Clinical depression is a serious and common illness that affects us physically and mentally in our way of feeling and thinking. Depression can make us want to get away from family, friends, work, and school. It can also cause anxiety, loss of sleep, appetite, and lack of interest or pleasure in doing different activities. To diagnose clinical depression, several clinicians use the symptom criteria for major depressive disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5, American Psychiatric Association.

Depression Type

The following are two of the most common types of depression:

Major (or severe) depression: when you have symptoms of depression most of the day, almost every day, for at least two weeks and these interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat and enjoy life.

Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia): when you have symptoms of depression that last for at least two years. The person who has been diagnosed with this type of depression may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms.


The signs and symptoms of clinical depression may include the following: Feelings of sadness, outbursts of anger, irritability or frustration, even for minor issues, loss of interest or pleasure from most usual activities, sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleeping too much, tiredness and lack of energy, lack of appetite and weight loss, or more food cravings and weight gain, nervousness or restlessness, slowness to reason, speak and make body movements, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixation on failures from the past or self-reproaches, trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things, frequent or recurring thoughts about death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide, physical problems without apparent cause, such as back or headache pain. The symptoms are usually so intense that they cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as work, school, or social activities.

Prevention and control

Some factors that can contribute to clinical depression are, among others: sex, women suffer twice as much depression as men, family history, when a member of their family suffers from severe depression, there are twice as many possibilities of acquiring it, use Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause clinical depression, life changes or difficulties, the presence of other diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, hormonal disorders, and other mental disorders such as anxiety and drug abuse.

Clinical depression can affect people of any age, including children. However, symptoms of clinical depression, if severe, generally improve with counseling, antidepressant medication, or a combination of both.

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