The Definition of Clinical Depression
If you want to know the definition of depression, and how you can manage it, you are in the right place.
Depression sucks the joy out of your life and those around you.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the symptoms.
First, learn the definition of clinical depression.
And second, what strategies will help you cope with, if not win, the battle against depression?
Your physical and mental health depends on it.
What Is the Definition of Depression DSM 5 (5th Edition)
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is the Bible for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
For example, the DSM deals with the medical definition of depression, the symptoms of depression, and types of depressive disorders.
As well as other mental health conditions and mood disorders, such as:
- bipolar disorder
- seasonal affective disorder
- chronic depression
- general anxiety disorder
For the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) – the symptoms of depression include:
#1. Depressed mood or irritable 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).
#2. Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities, most of each day
#3. Significant weight change (5%) or change in appetite
#4. Sleep changes: Insomnia or hypersomnia
#5. Change in activity: Psychomotor agitation or retardation
#6. Fatigue or loss of energy
#7. Guilt/worthlessness: Feelings of inadequacy or excessive or inappropriate guilt
#8. Concentration: diminished ability to think or concentrate, or more indecisiveness
#9. Suicidality: Thoughts of death or suicide, or has a suicide plan
These nine symptoms comprise the definition of depression in Psychology.
“I was broke, depressed, and lost” – Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” on how he battled depression
Do You Have Depression?
Go through the nine symptoms above, and you will be able to identify if you are struggling with depression.
- Do you have a loss of interest in daily activities?
- Is this affecting your social, occupational, or educational abilities?
- Are you always irritable or sad, feeling empty?
- Sleep too much or too little?
- Do you feel worthless, excessive guilt, or a slow down of your thought processing?
- Are you indecisive?
- And the most severe manifestation, do you think of eliminating yourself to escape your internal pain?
If you experience at least 5 of the nine criteria listed above in the DSM 5, you should see a doctor or health professional for a proper diagnosis.
How to Cope with Depression
I have taken my share of antidepressants and cannot say that they have helped me much other than a sense of tranquilization and unwelcome side effects.
However, they might work better for you, without significant or any perceptible side effects.
You must find ways that will help you deal with your depression.
Otherwise, depression will affect:
- every area of your life
- how you do your job or if you can even keep your job
- your interaction and relationship with your family
- how you take care of yourself
- your physical and emotional health
- and your ability to enjoy life at all
Here are some strategies on a practical level, which come from The New SIGECAPS: A Guide to Help Major Depressive Disorder.
Get clearance from your doctor, and try out some of these strategies to help alleviate your symptoms.
Note – these strategies are for informational purposes only, not for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Also, always fill out a PAR-Q form and consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Building Mental Toughness with Joe Rogan & David Goggins
6 Ways to Manage Depression Disorder
#1. Stop thinking about yourself all day.
Stop the movie in your mind where you are:
- the victim
- running away from your thoughts
The more you think of yourself and the events or circumstances that are eating you on the inside, the more depressed you will become!
#2. Start thinking about those who do care for you.
Start to think outside of yourself.
Realize that there are people who do love you, care that you are healthy, and for whom you do matter.
When you can start to think outside of yourself, you can stop playing that tape in your head, which continues to review all of your woes.
You need a new track; you need a new narrative that you do matter and that your life is meaningful.
#3. Get moving
Get moving physically to beat Sitting Disease, and metaphorically.
For example, get up and get out of your room.
Get up, go out, take a walk, go for a swim, get out into nature.
You want to isolate yourself, but that is depression.
Do you want to stay glued to the bed?
That is also depression.
But those behaviors, sulking, social withdrawal, despairing are NOT going to fix anything at all.
Instead, those behaviors will ruin your life.
They will make you dysfunctional socially in too many ways.
Save yourself and save the people who do care for you and do not want to see you continue to spiral down into a darker depression.
#4. Eat Real Food
You know that Ben & Jerry will not help you out of your depression.
Instead, they will help drive you deeper into depression.
If you start snacking on every junk food to make yourself feel better, that is a lie.
Junk food will never make you feel better, ever.
It might taste delicious and sweet, but you will not feel better from lots of manufactured sugar, fat, and chocolate.
Do not use your depression to focus on chips, pretzels, pizza, ice cream, and candy to fill the hole in your soul.
You cannot fill that hole with processed food.
Don’t waste your time.
Instead, become aware of the food you are eating.
And eat real food on a set schedule.
You will feel better.
#5. Start Strength Training
- a deadlift program
- learn how to do squats properly
- 100 pushups a day
- swimming, yes, there are indoor swimming pools in NYC, or your city and state
Whatever physical activity that you are capable of doing, do it.
Especially strength exercises.
Who knew that the benefits of deadlifts, squats, pushups, and strength training, include treating depression with exercise?
Start moving those weights, and you will see over time the results.
Strength training will boost your mood and transform your physique.
You are going to feel better when you take better care of the body in which you live.
#6. Take Responsibility.
One of the worst environments is a depressed mind when you feel victimized, have no power, and are not productive at all.
Instead, take as much responsibility and choice where you can.
Definition of Depression – Wrapping Up
You might feel:
- the blahs
- heaviness of heart
In all of these cases, make conscious choices that will help to lift yourself.
You can control the food that you put in your mouth and the exercise that you do or do not do.
Assuming you are not physically impaired.
You can find it possible to find even one activity to focus on that will make you feel better.
Whether it is a book to read, a new project, exercise, or learning to cook, there are many options.
Get new habits, and you can reap the benefits.
You have spent enough time in the dumps, walk out of that room, out of that darkness and start building something new.
Build a new life, become a new and better person.
You can do it.
You now know the definition of depression disorder.
It is time to get out of your rut and take action.
Use The New SIGECAPS as a roadmap to help manage chronic depression with or without antidepressants.
And if you don’t think exercise is as good as antidepressants, see How Deadlifts Can Save Your Life from anxiety and depression.
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