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What is the difference between clinical depression and depression?

elatrosbeareelatrosbear Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Depression and Coping
There's the kind of depression that lasts like 2 years and you need medicine for, the kind that has your dopamine levels or neurotransmitters all screwed up. Then there's the kind that comes from something bad happening to you, like losing a loved one. Clinical depression can be caused by grief, but is there a difference between clinical depression and the normal depression everyone else feels?


  • I think clinical is when nothing is wrong but a person is depressed or from bi-polar disorder or mood disorder, that tends to have mood swings. That is really chemical.

    Regular depression is a result of a happening, a loss, not being able to change something and not accepting. Personally, I wonder if depression in general would be less if people can keep gratitude, changed attitudes, find a way to help others, even by a phone etc.

    I'm not a doctor.
    Leila deurell
  • clinical depression is a diagnosis, reached once one meets criteria for a mood disorder such as unipolar depression (depressed only), bipolar disorder (alternating depressed and manic or hypomanic) or mixed depressive disorder. There isn't such a thing that would be termed "a normal depression that everyone feels" unless everyone meets diagnostic criteria for depression. everyone could be sub-threshold however, where they have many aspects of disorder but do not officially meet criteria.

    meeting diagnostic criteria for depression means that one is depressed. it doesn't matter how it came to be; for example, it can be reactive to something like a job loss, etc. it can also be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. medication can be used in both cases.

    as regards to the two year thing that was mentioned, that refers to dysthymia
  • babyruth said:
    "Two men looking through prison bars, one sees the mud, one sees the stars" - Frederick Langbridge
    The man seeing the mud may be depressed. The man seeing the sun is not, but might become depressed on another day, but has a better chance of not becoming "clinically" depressed.. :/
  • as a matter of fact robin, my research has shown this to be true. i conducted a study a number of years ago examining coping styles and depression amongst psychiatric in-and outpatient. this study was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal: the journal of personality and individual differences.

    we showed that those who were more severely depressed tended to use a more emotionally-oriented coping style. for example, they might say something like" this pain is brutal, it'll never go away, and i might just as well give up". those who were the least severely depressed were those who tended to use a task-orientedcoping style. these people might react by saying "i'm in pain so what can i do about it? maybe i'll make a doctor's appointment and perhaps go sit in a warm jacuzzi". those who scored in the middle were those who end to use anavoidant-oriented coping style.

    we must keep in mind, though, that people can have a predominately task oriented personality style but still become depressed due to a genetic predisposition to a mood disorder.

    good thinking. yay robin! i get excited about talking about this type of stuff

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