Situational and Clinical Depression: What’s the Difference?
It is clinical depression that I sometimes refer to as “real” or “real” in this blog.
This is not entirely correct – according to the medical definition, both situational (= situational) and clinical depression are quite real.
But here’s why I allow myself to draw this line: situational depression is understandable to anyone. She always has fairly obvious causes and, more often than not, she does not need serious treatment.
Most healthy adults have experienced it in one form or another.
Situational depression can be caused by any tragic circumstances: whether it is the death of a loved one, a divorce, or the loss of a job. Any severe stress.
Situational depression can be difficult to overcome, but in most cases, the person recovers. Often he is supported in this by relatives and even strangers. Situational depression is understandable to others and society – and most cases are just that.
However, if a person has a tendency to become depressed and does not attempt to recover, situational depression can become clinical.
Clinical depression is much more serious—and worse, much less understood by others.
It is also called major depression or major depressive disorder.
Clinical depression may start out as a tragedy—or it may not have an obvious cause. A person may not even have obvious childhood trauma.
Clinical depression affects people from both poor and well-to-do families. To a healthy observer, according to external criteria, it may seem that a person does not have a life, but a fairy tale – while for the sick person himself, life can be a real hell.
I have known wealthy and attractive men and women who dreamed of committing suicide all their adult lives. I understand them very well, although my life circumstances were completely different. Because absolutely nothing external plays a role when you carry hell in yourself.
The most common basis for such depression is not mental distress, but a metabolic disorder known as neurotransmitters, such as the hormones serotonin and dopamine. This disorder can be either acquired or congenital and can have a variety of mechanisms – from a lack of amino acids (such as tryptophan) to a reduced sensitivity of certain receptors.
Until now, these mechanisms and the reasons for their appearance are poorly understood not only in Russia, but also in the West – not to mention the possibility of targeted treatment of such disorders.
Most opinions agree that genetic disorders and predispositions still play the main role.
Compare situational and clinical depression can be through the following analogy.
If situational depression is a cold that can manifest itself as a runny nose or fever, and even turn into pneumonia if it is started, then clinical depression is HIV, and as it develops, any “bacteria” can become severe or fatal for a person , that is, any life circumstance that a healthy person would survive relatively easily.
This analogy is quite correct with one important remark: unlike HIV, it is quite possible to get rid of depression, or at least reduce it to a minimum, and at the same time live and enjoy life.
By the way, the phrase “may become deadly” in the analogy is not an exaggeration.
Suicide, according to WHO , is the second leading cause of death among young people.
One million deaths a year. Do you think that a large proportion of people kill themselves when they are NOT depressed, if alcohol and drug-related cases are excluded? It is logical that sober people commit suicide only in a state of deepest despair. What proportion of suicides suffered from clinical depression? No one will say that anymore. But it is quite obvious that many more people die from undiagnosed depression (both of its types) every year than at the time of this writing died from coronavirus.