Depression comes in many forms and levels of severity. But “clinical depression” is the term most people are familiar with, and is used to describe the more serious form of depression. Clinical depression’s official designation is “major depression disorder,” which identifies it as a particular type of mental disorder.
The term ‘clinical depression’ is the more popular term used to describe symptoms of MDD. But MDD is so bad that usually people so affected are totally wiped out by it. There are many symptoms of MDD and they include both physical and emotional symptoms. These can include inability to focus, a lack of self-esteem, fluctuations in weight, lethargy, sleeping all day, loss of sex drive, and sadness. Some people even become suicidal.
Some forms of depression that we otherwise think of as separate forms of depression on their own, are actually types of Major Depression Disorder. These include SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and Postpartum Depression. For these types of depression to qualify as MDD, the patient must have a minimum of 5 of the classic symptoms of depression and have been in a low mood for over 2 weeks. When these symptoms are present, a person needs to be treated as soon as possible, because it is clear he or she is not just experiencing a case of ‘the blues.’
There are many recommended treatments for MDD, but the most common are medication, psychotherapy, and even ECT (Electro-Convulsive-Therapy, a.k.a. “electroconvulsive therapy”).
Certain other treatments being used today for treatment of MDD are controversial. Some therapies – such as “light therapy” for SAD – have earned their place among the ‘official,’ established treatments for depression.
But most natural treatments – although more attractive from a side-effect standpoint – are nevertheless not proving themselves as being effective. Certain herbal remedies have been touted as being effective – such as St. John’s Wort – but have proven only mildly effective in some cases.
But no matter what treatment is selected, getting SOME treatment going (so as to eliminate what works and what doesn’t) is critical. People affected by Major Depressive Disorder need help, whether the treatment is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), medicine, alternative therapy, or a combination of all three.
Any possible physical causes for the depression should be examined first. Often the cause is a hard-to-diagnose disease, bad diet, or simply genetic – inherited predisposition to depression.
Then emotional problems should be looked into, and this includes past trauma, bereavement, any suppressed mental struggles and so forth.
So the therapist needs to be a good detective of sorts, along with being a trained therapist. Because lots of things can contribute to MDD, including a history of drug and alcohol abuse, prior sexual abuse, lack of enough sunlight, just to name a few. These are important skills to have in order to accurately identify the cause of the depression and be able to put together the best treatment program.
Chuck’s incredible survival of a suicide attempt when he was just 16 years young years old inspired him to write a book to help others. To discover more about Major Depression Disorder, go to his site at http://www.dealwithdepression.org