Clinical Depression

Clinical Depression

Anxiety Disorders

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Clincal Depression

The commonest symptom of clinical depression is anhedonia(Greek = an[without] + hedonia[pleasure]), manifested by a loss of interest and enthusiasm and the ability to enjoy things or to look forward to anything. Everything seems to require extra effort and there is a feeling of having to push or force oneself to perform ordinary activities.

A person experiencing clinical depression often feels overwhelmed and in dread of what the day will bring. Everything becomes tinged with anxiety and apprehension. Procrastination leads to further anxiety as postponed or uncompleted tasks haunt the mind and spoil every occasion. Worries about the future and regrets about the past loom up and are impossible to dispel.

Disturbances in memory, concentration and decision making are common. The feeling that something is not right with the mind often causes the person to fear that they are about to have a nervous breakdown.

Sleep is usually impaired in clinical depression. The most common symptom is middle stage insomnia or early morning awakening. The depressed person may have trouble falling asleep, but when they finally do, they awaken as though by an inner alarm clock in the middle of the night or during the early morning hours and have great difficulty going back to sleep. In some cases of depression there is excessive sleepiness(hypersomnia) that causes the individual to sleep much longer than they normally do.

The appetite is often disturbed, either in the direction of wanting to eat less and losing weight, or the opposite, eating more and gaining weight. Loss of interest and enjoyment in sex is common.

Although a sad and depressed mood is usually present in clinical depression, it is sometimes absent or may be masked by exaggerated irritability, intolerance and hostility.

When the above symptoms are present and persist for weeks or months, professional consultation is indicated. This is true even when there are life events or circumstances that may seem to explain the depression, since it is not unusual for clinical depression to be triggered by such events, especially when they involve an actual or anticipated loss of some kind.



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