.
In this first part of a series of articles examining the different types of depression we will attempt to understand what is without doubt the most common and the most complex of depressive states known as clinical depression.
Types of Depression – What is Clinical or Major Depression?
Perhaps the most common and serious types of recognised depression is that which is termed as clinical or major depression. The reason clinical depression is the most serious is that it is typically accompanied by a large number of conflicting symptoms which when experience together make the sufferer spiral further downwards and out-of-control. The severity and frequency of these multi-layered yet interrelated symptoms means that successful treatment needs to be much more considered in its approach.
Typically clinical or major depression is regarded by practising physicians to be so dangerous to a person state of mind that it often requires some form of immediate and controlled prescription drug intervention.
Symptoms Check-list for Different Types of Depression
Given how low moods or more serious depressive states tends to cloud judgement and make objective and rational self-diagnosis difficult or impossible, most doctors tend to use a standard check-list of symptoms to gauge the type of depression a patient may have and then prescribe the most appropriate course of action depending on the severity and frequency of the symptoms.
A typical symptoms checklist for clinical or major depression would include the following questions:
- Have you thought about committing suicide or self-harming and if yes how often do these thoughts occur?
- Do you find yourself feeling you have no value to offer the world and those around you?
- Does the voice inside you (also known as your inner critic) talk to you in a recurring critical and negative tone of voice?
- Do you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning and when you wake up are your first thoughts of dread at the idea of facing a new day?
- Do you find it difficult to get to sleep at night and if yes do you find your mind racing full of negative thoughts?
- Have you found yourself losing interest in hobbies and activities that once gave you pleasure?
- Do you feel tired with little or no energy during the day?
As with all checklists the tone of the questions may vary from doctors practice to practice and each may attach different weights of importance to each of the symptoms, but the intent remains the same and the doctor will attempt to ascertain how many of the symptoms a patient has experienced over a two week period. Typically however the most important symptoms an individual must be experiencing consistently over a two-week period are feeling depressed all day nearly every day for two weeks as learners losing interest in activities or hobbies that once gave pleasure.
Individuals who are experiencing clinical major depression will often point to the immense disruptive effects their illness has on their day-to-day lives. This emotional disruption also inevitably affects those around them and clinical depression can effectively leach into other people’s lives negatively affecting them as well.
It is for these reasons that if you suspect you (or someone close to you) are showing any of the symptoms outlined above then a doctor should be consulted immediately. The most important thing to remember is that all types of major or clinical depression can be successfully overcome with talk therapy, SSRI prescription medicines or a combination of both together .As with types of depression the key to successful treatment is to diagnose the severity of the illness as quickly as possible in order that appropriate action can be taken.
References Used For This Article