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What is a clinical depression?

Seems such an easy question, yet it is a question that those suffering from depression eagerly await to be answered.

What is clinical depression? If only we could find the exact answer then we could better provide treatment for depression and more hope for those impacted each and every day.

Depression can affect one in six people in their lifetime but the trouble is that the medical community still does not know the precise cause of depression. There is definitely some indication that depression can run in families. However, it is not yet clear whether the depression that runs in families is due to genetics or whether it is due to the environmental influences of the family unit.

Depression is thought to occur as a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Stress means different things to different people. Excessive stress to one person may be related to their job and yet another person may thrive in the same environment. Another person may feel stressful because of their home life or financial situation.

When a person encounters periods of excessive stress, that stress can cause the neurotransmitters located in the brain and central nervous system to “overload”. With this “overload” the neurotransmitters can lose their steady grip on the job they routinely perform without issue. The neurotransmitters involved are called Serotonin and Norepinephrine and both of these neurotransmitters help to control one’s mood and stress levels.

When these neurotransmitters get “out of whack” then a person’s mood can be greatly affected. With the chemical imbalance one can begin to feel a sense of impending doom, and to feel that nothing will ever be right with the world again. Feelings and one’s sense of reality can become skewed as a result of the chemical imbalance.

When depression occurs, a patient can experience both physical and mental pain. Depression symptoms can also present from very dark one day and yet the very next day seems less so…it is these fluctuations that can lead to difficulty effectively treating depression.

What is clinical depression? Even though there is no clear and easy answer, there is hope for those suffering with clinical depression and there is no reason to suffer with depression…there are many effective treatments for depression available today…so if you or a loved one is suffering with depression, seek help from your health care provider today.

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