In order for an individual to be diagnosed with a depressive disorder, his or her symptoms must persist for over two weeks. It is important to note that everyone feels sad on occasion, and that situational depression – feeling depressed as a result of a temporary situation – does not necessarily mean clinical depression. If your best friend moves away or you lose a job that you enjoyed or your pet dies, you will definitely feel sad. Those who struggle with clinical depression will feel sad for no reason, and will be unable to shake these feelings of sadness for extended periods of time. Depression is the result of a combination of factors, including genetics, biochemistry, environmental factors and the presence of any co-occurring disorder.
There are many effective and accessible non-narcotic medicinal and holistic treatments available for those who have been struggling with a major depressive disorder. As it stands, depression is amongst the most treatable mental health concerns – it is estimated that between 80% and 90% of men and women who seek professional help for depression will ultimately respond well to treatment. In most cases, a combination of medication and psychotherapy will be necessary. However, it is crucial that before an official diagnosis and before any attempts at treatment, a medical professional conducts an in-depth evaluation/assessment in order to identify all existing symptoms and take all contributing factors into account. Personal and family history will be closely examined, as well as potential environmental factors and pre-existing health conditions. When it comes to medicinal treatment options, there are many non-addictive options available for the long-term treatment of depression.