Are You Clinically Depressed, Or Just In A Funk?

Author: Beth Bahr

Are you clinically depressed, or just in a funk?

The common perception of the term "depression" divided into two categories. One one hand, there are the basic feelings of sadness, anger and mental weariness that can be intense for a short time but eventually go away. On the other hand, there is the clinical form of depression, which is formally classified as a disease and often cannot be alleviated in a few days - real depression doesn't disappear without a fight.

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the persistent symptoms of depression include sadness, a tendency to sleep too much or too little, and feelings of worthlessness. Although these may be experienced in short bursts when something upsetting happens in your personal life, they are part of the everyday lives of those with true clinical depression, as well as suicidal or morbid thoughts, changes in weight and loss of interest in things that once brought happiness or contentment.

Given the seriousness of clinical depression, the results of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study on the subject are troubling. Nearly two-thirds of individuals with serious clinical depression symptoms are not receiving medications for their problems, but more than 1 in 10 Americans older than 12 take some form of antidepressant, according to Time Magazine.

With that in mind, you must determine whether or not you genuinely have clinical depression. You may want to seek the opinions of more than one mental health professional to be positive. All antidepressants can cause side effects, some of which include headaches, nausea, sleeping problems, agitation and sexual performance issues - you don't want to suffer from any of these if you don't have to.

Also, keep in mind that medication isn't the only form of treatment. The NLM states that most patients with clinical depression use a combination of talk therapy and antidepressants. If you're definitely diagnosed with this condition, work with your doctors to figure out what's best for you so you can work on living your life as you want to - not as your condition dictates you must.

Do you feel like you might have clinical depression? 

In Brief

  • The common perception of the term "depression" divided into two categories.

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