Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
March 17, 2021
Clinical depression, also called major depression or major depressive disorder, is a consistently saddened or disinterested state caused by chemical imbalances in the brain – often the result of trauma, but many times unprovoked.
“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems”, according to MayoClinic.
Doctors rely on the symptoms that someone is feeling to diagnose them with clinical depression.
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. states, “Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression.” Clinical depression is on the more serious side of that scale. It doesn’t just go away over time without treatment, and it tends to be more severe than most people’s general feelings of depression that come and go with life’s ups and downs.
Major depression shows itself through symptoms found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known by the name DSM-5. It was published by the American Psychiatric Association and includes some of the following feelings and actions as signs of clinical depression:
Additional signs of clinical depression that may present when a patient’s symptoms have progressed:
It can be difficult to find out what exactly is causing a patient’s major depression. Just like many other physical and mental health issues, there are a variety of other factors that could be involved. There are a handful of common causes that could help you figure out why you may be experiencing clinical depression. Some of them include:
While major depression is the most common form of depression, there are several other types. Some of the other types of depression people experience include:
Even though major depression can feel debilitating, there are several different treatment options available. When it comes to your mental health, many professionals suggest one, or a combination of the following:
Depending on your specific diagnosis, your doctor may also suggest seeing a psychotherapist to address trauma, other disorders, and more. Psychotherapists or psychiatrists can normally dig a little deeper than a therapist.
There are plenty of different drugs on the market to help those suffering from a major depressive disorder. Some antidepressants commonly prescribed by doctors or psychiatrists are:
Some of the more commonly taken depression drugs by category are:
There are also monoamine oxidase inhibitors like Marplan and Nardil that can help those with clinical depression.
Antidepressants are one type of medication that can be prescribed online under the watchful eye of a medical doctor. If you need a prescription from a doctor, you can book an appointment at home and speak with a physician online through EverydayDr’s sister site, PlushCare. PlushCare offers prescription delivery for antidepressants.
The other most common treatment to deal with major depressive disorder is talk therapy. This can be done in person or online. Talk therapists will listen to you and give you helpful advice, along with coping mechanisms. There are many therapy types that are used to treat clinical depression, including:
You can speak to a therapist online through our partner PlushCare. Making appointments is easy and simple, and you don’t even have to leave your home. Find a therapist here, and begin your therapy from the comfort of your home.
If you don’t feel you’re ready for antidepressants, you can begin by taking herbal supplements and combining them with some healthy lifestyle changes.
Many supplements are made of natural plants, like St. John’s Wort, and can help build up deficiencies you may have in your system.
You may also want to talk with your doctor about having a possible deficiency in Vitamin B or Vitamin D. Just like adding anything else to your healthcare routine, ask your primary care physician which supplement would be safest and most effective for you. PlushCare doctors are readily available for appointments and open to discussing natural, holistic methods of treating clinical depression or any other mental illness.
Major depression is a mental health condition that can affect anyone, despite how much money they make, where they live, or what they look like.
Now more than ever before, there are helpful treatment options that give those suffering from this condition a chance to take their life back. If you or someone you know is struggling with major depressive disorder, make an appointment with a PlushCare doctor or therapist to discuss your treatment options, and start making your everyday life easier.
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