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What are the symptoms of clinical depression?

It is very common for people to go through ups and downs as far as their moods are concerned. This is a natural reaction to the outcome of everyday activities and may last for a short while. But when the negative moods or lows continue for a prolonged period of time, it can be termed as clinical depression. There are many signs that indicate that a person might be suffering from depression.

The signs of depression

One of the most common signs of depression is that the person might be going through a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. The person might also constantly feel that that the future is extremely bleak and that things will never get better. One of the emotions that retain our sanity is the feeling of hope. A depressed person is singularly lacking in this emotion. This leads the person to exhibit a loss of interest in routine things and the joys and pleasures that are derived from daily activities. Physically, there could be a significant change in body weight – either an increase or a decrease of more than 5% in a month. The person can exhibit bouts of anger or irritability. The tolerance level becomes extremely low and most things easily get on their nerves. There could be a severe loss of energy resulting in the person feeling extremely sluggish, fatigued or drained. Even small tasks may take them a long time to complete. Self-loathing is another symptom of depression. There is a feeling of worthlessness or guilt. The person undergoing a severe depression might indulge in reckless behaviour like rash driving, substance abuse or he/she indulge in dangerous sports. Such people may have trouble concentrating, remembering things or making decisions. There could also be many unexplained physical aches and pains that the person is suffering from. Since the term depression is rather broad, it can be classified into major depression, atypical depression, mild depression and seasonal affective disorders, depending on the severity of the case.

What causes depression?

Depression can be caused by any one of the above factors, along with the person’s inability to cope. A family history of depression is also a contributing factor. This can also be triggered by a recent stressful life experience, childhood trauma, marital problems, financial strain, health problems or unemployment. A lack of social support or loneliness only aggravates the condition. The good news for people suffering from depression is that it can be cured with medication and counselling. Hospitals and specialised centres also offer depression rehab facilities. The affected person can go on to lead a full and normal life eventually.

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