Understanding Clinical Depression


Clinical Depression is a more serious illness than perhaps previously thought. It negatively affects how one feels, the way one thinks and then the subsequent behavioural patterns.

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Depression can lead to a variety of both emotional and physical ailments, which can lead to a decrease in one’s ability to function well at home, school, or work.

Parents may see their child slowly self isolate or on the other hand partners may observe their loved one changing at home and in challenging situations in both home and work.

Symptoms And Diagnosis

The symptoms of depression can vary from mild to severe and can include but not excluded to:

  • Feelings of pessimism or hopelessness
  • A persistent sense of doom or sadness, anxiety or just a “hollow” mood
  • One may feel restless, irritable, or become easily annoyed and agitated.
  • Fatigue is very frequently reported.
  • There is a huge decline in concentrating, remembering details, and there is often trouble in making decisions.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthless and uselessness
  • Loss of interest in what were once very pleasurable activities to the individual.
  • Due to possible changes in appetite, their may be significant weight gain or loss
  • Insomnia, which can lead to other health issues
  • Thoughts of death and suicide


Depression’s Global Impact:

Since depression impacts Individuals, Families, and Societies, it is a serious global health problem. It is believed to be the leading cause of disability worldwide, currently estimated to having a reported 300 million people affected. It is a major contributor to suicide.

The catastrophic impact on individuals, families and societies ought not to be overlooked. Because depression contributes to isolation it is difficult for family members to grasp. Partners or children may see their loved one slowly change before their very eyes. They may isolate and start having frequent absenteeism from school or work. For others it may affect their personal hygiene as they become too fatigued to perform daily routines of daily living, like bathing or a range of what is considered “simple” self care.

Of course, absenteeism becomes a major problem due to decline of productivity hence affecting families and global communities. In trying to cover their shame, persons may turn to alcohol or substance abuse. These of course bringing a slew of other issues and draining of already declined incomes.


Biological Factors

There are a number of biological factors that can contribute to depression, including:

Neurotransmitter imbalances:

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that help regulate mood and other functions.  Imbalances in certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, have been linked to depression.

Also See: Overcoming Loneliness after the Death of Spouse

Genetic predisposition:

Depression runs in families, blatantly suggesting that there is a genetic component to the disorder.

Neurological Factors

Problems with the structure and function of the brain may also play a role in depression. For example, people with depression often have smaller hippocampi, the region of the brain involved in mood regulation and memory.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors can also contribute to depression, including:

  • Stress

Major life stressors, such as job loss, death of a loved one, being bullied in school or via social media and so many other variables can trigger depression.

  • Trauma:

People who have experienced trauma, such as childhood abuse or neglect, rape, are more likely to develop depression. Patterns that trigger or exacerbate depression: People with depression often develop negative thought patterns and behaviours that can worsen their symptoms. For example, they may withdraw from social activities hence no longer networking. Their friends and colleagues often misread these new patterns and feel ‘ghosted’ or abandoned by the new silence. Depression also causes ruminating on negative thoughts and a very vicious cycle.

Socio-Economic Status, Relationships, and Life Events on the Onset and Course of Depression

Socio-economic status, relationships, and life events were always suggested to play a role in the onset and course of depression It was thought that people with lower socio-economic status, poor relationships, and a history of negative life events were more likely to develop depression. On the contrary, it is no longer 27 year old Caucasian Males with a lower economic status that are being treated or remain hiding in shame. It is from the upper echelon to lower socio-economic status. From happily married to seemingly happily single. Not to omit the brightest and smartest College students with promising futures ahead of them. Clinical Depression has even been proven to be the cause of suicide in our Global communities.

Treatment Options

There are a number of effective treatments for depression, including:

  • Medication:

Antidepressant medications many times help to improve mood and other symptoms of depression.

  • Therapy:

Talk therapy can help people to identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to their depression.

  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Regular exercise.
  • Developing a consistent bedtime with soothing sounds or dimmer lights may help with insomnia. It has been suggested that electronic gadgets and phone lights can deprive individuals of enough sleep.


Prevention and Coping Strategies

There are a number of things that can be done to prevent and cope with depression, including:

  • Building strong relationships:

Social support can help to protect against depression.

  • Managing Stress:

Learning to manage stress effectively can help to prevent depression and reduce the severity of symptoms if depression does occur.


Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms:

Developing healthy coping mechanisms such as exercise, relaxation techniques, spending time in nature, can help to reduce stress and improve mood. Some Psychologists have started Animal Therapy where patients bond with pets or horses with the belief that these animals empathize with depressed human beings.


Stigma and Awareness associated with mental illness can prevent people from seeking help for depression. It is important to raise awareness about depression and to challenge the stigma associated with it. Patients need an extra level of privacy to access help. They themselves, will need to be the first ones to be made aware that there is no shame in being challenged with this disability.


Resources, Support, and Mental Health Services

There are a number of resources available to help people with depression. These include:

Mental health professionals such as Mental Health Technicians, Social Workers, Psychiatrists and Psychologists who diagnose and plan treatment and support for people with depression.

Support Groups: Support groups can provide a safe haven  for people with depression to share their experiences and learn from others.

Online Resources:

There are a number of online resources available to provide information and support for people with depression.



Clinical depression is a very serious medical illness, with the good news being it is treatable. If you think you may be struggling with depression, it is important to seek professional help. With the right treatment and support you can be well on your way back to feeling like your former self.

It has been an honor being asked to write this article. Please feel free to continue to request more topics or ask questions from us at www.plansofgood.com.

There is a prayer on YouTube for Depression from us at www.plansofgood.com that may be played repeatedly for the comfort of the Scriptures or healing. It is our pleasure to serve you. May God Richly Bless You. Amen

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