Is the person you care about suffers from depression?. Or maybe even your own who experienced it?. Do not be too sad, you are not alone facing it indeed. About 6.7 percent of Americans are depressed nowadays. In this case is major depression or often people call it clinical depression. Another term for this kind of mental illness is unipolar. It is different from bipolar depression, we often talk about bipolar many times in this blog. It is important for us to know and recognize the symptoms of clinical depression to get proper treatment.
The importance of knowing and alerting the symptoms of clinical depression is because it affects our productivity as human beings as well. Moreover, from a variety of sources, we can obtain information that this clinical or unipolar depression strikes at productive ages. Some sources said that clinical depression strikes at about 18 years of age or older yet. Another source said that this mental illness strikes at an older age. About 25 to 45 years. This means that major depression is really attacking in the productive age. Age when someone is supposed to work and earn income.
What Is Clinical Depression or This Unipolar?
It is natural that we experience sadness or despair at some point in life. Experiencing sadness and despair is very natural and common in everyday life. However, if the sadness is disturbing the quality of our lives, of course we need to be vigilant. Perhaps we have already experienced clinical depression or this major depression.
We can recognize this clinical depression or unipolar when sadness or distress persists for two weeks or more. The disorder mainly occurs at the morning. Another thing that characterizes it is the loss of interest in the activity or something we previously very much liked.
The Common Symptoms of Clinical Depression
A very good health website details some common symptoms of clinical depression or this major depression indeed. In that list taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder 5th Edition (DSM V), which is included in symptoms of clinical depression are:
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day.
- Impaired concentration, indecisiveness.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day.
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others).
- Restlessness or feeling slowed down.
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
- Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month).
Symptoms of clinical depression have several levels according to their severity. Some people feel these complaints occasionally in life. It is rising and drown and disappear over time as well. However, some of them can even suffer a lifetime due to this clinical depression. As a lifetime illness, then treatment is very important. Patients need treatment to reduce the frequency of symptoms experienced. Through proper treatment, we expect the sufferers to be less distracted of their productivity and quality of life.
Treatments for Clinical Depression
There are various ways to treat clinical depression. The first and foremost is getting the medicine from a psychiatrist. If your condition or your loved ones become relatively stable, then consider getting psychotherapy. Please perform psychotherapy with your treating psychiatrist. However, you may prefer to deal with a psychologists for this psychotherapy as well. It’s really doesn’t matter. If both ways are done together, then people call it as a combination therapy. Until now, people believe that this combination therapy is one of the best treatments as well.
If the patient does not or less react to medication, it is necessary to consider the use of ECT. Several times I wrote about this Electro-convulsive Therapy in this blog. Currently the ECT management mechanism is much better and humane. Far different from the first indeed. The more advanced therapy using electromagnetic waves, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) may be worth considering. For people with depression, therapists reported that the results were very good.
The Suicidal Tendency
The most dangerous of these depressive illnesses is probably the sufferers’ tendency to commit suicide. More than ten percent of people with depression end their lives in this horrible way. This is one factor why we should not underestimate this kind of mental illness as well. In another article, the site I quoted above gives signs if the patient already has a tendency to commit suicide. Among the easy signs to recognize are:
- A sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy.
- Always talking or thinking about death.
- Clinical depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse.
- Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights.
- Losing interest in things one used to care about.
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless.
- Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will.
- Saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”.
- Talking about suicide (killing one’s self).
- Visiting or calling people one cares about.
Call To Action!
If you find someone you care about showing signs of committing suicide, then get in touch with the local health service. It is important and useful if you consider also contacting the nearest police as well. Relay if the person you care about requires hospitalization for long. This is for his or her own good.
People living in developed countries like the US or Western European countries may be far more fortunate than us in the third world like Indonesia. You can contact the service to help overcome if anyone is about to commit suicide. That is the facility you need to be grateful for. In the US, if you meet someone you care about committing suicide, please contact;
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) — or the deaf hotline at 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).
I hope you get something from this writing. Cheers!.