Understanding Clinical Depression

Depression is a commonly used word in modern society, but there’s actually a notable difference between how the word depression is commonly used and actual clinical depression. At South Coast Community Services, we're here to talk a little about clinical depression, what it is and isn’t, and what you can do about it. Keep reading to learn more and (spoiler) if you are experiencing depression, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us any time. You are not alone, we are here to help!

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What It Is

So what is clinical depression? Clinical depression (or Major Depressive Disorder) is a mood disorder that involves consistent feelings of intense sadness, anger, and loss to the point that it interferes with someone’s everyday life. Unfortunately, clinical depression is becoming more and more prevalent. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2019 “an estimated 19.4 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode.” This roughly translates to 1 of every 10 adults in the U.S. If left untreated, depression can lead to asthma, obesity, and suicide.

What It Isn’t

In today’s vernacular, depression is essentially interchangeable with sadness or being very sad. It’s not uncommon to hear things like, “I’ve been really depressed lately” and “she and her boyfriend broke up, she’s been really depressed.” And while those feelings of deep sadness are absolutely important and valid, it’s worth noting that it likely isn’t considered to be clinical depression or Major Depressive Disorder in the technical sense. As noted above, an important characteristic is consistent severe sadness to the point where it negatively impacts your daily life.

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Symptoms and Signs

As with most things in mental health, symptoms and signs can drastically vary from person to person. However, there are some symptoms that are common trends and symptoms that can be seen. Some common symptoms of clinical depression include:

  • Feeling sad and lost more often than not
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of extreme fatigue without doing anything
  • Thoughts about death and suicide
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and thinking on the day-to-day
  • Increase in fidgeting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sleeping or eating too much
  • Major changes in appetite
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in activities you once enjoyed

What to Do

If you or someone you love is experiencing depression, you are not alone and there is hope. South Coast Community Services is here to help you by being a resource and providing you with the professional assistance you deserve. Whether you choose us or another mental health service, the important thing is that you seek help and are getting the care you need.

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Learn More at South Coast Community Services

If you are interested in learning more about clinical depression, South Coast Community Services, or seeking treatment options, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us any time.

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