Do you feel sad and have a depressed mood lately that it’s starting to affect your everyday life? Do you not go to work anymore, and even taking a shower seems like a hard thing to do? You may be experiencing crippling depression.
In the U.S., 7.1% of adults experience at least one episode of major depression in their life; this is according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Crippling depression may not be a clinical term. It is a common term for major depression where a person no longer has the willingness or ability to complete everyday tasks. It “cripples” you from doing what you have to do at home, work, school, or relationships.
Crippling depression may sound offensive, especially to persons with disabilities. The correct term to call it is a major depressive disorder. Also, it can be called an overwhelming, debilitating, or devastating form of depression. If you feel like you’re experiencing the symptoms of depression or know someone who experiences loss of interest in doing their everyday task, this is article can help you.
What Is Crippling Depression or Major Depressive Disorder?
Don’t confuse yourselves; crippling depression is just a slang term used for clinical depression (major depressive disorder or major depression). When someone says, “I may have crippling depression,” it may mean that they feel sad and cannot function well every day.
This type of depression needs the medical diagnosis of a psychiatrist, attention of a mental health professional, support of loved ones, lifestyle changes, and even medication. Here is more data you should know about this type of depression.
Causes of Crippling Depression
Like other mental health conditions, depression in any form is a complex medical diagnosis. It can be a combination of causes and risk factors that leads to the development of depression. There are four categories recognized by the NIMH that increases a person’s risk of developing depression:
- Genetic Link: It was found that 50% of depression cases have a genetic link. Genetics may play a role in the development of depression. If you have a parent or sibling who had depression, you are at 2-3x more at risk of developing depression than those who do not have a family history of the mental illness.
- Biological Causes: It is found that different biological factors may cause depression. Examples of these biological factors are imbalances in hormones and brain chemicals.
- Environmental Causes: Depression may also be caused by environmental factors. Examples of these are childhood trauma, abuse, the death of a loved one, being bullied at school, job loss, or financial constraints.
- Psychological Causes: Examples are the history of other mental illnesses, severe anxiety, substance abuse, suffering from chronic disorders, or certain medications.
Symptoms of Depression
It’s a normal part of life to feel gloomy or occasionally sad when we have problems. We cannot expect to live life as one peaceful bliss. We just need to know how to live and cope with our problems. But when your problems affect your physical, emotional, social, and mental state, you may be depressed. What are the symptoms of depression? Here’s what you need to know:
Symptoms That Impact The Mood, Mental Health, and Thought Processes
- Persistent feelings of anxiety or sadness
- Hopelessness or worthlessness
- Feelings of loneliness or emptiness
- Having a pessimistic mindset (negative-thinker)
- Loss of interest in doing everyday activities, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones
- Difficulty concentrating, foggy brain, or poor decision-making
- Extreme mood swings for no reason
- Lashes out on family members with anger outbursts
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide (this may be a sign of severe depression and needs clinical help)
Symptoms That Impact Overall Health and Wellness
- Physical cues such as feeling tired, fatigued, or low energy
- Appears to be cranky, angry, agitated, slow, and irritable
- Eating changes (either overeating or loss of appetite)
- Sleep changes (sleeps all the time or unable to fall asleep)
- Poor personal hygiene
- Weight changes (loosing or gaining extra pounds)
- Physical symptoms like headaches, body pains, and digestive issues
How Is Major Depressive Disorder Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of depression is made by medical health professionals, especially a psychiatrist. Your doctor may assess and ask you questions about your symptoms, or you need to answer a questionnaire to figure out your behavioral patterns.
How do you know that it’s time for you to seek help from medical professionals? When should be your turning point and realize you need treatment? What are the questions you can as yourself?
How Do I Know I Have Crippling Depression?
This is a self-test for depression that can help you know if you have developed depression. If you answer YES to four or more questions in the list, then you should really consider seeking the services of a mental health professional.
Do not wait for your depression to become severe before seeking help. Do not wait for your family relationships, everyday tasks to be affected. Seek help from a mental health professional right away. Here are the questions you can ask yourself:
- Am I sleeping too much or too little? Is it difficult for me to sleep, or do I end up sleeping all day?
- Have I lost interest in doing things that excite me? Like hobbies, exercise, spending time with significant others, or sports?
- Am I tardy or absent at work or school most of the time because I feel too tired or have body aches for no reason?
- Is my functioning at home, work, or school affected?
- Am I easily irritated, or do I get easily upset the past few days or weeks?
- Has my appetite decreased or increased lately?
- Am I having thoughts of self-harm or suicide? If yes, am I thinking about suicide more and more each day?
- Do I have previous episodes of mood swings for no reason?
- Am I feeling these symptoms for a period of two weeks or more?
Treatment For Depression
If you answered yes to the questions mentioned above, then it’s time to end this and be treated right away. You should really need to be medically reviewed, and treatment should be sought right away.
Everyone experiences depression differently. That’s why being medically reviewed by a doctor is important. Your doctor can help make personalized treatment options for you. Treatment options for depression are as follows:
Psychotherapy, also called Talk Therapy, involves working with a licensed mental health professional. It involves talking about your personal feelings, thoughts, or previous experiences. Your doctor will collect information about what you’re going through to formulate the best treatments for you.
Psychotherapy has several approaches, treatment for depression includes:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This is an effective type of therapy for the psychological treatment of mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. This type of therapy is also the treatment approach for eating disorders, divorce counseling for children, marriage problems, and severe mental illness.
- Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): This is a focused and short-term treatment to overcome depression. IPT addresses the interpersonal issues of a person, which involve physical, emotional, social, and relationship problems. Patients who have mild depression can be treated with IPT together with antidepressant medication.
- Problem-Solving Therapy: This type of therapy focuses on a person experiencing depression to talk about the problems they are experiencing. The therapist or counselor medically reviews this, and together, they will search for ways to solve the problem at hand.
If a psychiatrist has medically reviewed your case, you may be prescribed with an antidepressant medication. The most common medication treatments for depression prescribed are Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Although, significant data shows that antidepressant medications may have unpleasant side effects. Examples of these side effects are weight gain, nausea, and low sex drive. It is best to talk to a doctor to manage these side effects of the medication or find other treatment options.
Coping With Depression
Aside from mental health services and medications, some changes should start within you too. This can come in forms of self-care, lifestyle changes, joining a support group, beginning an exercise regimen, or starting a gratitude journal.
You must be aware of how to cope with depression. Because, at the end of the day, you alone can make these changes. Your positive mindset is more powerful than any other negativities in the world.
Get Help Now
Get the support you need right now, and talk to an online mental health counselor. Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) offers therapy online for patients to overcome depression. As you start treatment, you are a step closer to overcome what you are currently feeling. Bear in mind that this is just a period; this does not define your whole life.
When you talk to your therapist, make sure not to miss out on any details because this will help you heal. Do not let crippling depression take the best of you.