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All you need to know about Clinical Depression

All you need to know about clinical depression

Clinical depression is a mood disorder, that causes persistent feelings of sadness or loss of interest in day-to-day activities. It impacts how one feels, thinks and behaves, which can further lead to various emotional and physical issues. Most people can feel sad at some point in their lives, however, in clinical depression, the person feels sad and worthless every day, for at least 2 weeks. They can also have symptoms such as feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, trouble thinking, concentrating or making everyday decisions, anger outbursts, reduced appetite or increase in food cravings, sleep disturbances and unexplained physical aches and pains in the body, such as backache or headaches. These symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others at home or at work, and can also challenge their abilities to even perform daily routine activities. 

It is also important to understand that there is no single cause of clinical depression. However, it can be caused by a combination of factors interacting with each other. These factors can be biological, psychological and/ or social in nature. A comprehensive mental health assessment at Samvedna Care by a mental health therapist or a psychiatrist can help identify these underlying factors and develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses the person’s unique needs and challenges.

Factors that can contribute in developing depression can be:


Genetic Factors:  Certain individuals may inherit the genes that can make them vulnerable or susceptible to develop clinical depression.  People who have a first-degree relative (for example, a parent or sibling) suffering from depression, will have a two to three times higher risk of developing the condition. However, many people who develop depression do not have any family history, and/ or many people with an affected relative, never develop the disorder. Genetics may increase the risk and environmental factors may then determine how likely they are to develop depression. 

Hormones: Conditions like pregnancy or months after delivery (postpartum), thyroid disorders, and menopause can affect the hormone levels in our body. Low or high levels of hormones may trigger symptoms of depression, particularly in someone who is genetically susceptible to acquire the illness. As mind and body are inter-connected to each other, if a person is experiencing any physical health issues, they may also discover changes in their mental health as well or vice versa. 

Brain Chemicals: It is believed that imbalance of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, that carry signals from one part of the brain to the next) can lead to depression. In people who are depressed, mood regulating neurotransmitters fail to function at an optimal level, because of which the signal is either depleted or disrupted before passing on to the next nerve cell. When these neurotransmitters are in short supply, it could lead to the symptoms of depression.

(B.) PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS: In life, people react to stressors in many different ways, some cope and recover within days or weeks, but sometimes stress can be persistent and can pose as a risk factor for developing depression. For instance, people with certain personality types, such as people who tend to worry a lot, have low self-esteem, who are more sensitive to criticism or are self-critical or negative towards self, are at greater risk of developing depression. To a certain extent, these psychological factors are influenced by biological factors such as, in people who have an innate temperament or who have acquired a coping behaviour, that is modelled for people by their parents/teachers in their growing years. 

(C.) SOCIAL FACTORS: These factors are usually present in a person’s environment, which can be either supportive or harmful. A variety of social events can trigger depression, such as witnessing any kind of violence, bullying, marital problems, poverty leading to homelessness, lack of social support, long term unemployment, prolonged exposure to stress at work, sudden death of a loved one and/or use and abuse of substances, can trigger intense form of stress reaction and lead to depression. This can happen particularly amongst people, who are already at risk of genetic or other significant factors. For instance, if a person’s relationship with their partner breaks down, they are likely to feel low, they might stop seeing friends and family or as a way of coping, they might start drinking on regular basis. All of these factors can make a person feel worse and also increase the risk of triggering or developing depression in a person.With these points in mind, mental health therapists try to understand the factors responsible for a person’s depression. These determinants sometimes affect independently and sometimes in combination. In addition to mental health therapy, psychiatry consultation and mental health assessment can also be helpful in addressing depression. We, at Samvedna care, have experienced mental health therapists with a vast amount of experience in providing support to individuals suffering from depression and other mental illnesses. Take a mental health self-assessment to understand yourself better.

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