"Am I clinically depressed?" I have been asked this question by several people.
I will try to answer this here.

Depression is a common illness that half of people in this country may experience at least once in their lifetime. Causes of depression may vary: genetic, environment, and medical.
However, if you fall into depression after losing someone you love, your condition may be called "Bereavement-related depression." If you experience natural disaster like the recent Tsunami and earthquake in Japan, people may develop symptoms of depression even they did not experience it directly.

Depression affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may feel hopeless all the time. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn't worth living. Depression is a state of disease that affects body and mind. Depression can disrupt the nerve impulses that carry a constant stream of orders from the brain to the muscles. When the depressed brain slows down, so do the signals to all parts of body. Depression affects memory, problem-solving ability, language, perception and is accompanied by nervous tension, anxiety, and profound fatigue. It can generate pain and aches.

If you are depressed, you may have more or less the following symptoms:
You may feel sad and hopeless. You may lose interest in the things you enjoy. You may feel guilty. You may criticize and dislike yourself. you may feel worthless. You may have suicidal thoughts. You may cry. You may have difficulty making decisions. You may have less energy. You may be tired often. You may have sleep difficulty or tend to oversleep. You may get irritable. Your appetite may be less or greater than usual. You may have concentration difficulty. You may lose interest in sex.

Depression arises from a variety of causes, including genetics, environment, and medical. People with traumatic responses (e.g., PTSD) usually experience depression.

Medical reasons for Depression may include thyroid hormone abnormality, Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Chronic pain, Stroke (Brain injury), Alzeheimer’s disease, other medical problems such as kidneys, heart, lung, epilepsy, migraine headaches, brain injury. Malnutrition/brain damage can dull mood further. Excessive alcohol use may aggravate depression. Some medication can cause or contribute to depression. Patients with depression should let their doctors know all the medication that they are taking. People with depression should see a psychotherapist/counselor to express and process their feelings and thoughts, discuss coping for stress, and get advice and support weekly.

Most people in depression may feel better with psychological counseling and other alternative treatments such as yoga, Biofeedback, Acupuncture, Meditation, Guided imagery, Nutrition, Creative Art therapy, and massage therapy. It's important for them to stick to treatment for 6 months or longer, even a few years for their recovery and healing.

Author's Bio: 

Licensed clinical psychologist with over 12 years counseling experience working with adults, children, adolescents, families and couples at community clinics and in private practice in San Francisco and Bay Area.

米国 カリフォルニア州認定 サイコロジスト/セラピスト/臨床心理士

米国心理学会 公認会員

Has rich experience working with a wide range of issues, including, but not limited to: Anxiety; Trauma; Self-esteem; Emotional Health; Relationships; Parenting; Childhood; Addiction of all kinds; Anger; Depression; ADD/ADHD; Eating disorders; Workplace issues; Motivation & Purpose; Personal growth.

Integrated working style including Humanistic/Person-centered, Cognitive-behavior, Mindfulness, Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, Stress management, Image work, Solution focused therapy, and Therapeutic Lifestyle coaching.

Tailors treatment to client's unique situation, culture, personality, needs and goals.

Bilingual in Japanese/English.

Continuing a variety of training in trauma treatment (EMDR, CBT, ACT) and crisis intervention.

Maintains a private practice (part-time) in San Francisco financial district and Burlingame, as well as community service.

Daytime, evenings and weekends are available.

Website: www.drakira.com
Phone/Toll-Free number 888-798-2272
Email: drakiraolsen@gmail.com