A constant sense of hopelessness and despair is a sign you may have major depression, also known as clinical depression.
With major depression, it may be difficult to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy friends and activities. Some people have clinical depression only once in their life, while others have it several times in a lifetime.
Major depression seems to occur from one generation to the next in some families, but may affect people with no family history of the illness.
Most people feel sad or low at some point in their lives. But clinical depression is marked by a depressed mood most of the day, particularly in the morning, and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships -- symptoms that are present every day for at least 2 weeks. In addition, according to the DSM-IV -- a manual used to diagnose mental health conditions -- you may have other symptoms with major depression. Those symptoms might include:
Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day.
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day.
Impaired concentration, indecisiveness.
Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day.
Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others).
Restlessness or feeling slowed down.
Recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month).
By nature, online counseling is not designed to handle emergency and crisis counseling.
If your crisis needs immediate attention, proceed to the nearest hospital or emergency room.