psychotherapy
Depression Screening Test

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CLINICAL DEPRESSION?
If someone experiences most of these symptoms for more than two weeks, there is a good chance they are suffering from a clinical depression:

  • Feeling worthless, helpless or hopeless
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Change in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Sense of worthlessness or guilt
  • Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
  • Excessively high or elated mood
  • Unreasonable optimism or poor judgement
  • Hyperactivity or racing thoughts
  • Decreased sleep
  • Extremely short attention span
  • Rapid shifts to rage or sadness
  • Irritability
  • Increased isolation
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Increased sexual promiscuity

WHAT IS CLINICAL DEPRESSION?
Clinical depression is a medical illness similar to pneumonia that even the strongest person cannot overcome without treatment. Clinical depression is similar to heart disease and cancer in that all of us have a susceptibility to each. If we have a family history of one of these illnesses, our susceptibility increases. This explains how some develop a clinical depression only after extraordinary stressors and others develop clinical depression seemingly out of the blue. Clinical depression is a very common illness that affects approximately 3-5% of the population at any one time. There is a 20% chance of having an episode of clinical depression at some point in one's life. The percentages are similar for the general population and college students.

IS CLINICAL DEPRESSION TREATABLE?
Clinical depression is readily treatable with counseling and/or medication. Medication can correct the chemical imbalance (low levels of brain serotonin and norepinephrine) that is found in people with symptoms consistent with clinical depression. Unfortunately, fifty percent of people who have clinical depression never get help and suffer silently. Untreated, the average clinical depression can last 9-12 months. With treatment, people often report significant relief within 4-6 weeks.

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