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Clinical depression is different from normal sadness — like when you lose a loved one — as it envelops a person in their day-to-day living. It doesn’t stop after just a day or two — it will continue on for weeks on end, interfering with the person’s work or school, their relationships with others, and their ability to enjoy life and just have fun.This feeling of deep and stark sadness is often accompanied by a sense of 'a lack of energy', hopelessness, and inexplicable loss of interest or pleasure in things that once gave joy in the past.  


Clinical depression feels like a huge black hole of emptiness and hopelessness that cannot even be described by the sufferer. Depression developed in midlife or advanced age can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes medications taken for these physical illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression.

Clinical depression is commonly diagnosed among teenagers and adults. The diagnosis depends on the presence of 5 or more of these depressive symptoms:

  • Depressed mood most of the day as indicated by either subjective report or observation made by others. (In adolescents, this may present as an irritable or cranky, rather than sad, mood.)

  • Noticeably receded interest or pleasure in all things the person used to enjoy doing.

  • Significant weight loss or weight gain, or decrease/increase in everyday food appetite.

  • Inability to get to sleep or sleeping too much every day.

  • Restlessness (inability to stay still) or retardation (slowed speech and movements) than is usual.

  • Fatigue, tiredness, or loss of energy. 

  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive/inappropriate guilt 

  • Diminished ability to think/concentrate and abig dose of indecisiveness.

  • Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideas without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide



  • Persistent, sad  mood

  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism

  • Irritability

  • 'Feelings' - guilt, worthlessness,  helplessness etc

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities

  • Decreased energy or fatigue

  • Moving or talking more slowly

  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

  • Appetite and/or weight changes

  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment


  • Female

  • Chronic medical illness, 

  • Physical disability

  • Poor sleep pattern

  • Lonely or socially isolated

  • Family history of depression

  • Certain medications

  • Brain disease

  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs

  • Stressful life event 



  • Sadness or hopelessness

  • Irritability, anger, or hostility

  • Tearfulness or frequent crying

  • Withdrawal from friends and family

  • Loss of interest in activities

  • Poor school performance

  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits 

  • Restlessness and agitation

  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt

  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation

  • Fatigue or lack of energy

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Unexplained aches and pains

  • Thoughts of death or suicide


  • Negative self-esteem

  • Physical or sexual abuse

  • Medical disorders 

  • Learning disability or ADHD

  • Chronic physical illness 

  • Physical disability

  • Negative self-image 

  • Substance abuse

  • Family history of depression

  • Family history of suicide

  • Dysfunctional family background

  • Gay/lesbian/bisexual or transgender in an unsupportive environment

If you have any 5 of the symptoms present at the same time, adult or teenager, then you are medically considered in clinical depression. Seek medical confirmation of the diagnosis and treatment immediately. Depression is treatable. It is usually treated with medicationspsychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Several types of psychotherapy help people with depression. Call on us for help with your depression.

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