DEPRESSION ISN’T ONE SIZE FITS ALL: SITUATIONAL VS. CLINICAL DEPRESSION
Depression comes in all different shapes and sizes. It may look quite different from one person to the next and it can certainly feel very different too. This is often why depression may be difficult to diagnose for some and why it may be even more difficult for others (especially their loved ones), to fully accept or acknowledge their battle with the disease.
Depression can be mild in form for some whereas for others (like myself) it can be more severe. It can occur for a brief period of time in someone’s life or it can also last years for others (like myself). Depression may also be triggered by exceptional situations or environmental circumstances like the change of seasons, the death of a loved one or even something as joyous as the birth of their child. But whatever the underlying reason may be, having a proper diagnosis is the first step toward helping someone no matter how big or small their crusade may be.
Even though there are so many different types of depression, for example: Major Depression, Bipolar Depression, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), Postpartum Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder just to name a few, most can be separated into two categories; Situational Depression and Clinical Depression. And although there may be many similar attributes to them, it’s important to note that they all need to be approached and remedied in their own unique way because EACH and EVERY single diagnosis is real, EACH and EVERY single person is special and EACH and EVERY situation can pose a significant amount of danger to someone’s well-being.
Situational Depression which is also medically known as “Adjustment Disorder With Depressed Mood” is most often triggered by just that; a situation and is therefore usually more short-term. It may transpire due to a divorce, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one or friend, a serious accident or other major life changes including retirement or even by becoming an empty nester. Many of these situations can very often be supported by time and acceptance as well as a willingness to be as open and honest as possible with others about their feelings through the assistance of loved ones or a therapist.
Clinical Depression on the other hand can often be more severe and take a lot more than just time and acceptance to battle through. I know this to be true as I was diagnosed four years ago with Clinical Depression, also referred to as Major Depressive Disorder. Since then it has interfered greatly in my daily life and continues to affect my thought process as well. It is also most often due to a chemical imbalance in one’s brain that when supported by medication and/or therapy can help to manage the symptoms.
I no longer take medication (but my journey is not your journey) as it made many of my symptoms worse and also led to a diagnosis of Treatment Resistant Depression that I have touched upon in previous blogs and plan to talk about again soon. But in the meantime with the help of my wonderful, patient and very accepting therapist I continue to search for other ways to battle through my persistent and very unrelenting illness.