Self-diagnosing of clinical depression

            In recent years many teens and even young adults have been posting on social media how depressed they are. Perhaps they are posting these things because of drama occurring or a heartbreak or even a desire for attention. However, clinical depression comes from more than sadness and crying. People diagnosed with clinical depression experience fatigue, feelings of guilt, loss or gain of appetite, unexplained pains that don’t go away, insomnia, and, most specifically, the thought of suicide. Many people do not seek a medical diagnosis, especially teens, which may be why they are thinking that they are depressed because they're self-diagnosing. Also, by not going to the doctor and finding out if they really are suffering from depression, they are not receiving the medical treatment they need or could benefit from during emotional time in their lives.

            Clinical depression can easily be mistaken for sadness or grief. And what many people don’t know or understand is that depression is thought to be brought on by a chemical imbalance, because there are to many or too few of chemicals in your brain. But that isn’t the only reason. Depression can come from many things. A Harvard Medical School article explains “What Causes Depression?” “It includes faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medication, and medical problems.” Depression isn’t, however, by choice; it won't just occur because of something bad happening in your life. However, these events could be a trigger to your depression. Sometimes it happens for a random reason, but it can be a simple fix by “regulating your mood.” There is much more to depression than you may know. And today too many people think they have or had suffered from clinical depression and in reality it's just not so.

            Sadly, many people in today's society seem to want to have depression, just because it gives them attention and earns them pity. But most likely people who truly suffer from depression try and hide it. They put on a fake smile to let everyone think they are fine when they are not. Gordon Parker, a Scientia Professor of Psychiatry, says that in more recent years, depression rates have risen steeply, and this is believed to be because people are mistaking their sadness. Ramin J. Mojtabai, doctor, says “6 out of every 7 of the people he talked to that claimed to have/ had depression did not meet the criteria.” This proves that the word is being thrown around too much. Maybe people need to realize that everyone has bad days or even bad weeks. But feeling sad and depressed is not the same as being clinically depressed.

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