Our brains have plasticity—the ability to change physically, functionally, and chemically throughout life. It's how we can compose music and affect muscle memory in sports. It's how we can learn new languages, problem solve and train our brains to think in specific ways. But this plasticity, which allows us to be creative and innovative, also makes us very open to being molded by our environment. As a result, just thinking about the symptoms of depression can feel depressing in itself.
Treating clinical depression can take dedication and a deep understanding of how the mental illness affects the body and the mind. Finding the right treatment—or combination of treatments—that works for you takes close collaboration with your doctor or mental health specialist. If you are suffering from clinical depression, it can be difficult to stay proactive about your personal well-being. But, hopefully, this list will give you some insight into the number of treatment options available when it comes to depression. If you are not suffering from the disorder, then let this list better inform you about how you can help others handle their mental illness. Without further ado, here is a list of 27 essential tips to treat clinical depression.
Talking about depression can be hard, but there is no greater struggle than dealing with depression alone. Historically, depression has been stigmatized because it makes people seem unreliable and unattractive. To add to that, self-stigmatization is often a common symptom of depression, with sufferers feeling ashamed of their condition. But depression is not a personal weakness. After all, this mental illness affects 350 million people worldwide.
Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD), manifests itself differently in everyone. Some of us are genetically prone to experiencing the disorder during our lifetime. Others experience clinical depression as a result of traumatic events or stressful school, work, or personal environments. Changes in brain chemistry and hormones can also cause the onset of clinical depression episodes.
Symptoms of clinical depression vary greatly in the population that this mental illness affects, which is about 6.7% of the US adult population (or 16.1 million Americans over the age of 18 each year) according to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA). Symptoms >may include feelings of emptiness, fatigue, irritation, agitation, anxiety, and failure to enjoy activities which you once considered ‘fun’. Those who are clinically depressed may experience any combination of these symptoms due to a clinically depressed mental state.
Today is Depression Screening Day. On such an auspicious occasion, we wanted to share a few words of our appreciation to the PHQ-9, an ode of sorts.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this acryonym (it has less name recognition then FBI or LOL), it’s a tool those focused on Depression count on each and every day. It stands for Personal Health Questionnaire-9. It’s on our website and is a part of the measures we request from patients. It’s a part of our daily practice. The PHQ-9 gets the job done.
We aren’t the only fans. Even the mammoth Google has taken a liking to the PHQ-9. They recently partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to reach out to people who may be sufferering from depression. When someone searches for “depression” or “clinical depression”, the PHQ-9 is available directly from their search. It may help people become more aware of their potential depression and perhaps seek help earlier. Go PHQ-9!