Whether you have clinical depression, or ‘just’ a low mood, the harmful effects can be significant and should not be understated, even if a diagnosis of clinical depression cannot be made. What we are interested in is an improvement in the mental and psychological state, so that a significantly better result can be achieved in all aspects of our lives.
In reality, most people will experience some or all of the criteria, which are used to diagnose depression, at some stage in their lives, and the feeling of low or depressed mood can be difficult to shift without help.
Criteria for a Major Depression Episode
For a diagnosis of clinical depression to be made, the medical standard* states that five (or more) of the following symptoms must have been present during the same two-week period and represent a change from previous functioning.
JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT CLINICALLY DEPRESSED DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T MAKE SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS TO YOUR LIFE
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g. feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g. appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents can be irritable mood.
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others).
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g. a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children failure to make expected weight gains.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).
- Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide. More often than not ‘is this what life is all about …….’
Anybody displaying one or more, but fewer than 5 of these symptoms is described as having ‘depressed mood, or loss of interest or pleasure
Help with Clinical Depression & Depressed Mood
Changes Welcome practitioners have the expertise to support you in making significant improvements to you life by helping you to overcome symptoms of clinical depression by tackling the causes, and helping you to readdress the thought patterns, which are getting you down.
Read more about Hypnotherapy to Help with Depression.