Major depression, also known as clinical
depression, is a form of depression which
is sever and persistent occurring more days
than not and includes most of the symptoms
of depression at there most extreme which
include: Acute and overwhelming sadness,
loss of the capacity for pleasure (anhedonia),
social withdrawal and suicidal thoughts and
behaviours and is a depressive disorder that
if left untreated lasts on average for 8
Estimates suggest that about 5-10% of women
and 2-5% of men will experience at least
one depressive episode during their life.
What makes this depressive disorder a clinical
depression is the intensity of the depressive
symptoms, the impact this disorder has on
personal care, social, family and work relationships
and most importantly the predisposition to
think or act in a suicidal way.
Up to 80% of suicide deaths are thought to
be a result of major depression with this
figure possibly being higher since many suicides
are disguised as accidental deaths.
The first thing to understand is that like
any other depressive disorder there is a
beginning, a middle and an end and although
the end may seem out of sight, don't
let depression rob you of your life.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary
problem and people do get through clinical
depression and then go on to live full and
happy lives and there is help and treatment
available to ease the pain.
Seeking out help is a sign of courage not
weakness. If you had a physical illness
you would get medical treatment and the same
should be true with depression
24-7 helplines run by those who have been
in a similar position and understand your
plight can offer a sympathetic ear, provide
support and give a much needed boost to moral.
Treatment in the form of antidepressant medication
which is best combined with cognitive behavioural
therapy (CBT) and in extreme and rare cases
electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) have all
been successful in treating this disorder.
Finally to quote Abraham Lincoln "In
this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all,
and it often comes with bitter agony.
Perfect relief is not possible, except with
time. You cannot now believe that you
will ever feel better. But this is
not true. You are sure to be happy
again. Knowing this, truly believing
it, will make you less miserable now. I have
had enough experience to make this statement."