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Clinical (Severe) Depression
People who suffer from depression describe it in a number of different ways. Some say it feels like a dark curtain has come down over their life. Some describe the overwhelming feelings of fatigue, lack of focus and inability to function. Others say they feel edgy and cranky all the time. With such diverse descriptions, it is no wonder depression often goes undiagnosed. Depression is not a "state of mind." It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. This imbalance can be hereditary, or it can come from traumatic or stressful experiences, or from a serious physical illness, to name a few sources. If you feel down and find it hard to concentrate; if you don’t have the energy to do the things you normally do, and this goes on for more than two weeks; if the symptoms interfere with your life, you may be clinically depressed.
If you have had one episode of depression, it is likely you will suffer from another at some point in your life. Once you learn the symptoms, you can work with your doctor to keep your depression under control. Though many people never seek treatment, of those who do, 80% report significant improvement.
What are the symptoms?
Clinical, or severe, depression usually manifests itself with a number of symptoms.
From person to person, the number and severity of these symptoms will vary, and can include some or all of the following:
How is it diagnosed and treated?
Many people who suffer from depression don’t ask for help, even though nearly everyone who seeks treatment has some measure of success. Sometimes your family or doctor will not recognize the symptoms as depression. And often people are ashamed to seek help because they feel depression is a weakness or they are so affected by the illness that they can’t reach out and ask for help. Depression is often missed, because the symptoms can masquerade as physical ailments. To treat depression, your doctor must first recognize the symptoms.
You should first have a physical exam to determine if medication, infection or other physical problems may be causing your symptoms. Diagnosing depression will include an interview to discover what symptoms you have, how long you’ve had the symptoms, whether you have a family history of depression, and whether you use alcohol or drugs. An exam to review thought patterns, behavior and memory problems is also common. Treatment choices depend on the results of these examinations. Treatment options include:
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The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.
Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.
However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.
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