A deeper look into signs of clinical depression

Most people are familiar with the basic signs of clinical depression: feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that can last for weeks or months. However, there are other signs that you may be suffering from clinical depression.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM 5), in order to be officially diagnosed with major depression, also known as clinical depression, at least five of the following symptoms must be present, with at least one of the symptoms being either a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure:

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by subjective report or observation made by others
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease in appetite nearly every day
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping constantly/all the time) nearly every day
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive inappropriate guilt (possibly delusional) nearly every day
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
  9. 9. Recurring thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

If you believe you are experiencing these symptoms, please seek help from a licensed professional as soon as possible.

Here are 3 major warning signs of clinical depression to look out for.

  1. Feeling sad or down most of the time
  2. Loss of interest in activities that used to bring you happiness
  3. Significant changes in weight, appetite, or sleep patterns

Clinical depression can emerge at any age, but the typical development of symptoms and indications increases dramatically throughout puberty. In the United States, it appears to be more prevalent between the ages of 20 and 30, but onset later in life is not uncommon (APA, 2013).

Temperament, environment, genetic/physiological causes, and course modifiers are all risk factors for the onset of clinical depression.

In terms of temperament, neuroticism is a major risk factor for clinical depression, and it causes people to develop clinical depression in response to stressful life situations or events (APA, 2013).

Regarding environment, challenging childhood experiences also constitute as risk factors for clinical depression, particularly when there are multiple different types of adverse events (APA, 2013).

Regarding genetics and physiology, first-degree relatives of persons with clinical depression are significantly more susceptible to developing clinical depression than the general population. It appears that relative risks are greater for early-onset and recurrent forms of clinical depression (APA, 2013).

Finally, for some course modifiers, depressive episodes that develop along with another disorder of some sort follow a more challenging track. Substance use/abuse, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder are some of the most common co-occurring disorders, and the depressive symptoms presented can either delay or mask the recognition of these disorders (APA, 2013).

What you can do to treat clinical depression

For the treatment of clinical depression, a variety of approaches are available. It relies entirely on the nature and severity of your condition (Bruce, 2021). Some individuals choose counseling, while others opt for antidepressants or other treatment approaches. Some physicians recommend brain stimulation procedures, including electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation (Bruce, 2021).

There are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), which are the most widely prescribed antidepressants, and SNRIs (Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors). Celexa, Prozac, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft are common SSRIs. The SNRIs Pristiq, Cymbalta, Fetzima, and Effexor are also widely used.

If you choose psychotherapy as a treatment option, that is also an excellent choice. Psychotherapy is also known as “talk therapy”. You would meet with a licensed mental health expert to discuss ways to manage the difficulties you are now having in your life. You can receive psychotherapy alone, in a group (group therapy), or with your family.

Electroconvulsive therapy is still used, albeit less frequently. It is more commonly used for severe depression that has not responded to other forms of treatment (Bruce, 2021). To begin, you will be given medication to put you to sleep while the doctor sends a brief and painless electric current through your scalp to your brain, causing a controlled seizure (Bruce, 2021). Electroshock therapy, also known as electroconvulsive therapy, is extremely safe. This is frequently used when the individual is a danger to themselves and others and it is too dangerous to wait for the medications to take effect (Bruce, 2021).

Adults who have already tried one antidepressant are the most likely candidates for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) (Bruce, 2021). The doctor places an electromagnetic coil on the side of your scalp, creating a magnetic field that sends an electric current to nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is one of the regions that controls mood (Bruce, 2021). TMS differs from electroconvulsive therapy in that it uses a much smaller current, targets a specific part of the brain, does not cause a controlled seizure or loss of consciousness and does not require you to be sedated (Bruce, 2021).

PCI Centers Treatments for Clinical Depression

As with any other mental disorder, PCI takes clinical depression extremely seriously. We address every condition we encounter and every client in an entirely holistic manner. We collaborate with the client to assess their needs and their condition. We recognize that each client is unique and that each mental health illness manifests differently in each client. After doing an evaluation of the individual’s mental health status, we collaborate with them to develop a treatment plan that is effective and takes into consideration their needs and preferences as much as possible.

You can visit either our Westlake Village or Malibu location, depending on your preference and the one that is most convenient for you. If you or a loved one suspect you are suffering from clinical depression, you should seek assistance immediately. We are here to help you! Please do not hesitate to contact us in order to book a tour of the facilities or to begin your recovery journey and manage your clinical depression. Give us a call at (818) 483-9890.


APA. (2013). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., pp. 160–168). essay, American Psychiatric Association.
Bruce, D. F. (2021, September 18). Common treatment options for clinical depression. Depression Treatment: Your Options. Retrieved June 30, 2022, from