These days, depression is an enormously misunderstood malady. Many people who are feeling genuinely sad – and sad for a genuinely reasonable cause; they have lost their girlfriend, or their job, or experienced the recent death of a loved one – self-diagnose themselves as “depressed.” These people do not understand “depression” beyond the oft-used societal catchall term. Depression is a real disease, with a real definition. It is a feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness that continues for at least two weeks and prevents a person from functioning at their normal capacity. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association to aid clinicians in the diagnosis of disease, when a person suffers from at least five of the following nine symptoms at the same time, they may be more than simply sad and would do well to seek help for what is a treatable medical condition.
Clinical depression is no one’s fault. If left unchecked, it can be a lifelong problem.
If you are wondering about clinical depression, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you feeling sadness that can last for most of the day but is often most intense in the morning?
- Do you suffer from daily fatigue or lack of energy?
- Do you struggle daily with feelings of guilt and insignificance?
- Are you unable to concentrate or make decisions?
- Have you developed a noticeable or extended disinterest in activities that were once pleasurable?
- Do you suffer from insomnia or hypersomnia, which is excessive sleeping, that occurs nearly every day?
- Are you having recurring thoughts about dying, or even suicide, but notably not the fear of death which is, to some greater or lesser degree, a normal human concern that nearly all people face?
- Are your experiencing a sense of restlessness which is known as psychomotor agitation, or a sense of being slowed down, which is known as retardation?
- Have you undergone a noteworthy change in weight – a gain or a loss of more than five percent within a one-month period?
If the answer to a majority of these questions is “yes”, then we suggest seeking the further advice of a medical professional—especially if you suspect that you are also suffering from addiction as well. Creative Care specializes in treating dual diagnosis