Major depression and Chronic depression effect millions of people every year. While having some form of depression at one point in time might not be uncommon, it’s important to understand which type of depression you may have or can experience at times in order to receive proper care.
Major depression is the experience of long term periods where general depression symptoms are present. This may come and go but is not persistent. Chronic depression is when someone has depression symptoms most days per week for more than a couple of years.
There are several popular questions around the topic of major and chronic depression. In this article we’ll address a few as well as outlining several symptoms that are often seen with those suffering with major or chronic depression.
Common Symptoms seen in Major or Chronic Depression
Below are symptoms that may be experienced with either major or chronic depression. There is no correct combination of symptoms. Many experience only a few while others may struggles with close to all of these.
- Low Mood
- Extreme Anxiety/Development of Panic Attacks
- Lack of Motivation
- Lack of Interest in Daily Work
- Trouble Sleeping/Fatigue
- Appetite fluctuations/Changes
- Feelings of Guilt
- Feelings of Low Self-Esteem
- Poor Hygiene Practices
- Avoiding Social Interactions
What are the causes of Chronic Depression?
Chronic depression is caused by a number of factors that are unique to the individual experiencing it. Studies have shown that a variety of environmental, genetic and psychological variables can play a role in the development of chronic depression.
This is not unique to chronic depression as other forms of depression and a variety of other mental illnesses and disorders are caused from these same factors.
While depression, specifically chronic depression, is usually seen in adults, the seed of this condition is usually “planted” during childhood or teen years.
The environmental factors that may have contributed to this could be lifestyle, abuse, neglect and/or poverty. Often, coping mechanisms to trauma caused by such things involve blocking out such things and changing they way an individual (specifically a child) views themselves and the world around them.
Genetic variables may include chemical makeup in the brain or personality tendencies. While this (and all) variables are treatable, it is often very difficult to recognize harmful mindset patterns, ways of thinking or perspectives that have been passed down from one’s parents.
Psychological variables might have to do with preexisting mental illnesses or disorders. Depression is often seen with those who are suffering with severe anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders or any other mental health issues.
Speaking to a professional counselor can help speed up the journey toward recovery. Working with a counselor can help discover the root of the trauma that has been experienced and unravel the cycle of depression.
How does Chronic Stress lead to Depression?
When someone is experiencing chronic stress, eventually they will develop depression if the stress is not treated.
This is because stress has profound (negative) effects on the brain. Both short and long term memory will be effected.
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People will not be releasing endorphins nearly as frequently as they should. The ability to learn will be diminished and you’ll experience survival “mode” as opposed to the oh-so-necessary thriving “mode”.
Something physically changes when we feel bogged down, hopeless and frazzled. Life loses it’s excitement and you may even forget why you bother doing everything you do during your day.
While this might seem temporarily harmless, over time your brain will become chemically imbalanced and will not be able to maintain a health state.
This is when depression occurs. Other variables such as lifestyle and preexisting factors may determine the severity of the depression that is developed.
Depending on these things, the individual suffering with chronic stress may develop major or chronic depression as a result.
What are the signs of a Clinical Depression?
“Clinical” depression is major depression. The two names have often been used interchangeably but they are referring to the same form of depression.
Signs of clinical/major depression include (but are not limited to): low mood, extreme anxiety, panic attacks, lack of motivation and lack of interest in daily work.
Also, trouble sleeping, fatigue, appetite fluctuations/changes, guilt, low self-esteem, poor hygiene and avoiding social interactions will commonly be observed.
What can You do?
Talk to a Professional Counselor
Talking to a professional counselor is a great treatment option.
Not only will they be able to help pinpoint areas of pain and trauma, but they can help you break out of destructive things you might be doing that you aren’t aware of.
I hope this helped you understand major and chronic depression a little bit better. If you or someone you love is struggling with any type of depression, taking the first step toward treatment might seem difficult.
Many people feel as though they’re burdening loved ones by talking about it.
By being supportive and showing love and compassion, you can encourage someone to get the help they need while supporting them in the process.
The better we treat ourselves and others, the better our relationships and quality of life will be! Take the first step toward overcoming your depression today!
Take Some Time for Self-Care
Self-care is not just bubble baths, candles and a glass of wine. Self-care is about getting to know yourself and becoming aware of why you think and feel what you do.
Taking responsibility for your feelings and working toward a healthy and empowered state of mind is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Dig in, meditate and get to know yourself on a level that you never have before. Paired with professional help, recovery is more than possible.
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