Clinical Depression - Adults
What is Clinical Depression?
Depression is a word sometimes used to describe the usual sad and upset feelings people have when things go wrong in their every day lives. It is also the word used to describe a serious mental illness involving deep sadness and despair, feelings of hopelessness, and accompanying physical symptoms. This kind of depression is called Clinical Depression. We will use the term Clinical Depression when discussing it on this site. When you read about Clinical Depression in other places, it may simply be called Depression. Clinical Depression affects about 10 percent of adults each year. Its symptoms include:
- Intense feelings of sadness, despair, hopelessness, and worthlessness
- An inability to experience joy or pleasure
- Problems concentrating, remembering or making decisions
- Feeling tired all of the time
- An increase or decrease in sleeping and/or eating
- Thoughts of death and/or suicide (Read our page on Suicide in Adults to learn the warning signs, who is at risk, how you can help and for other information.)
In Clinical Depression, some or all of these symptoms happen almost every day over a period of two weeks or more. Clinical Depression is a serious illness that interferes with a person’s ability to live a normal life. Some people with Clinical Depression are at risk for suicide.
What causes Clinical Depression?
Clinical Depression tends to run in families. It can be triggered by a life crisis, such as the death of someone close, a major life change, such as childbirth, an illness or a serious accident. Clinical Depression may also occur without any obvious cause, even when life events appear to be quite positive.
Clinical Depression is believed to be associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain. A chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, called serotonin is involved. Over 80 percent of people with Clinical Depression can be helped by treatment and return to their normal life activities.
How can Clinical Depression be Treated?
Treatments include talking therapies (or counseling) and medications. A combination of these two kinds of therapies is usually the most effective.
The biggest problem with Clinical Depression is that people do not receive the treatment they need. To learn about how to get treatment in Nassau County, click on the section “Getting Help“ on this website.
Additional Information About Clinical Depression
Clinical Depression Screening
This site is maintained by the National Mental Health Association. The Association is a national organization dedicated to promoting mental health through education and advocacy. The site has a question and answer test about Clinical Depression and other helpful information. The Association’s telephone number is 800-969-6642.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
DBSA is a grass roots organization started in 1986 by people who had Bipolar Disorder. They have a Scientific Advisory Board of leading researchers in the area of Bipolar Disorder and Depression. Among the features of this easy-to-read site are additional information on symptoms of Clinical Depression, descriptions of specific medications and treatments and outlines of the available services. The telephone number for this organization is 800-826-3632.
American Psychiatric Association (APA)
The APA is a professional association for physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. This site has technical information about diagnosing and treating Clinical Depression and research on Clinical Depression.
The information on this page is provided by Medicare Solutions which is a service of Health Plan One, LLC and offers plans from most of the top, national insurance companies. The information on this page may not be impartial.