Clinical depression is one of the major causes of suicide in the United States, and suicide is the third leading cause of death. This means that even if you did not suffer from Clinical Depression yourself, you most likely will know someone in your lifetime who does.
So how do you identify clinical depression, which means any form of depression that requires some kind of treatment? Although its common for many people to experience episodes of depression during their life, it usually falls under three major categories, unipolar disorder, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia.
Unipolar disorder, which is often referred to as major depression, generally manifests itself as episodes of severe depression that can come and go, lasting anywhere from just a few hours to months at a time.
Bipolar disorder on the other hand is characterized by the same episodes of severe depression at times, while at other times experiencing feelings of total euphoria and excitement. For instance manic episodes may include going for days without sleep or food, or unreasonable feelings of almost invincibility.
Dysthymia is a prolonged sad feeling where a person generally does not feel that they are capable of enjoying anything in life. It is not usually characterized by intense episodes as much as a general overall feeling that persists for a very long time.
Symptoms Of Clinical Depression Can Include
Overwhelming feelings of sadness or anxiety
Unstable sleeping patterns
Either gaining or losing weight
Poor concentration and memory
Loss of joy in life
Feelings of hopelessness
Thoughts of suicide
So if you know someone who is suffering from clinical depression, how can you help them? Perhaps the best way to help is to just be willing to listen. You don’t have to offer particular solutions to their problems, just listen. If their behavior is odd and aggressive, don’t take it personally. Don’t criticize or lose your temper with them. Continue to encourage them to get help.
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