Do you feel sad and have a depressed mood lately that it’s starting to affect your everyday life? Did you stop going to work? Does taking a shower seems like a hard thing to do?
If you answered yes to the questions, then you may be experiencing crippling depression.
In the US, 7.1% of adults experience at least one episode of major depression in their life, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. 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 in 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 a loss of interest in doing their everyday task, this article can help you.
Don’t confuse yourselves; crippling depression is a non-medical or colloquial term used for clinical depression (major depressive disorder or major depression). When someone says, “I 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 some information you should know about this type of 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. Research reveals 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 2–3x more at risk of developing depression than those who do not have a family history of the mental illness.
- Biological Causes. It has been found that different biological factors may cause depression. Examples of these biological factors are imbalances in hormones and brain chemicals.
- Environmental Causes. Depression can 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 Cause. Examples are the history of other mental illnesses, severe anxiety, substance abuse, chronic disorders, or certain medications.
It’s a normal part of life to feel gloomy or occasionally sad when we have problems. 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. Here’s what you need to know:
- Persistent feelings of anxiety or sadness
- Hopelessness or worthlessness
- Feelings of loneliness or emptiness
- Having a pessimistic mindset (negative thinking)
- 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
- Lashing out at family members with angry outbursts
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide (this is a sign of severe depression and needs clinical help)
- Physical signs such as feeling tired, fatigued, or having low energy
- Crankiness, anger, agitation, slowness, and irritability
- Changes in eating pattern (either overeating or loss of appetite)
- Sleep changes (oversleeping or inability to fall asleep)
- Poor personal hygiene
- Weight changes (looing or gaining extra pounds)
- Physical symptoms like headaches, body pains, and digestive issues
The diagnosis of depression is made by medical health professionals, especially a psychiatrist. Your doctor may assess and ask questions about your symptoms, or you need to answer a questionnaire to determine your behavioral patterns.
How do you know if 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 answer yourself?
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 or wait for your family relationships and 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 normally 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?
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. CBT 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 going through. 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 antidepressant medication. The most common medication treatments for depression prescribed are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
However, significant amounts of data show 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.
Aside from mental health services and medications, some changes should start within you. This can come in the 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 you alone can make these changes at the end of the day. Your positive mindset is more powerful than any other negativities in the world.
Get the support you need right now by talking to an online mental health counselor. Kentucky Counseling Center offers therapy online for patients to help them overcome depression.
You are a step closer to overcoming what you are currently feeling when you start your treatment,. Bear in mind that this is just a period; this does not define your whole life. Do not let crippling depression take the best of you by making sure not to miss out on any details because this will help you heal.