Clinical Depression

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 

Understanding clinical depression: Unveiling silent struggle


clinical depression

Clinical depression is a mental disorder considered a social stigma, but nowadays, mental disorders are no longer considered as disorders; rather, they are acknowledged in positive ways as mental health challenges These terms reduce the stigma and enhance the chances of reporting the cases and seeking treatment, help, and support for mental well-being. Clinical depression is widespread among millions of people regardless of gender. Males and females have equal chances, but the presentation of depression in men is different. Cases of clinical depression may go unnoticed and undiagnosed due to constant stress and societal expectations.

Table of Contents

What is clinical depression:

Clinical depression is also known as a major depressive disorder. Its common in men with sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, and lack of interest in anything; it significantly affects daily activities, emotions, behavior, and overall quality of life. It also includes ups and downs in the mood with sometimes apparent behavioral changes.

Causes of clinical depression:

Clinical depression can affect anyone, irrespective of circumstances. However, there are some causes and triggering factors that may precipitate depression. Generally, its a combination of factors contributing to it.

Let’s see what are the causes:

1. Biological factors:

2.Psychological factors:

3. Environmental factors:

4. Medical causes:

All these factors are responsible for depression. Sometimes the presence of these factors may not cause depression, or the cause is not identifiable. So, in both cases, diagnosing and treating clinical depression involves the assessment of contributing factors.

Diagnosis of clinical depression:

Clinical depression is typically diagnosed by qualified mental health professionals like psychiatrists or psychologists. Diagnosis can be done in various stages. Lets see

Clinical interview: In this, the patient is asked the questions on one basis privately. Questions are regarding how it feels, mental status, experiences, thought processes, and feelings. The interview aims to know the intensity and duration of symptoms.

Further family history is also taken into account for the origin of symptoms, and to rule out environmental causes, questions are probed to know more about the severity and how the symptoms are affecting the daily functioning of life
1. Diagnostic criteria: The tool for diagnostic criteria used is DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). In this manual,
specific criteria are given for clinical depression. If they match with the patients status, then it is diagnosed with the condition.
2. Physical examination: This is done to rule out any underlying disease causing depression. Some blood tests may be carried out.
3. Psychological assessment: It is a form of mental test; a questionnaire is given to the patient, and after getting the answers, the severity of symptoms is assessed.

 Diagnosis of mental disorders is done with support and care. Conducting clinical interviews itself includes counseling help and support.

Treatment of clinical depression:

The treatment part of clinical depression is the focus nowadays on how to change the behavior and mental status for the best possible outcome. A crucial need is to speak up openly about the emotions, feelings, and thoughts that are being affected because of social media and various virtual programs.
There is a combination of clinical depression treatments available, clinical depression therapies, counseling, and finally, medications.

Cognitive behavioral therapy:

In this approach, the flow of thoughts is determined, inner feelings are traced out, and therapists focus on changing negative thought patterns and behavior. It is done in subsequent one-on-one sessions.

Interpersonal therapy & family therapy:

This session is based on identifying problems in interpersonal relationships and resolving them to enhance the betterment of social and personal functioning. Family therapy focuses on family problems and offers emotional help and support from the family.

Psychodynamic therapy:

this approach helps the patient to deal with subconscious fixed thoughts like guilt, self-blaming, or a sense of despair.

Medications: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are prescribed by psychiatrists to help relieve symptoms.
Lifestyle changes: Along with therapies and medications, the most important step is to change lifestyle. The patient himself should be motivated to get out of the mental trouble. In most of the patients, this instinct is missing. Improved sleep, a balanced diet, exercise, and reducing alcohol or substance use can help to feel positive and relieve many symptoms. This can be possible by motivating people around.
Support groups: There are lots of people struggling like us who share the same pain. So, finding support groups facing the same issues may help to motivate the patient. Seeking Family and friends support may also help to alleviate the symptoms.

Electroconvulsive therapy:

In severe cases of depression in which suicidal thoughts, self-harming thoughts, or inflicting injuries on others, violent behavior may
need this treatment. It helps with the calming effect. It is used when all therapies and medications fail. It is decided by psychiatrists and done under controlled supervision.


Clinical depression is a serious mental health condition. It can significantly impact a persons life, relationships, and overall well-being. Its important for individuals experiencing symptoms of depression to seek help from healthcare professionals to receive the appropriate treatment and support. Depression is a treatable condition, and with the right care, many people can experience significant improvement in their mental health and quality of life. Do not hesitate to discuss mental health issues. Mental health is equally important as your physical health. Dealing with mental problems is itself a challenge, but it can be resolved after accepting the fact that being mentally ill is not shameful. Rather, it needs more recognition.