Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wellness Wednesday- Depression

Its WEDNESDAY!!! Which means we are that much closer to Friday. For the second addition of wellness Wedneday I decided to talk about depression.Depression is very common in males and females. However as progressive as society is there is still a stigmatism related to mental illness and a lot of those inflicted with depression tend to suffer alone, in silence. Those who are unfamiliar with depression or have never experienced do not understand why their friend or loved one cannot seem to “get over it…move on…cheer up.” It is hard to understand why some people struggle in dealing with daily life stressors. Clinical depression is much more than “feeling down.” It is a chemical imbalance that has to do with hormones. The clinical definition found in the Diagnostic Statiscal Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM is as follows:



A.   Five or more of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2 week period and represent a change from previous functioning: at least 1 of the symptoms of depressed mood or loss of interest.

1. Depressed mood.

2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities.

3. Significant (>5% body weight) weight loss or gain, or increase or decrease in appetite.

      4. Insomnia or hypersomnia.

5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation.

6. Fatigue or loss of energy.

7. Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt.

                    8. Diminished concentration or indecisiveness.

       9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

B. the symptoms do not meet criteria for a mixed episode

C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

D. The symptoms are NOT cause by medical conditions or substance abuse

E. the symptoms are not better accounted for Bereavement, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation

What this means is when you are bummed about a test, that extra pound on the scale, or whatever it is. You are NOT clinically depressed. It is important to note that the symptoms have to be occurring at the same two week time frame. For example of you are having an increase in appetite then 3 weeks later your appetite is back to normal but you are now sad (probably because of the weight gain) you are not depressed. Depression is very over diagnosed in some instances and under diagnosed in others.

It is over diagnosed as some people enter the clinic crying and naming all the symptoms and they clinician does not ask has there been any major change (death, loss of job etc). If there has been a major change and there were no symptoms prior then it is NOT clinical depression.

In other instances a person may have the symptoms and be the definition of depression but die to pride, cultural issues, lack of knowledge and many other reasons they never enter the clinic.

After reading this post you are NOT a professional. DO NOT try to self diagnose. However if this hits home for you or someone you know seek help within your community. Mental illness is serious and should not be taken lightly. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you feel depressed and struggle through daily life. There is no weakness in admitting that you need help. It is just the opposite, seeking out help when you need it shows that you are strong.


  1. Extremely helpful post. I went through a bout in 2008 when I gained 50 lbs rapidly and refused to leave the apartment. It was really dark for me but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. Thank you for reading! I agree os it a battle that can be won with proper education, support, and sometimes medication.

  2. Great information. I went through a little bit of this in 2004 luckily I was able to reach out from it with great support

    1. Thanks for reading! Im glad you had a support system they are cruicial in dealing with depression.

  3. I'm glad you are helping people correctly identify what qualifies and does not qualify as depression. Sometimes people are just in a funk but can be mislead to think they have depression where, as you mentioned, there are those that would NEVER step foot in a clinic to get help from what actually is depression.
    I hope your week is going well.

    1. Hey lady!!!... yes I am trying to educate the massess LOL no seriously these are things that Im asked about often because most people know Im a therapist so I thought I would share! Thanks for reading!!!


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