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Clinical depression refers to more than just a feeling of sadness. Sadness triggered by an upsetting or life changing event is normal and experienced by almost everyone at some point in their lives. However, this type of sadness is transient and usually lasts only a few days.
Clinical depression describes when this feeling persists for weeks or months. Depression is a clinical condition that, contrary to popular opinion, cannot simply be overcome with time and it needs to be treated. Depression has an underlying pathology which is thought to originate in the brain and involve a deficiency of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. A hereditary element to depression has also previously been shown.
Depression manifests differently between individuals. Symptoms are wide ranging but some of the major ones that help confirm a depression diagnosis are:
Life changing events such as job change, moving house, bereavement, financial difficulties and divorce are all triggers for sadness that may go on to become clinical depression. Depression is quite common and affects around 1% of the general population. Both genders are affected by the condition and people of any age may experience it.
Depression may be treated with a single or combined approach and examples include: