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Clinical Depression

What are the causes of clinical depression?Many things can contribute to clinical depression. Sometimes, a number of factors seem to be involved, while for others a single factor appears to trigger the illness. Sometimes, people become depressed for no apparent reason. Regardless of the factors involved, clinical depression needs to be diagnosed and treated.
People with depression typically have too little or too much of certain brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters. Changes in these brain chemicals may cause, or contribute to, clinical depression.
Some medications can actually cause clinical depression. That is why it is important to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking.
A family history of clinical depression increases the risk for developing the illness, but it may occur in people who have no family history of the disorder.
People with negative thinking patterns “ people who are pessimistic, have low self-esteem, worry too much or feel they have little control over life events “ are more likely to develop clinical depression.
Difficult life events, including the death of a loved one, divorce, financial problems, moving to a new place or any significant loss, can contribute to clinical depression.

What are the symptoms of clinical depression?

  • A persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Sleeping too little, especially early-morning waking, or sleeping too much
  • Changes in body weight (increase or decrease in appetite)
  • Loss of interest in things that were enjoyable
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment (such as headaches, chronic pain, digestive disorders, etc.)
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

NOTE: SEE YOUR DOCTOR OR A QUALIFIED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL IF YOU EXPERIENCE FIVE OR MORE OF THESE SYMPTOMS FOR LONGER THAN TWO WEEKS OR IF THE SYMPTOMS ARE SEVERE ENOUGH TO INTERFERE WITH YOUR DAILY ROUTINE. SEE A PROFESSIONAL IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVE THOUGHTS OF DEATH OR SUICIDE.

How can clinical depression be treated?

  • ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATION
  • COUNSELING
  • A COMBINATION OF MEDICATION & COUNSELING

Where to find help:

  • Primary care physicians
  • Mental health care professionals
  • Community mental health centers
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Family and social service agencies
  • UNIVERSITY COUNSELING CENTER, UNIVERSITY HEALTH SERVICES
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