Clinical depression is a mental illness that is often misunderstood or not taken seriously due to the common misuse of the word to refer to “sadness” in everyday situation.
However, major depression is much more devastating than mere sadness.
Clinical depression is diagnosed when a person suffers from depressive symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks. Keep in mind that the symptoms of depression are more intense than the usual mood fluctuations everyone experiences. A lot of people suffering from depression describe an overwhelming feeling of emptiness that can turn into unbearable emotional pain.
While the average person can experience a form of depression after a traumatizing event for example, they will grieve and get better after a few weeks.
However, a person suffering from Clinical Depression will experience these symptoms for weeks or months, without being able to identify a cause for their state of mind and without feeling better with time. The unpredictability of the illness and the inability for sufferers to regain control over their minds can quickly lead them into a downward spiral to hell.
You’ll find below the main symptoms of Major Depression :
– Feeling down, low, empty and/or sad most of the time
– Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, self-hatred, constant internal criticism and blame
– Fatigue, slowness, low energy, absence of motivation
– Loss of interest and pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed (hobbies, relationships), causing isolation
– Slowed thinking
– Irritability, sudden anger
– Feeling easily overwhelmed, even by small things
– Indecisiveness, impossibility to make decisions
– Changes in sleep patterns : insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping a lot)
– Changes in diet, that can result in significant weight loss (or gain for some people)
– Unexplained other physical problems (migraines, pain…)
– Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
When I understood that my Loved One was suffering from Major Depression, the first thing I did was dive into Psychology books that explained the symptoms.
However, I had never been able to relate and to fully understand what depression really meant until I stumbled upon that blog :
Hyperbole and a Half : http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.fr/
Here are Allie’s (the author of the blog) posts about Depression :
Adventures in Depression : http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.fr/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html
Depression Part Two : http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.fr/2013/05/depression-part-two.html
It doesn’t look like it at first, but I can assure you you’ll probably never find a better description of what depression feels like.
It is very visual and easier to understand and to relate to for those of us who are luck enough to be mentally stable than diagnosis criteria in Psychology books.
Allie is an incredible artist who has stuggled with depression for many years. Her blog is really worth it, please go take a look at it, my friends !
Hope in Mind – Resources for mental illness sufferers and their families
Comment section :
Even though I write on mental illness, I am not suffering from mental illness myself.
Please feel free to comment and to share your experiences ! I’d love to know you better and know why you are reading my blog. In addition, any comment could help me understand mental illness better and improve this website and its explanations.
Thank you for being here and for your support.