Understanding Clinical Depression: What Is It, Exactly?

Much like anywhere else in the world, clinical depression is not taken seriously in the Philippines.

Much like anywhere else in the world, clinical depression is not taken seriously in the Philippines.
Diagnosed or undiagnosed, those who suffer from this disease are often bullied and called overly dramatic, attention-seekers, or weak.

Truth be told, we cannot blame those who fuel this stigma. This is because not everyone in the Philippines is taught about clinical depression, even if they graduated from expensive private schools.

Most of the time, only those who enter the medical field get an understanding of this specific mental disorder.

So, What Is Clinical Depression?

Much like anywhere else in the world, clinical depression is not taken seriously in the Philippines.
There are different types of depression and they can be classified based on their severity. Clinical depression, also known as major depression, is the worst.

Aa any clinical depression definition would point out: Patients diagnosed with this disorder have a general feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and despair that lasts for more than two weeks. It is a sadness that is deeper – not comparable to the ache after a breakup or even the loss of a loved one.

Everyone can acquire this disorder, no matter what your age or gender. It is not hereditary - that means you can have it even though no one from your family tree has experienced it before.

Major depression is not a rare disorder in the country. According to the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, 4.5 million Filipinos suffer from depression and 3% of the entire population is diagnosed with clinical depression.

Unfortunately, not everyone seeks for help and just tries to live with it. A big number have already lost their lives after trying to cope with this mental disorder.

What are the symptoms of Clinical Depression?

Like other kinds of diseases, clinical depression has its own set of symptoms. If you think you exhibit these or you observe them in your loved ones, then it might be time to call for help.

Constant feeling of sadness. No matter how much you try to cheer yourself up, you cannot ward off the feeling of sadness. This can also be accompanied by constant guilt.

Lack of energy or constantly feeling drained despite drinking a cup of coffee or waking up from a good night’s sleep.

Lack of interest in doing anything, even those that you are used to doing every day.

Irregular sleeping patterns, like frequent oversleeping and insomnia.

Indecisiveness, which can be caused by the lack of interest in doing anything. Patients with this mental health condition have a hard time making the easiest decisions – like choosing which socks to wear.

Unexplained weight loss, or weight loss without the aid of intentional dieting or exercise. Often, a person with this problem loses 5% of his weight in less than a month.

Thoughts of and/or attempting suicide. Frequently researching the topic, writing about it in journals, and making it the topic of a conversation.

How Do You Diagnose Clinical Depression?

No matter how tempting it may be, you cannot simply Google for a clinical depression test and hope that it gives you accurate results. This is important: If you think you or a loved one needs help, get in touch with a doctor.

Patients will be required to go through several medical tests before a doctor can determine if the symptoms you exhibit are caused by depression. These tests include physical exams, blood tests, and other lab tests. These will tell the doctor if the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by another medical problem or are side effects of certain medications. If not, then you might be suffering from depression.

After confirming that you have no other medical problems, the doctor will facilitate a depression screening. It consists of questionnaires and interviews that will allow the doctor to get a better understanding of how you are feeling and gauge the severity of your depression.

Analyzing the results from the depression screening takes years to master. Only qualified individuals will be able to give you accurate results; hence, it is important that you seek help from a medical practitioner, not just the Internet.

Can Clinical Depression Be Treated?

Much like anywhere else in the world, clinical depression is not taken seriously in the Philippines.
Yes. There is hope for anyone who has clinical depression. There are several ways for patients to cope with their mental disorder, and these are the most common:

1.Taking medication.

Taking medications as prescribed by doctors is the most popular clinical depression treatment. These usually include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety pills. These medicines come with side effects, so it is important for patients to ask their doctors what to expect when they take specific pills.

Significant improvement can usually be seen after 2 weeks of taking the right doses.

2. Psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy, also known as psychological therapy or talk therapy, involves sitting down with a medical professional to talk about your condition. Interacting with a person who understands how you feel will allow you to express your thoughts more freely. As a result, patients will experience building relationships, setting goals, and feeling satisfaction at the end of a good conversation.

This method works best when partnered with bibliotherapy, a fairly new method where doctors ask patients to read specific literary materials that can help hasten recovery.

3. Hospital treatments.

This specific treatment is meant for those who are no longer capable of taking care of themselves because of severe depression. In hospitals, there are staff members dedicated to making you feel better and taking care of you – like reminding you to eat right and to get enough sleep.

Patients don’t necessarily need to be anchored in bed during hospital treatments. Most facilities allow patients to move around and perform physical activities to improve their mood.

Most doctors recommend a combination of two methods to make sure that you recover efficiently and effectively.

Where Can I Ask for Help?

If you think that a loved one is showing signs of clinical depression, or that you are relating to the symptoms yourself, do not hesitate to ask for help.

In the Philippines, you can contact the following groups and institutions:

Randy Dellosa Wellness and Treatment Center
Address: 105 Scout Rallos St, Quezon City
Contact No.: 415-6529 | 415-7964

Dr. Randy Dellosa is one of the most trusted, experienced, and knowledgeable doctors for clinical depression in the Philippines. His treatment center has served a lot of patients who were suffering from major depression. He can help by prescribing medication, conducting talk therapy, and suggesting lifestyle changes or stress management techniques.

Natasha Goulbourn Foundation
Contact No.: 804-HOPE (804-4673) | 0917-558-HOPE (0917-558-4673)

The Natasha Goulbourn Foundation is a non-government organization dedicated to spreading awareness on depression. They launched Hopeline, the first-ever suicide hotline in the Philippines that is available 24/7. Those in need of immediate help can dial their contact numbers and talk to mental health experts who knows how to help someone with clinical depression.

Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ADSPpage

The Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines is an online community of Filipinos who are suffering from mental health conditions. They have a Facebook group where they freely share their experiences and help each other cope with life's challenges. It is a good support group to have, especially if you or a loved one has been going through depression treatment.

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