NOV 10, 2017 05:51 AM PST

Are You Sad or Clinically Depressed?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed class of medication, second only to antibiotics. That's because depression affects more than 20 million people in the United States alone. Because depression often goes undiagnosed, this number could be even higher. And as the mental condition is tied to physical wellness, the incidence of depression is ever increasing.

Clinical depression is different than sadness following a traumatic life event, such as the loss of a loved one. Patients with clinical depression are diagnosed by trained physicians based on criteria set by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Symptoms of depression can vary, but typically include feelings of sadness and hopelessness, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy, and fatigue.

Currently, a popular treatment for depression option is with pharmacotherapy - using antidepressants to reduce mood symptoms. There are many classes of antidepressants, each targeting different neurotransmitters associated with depression. Though there are many options for which antidepressants patients can take, getting the right drug for the right patient is a challenge.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 20, 2019
Why a Metal Asteroid Tops NASA's Must-Explore List
Innumerable amounts of asteroids exist in the asteroid belt that resides between Mars and Jupiter in orbit around the Sun, but one specimen in particular a...
NOV 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 20, 2019
Imagine a World Without Insects...
People tend to dislike insects, especially ant, beetle, cockroach, and mosquito varieties, but before suggesting that a world without insects would be a wo...
NOV 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 20, 2019
It's True, Elephants Are Highly Intelligent Animals
If you’re ever asked what the world’s smartest animal is, then the humble elephant should certainly come to mind. These incredible beasts have...
NOV 20, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 20, 2019
Outlandish Ideas to Fight Climate Change: How Credible are They?
Boosting investment in renewable energy and reducing the use of fossil fuel are the two commonly acceptable measures to combat climate change. However, sci...
NOV 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 20, 2019
The Penguin Life Isn't Always Easy
Mother nature isn’t kind to wildlife; many assume their position as either the prey or the predator depending on the cards they’re dealt. Unfor...
NOV 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 20, 2019
What You Need to Know About NASA's Upcoming WFIRST Space Telescope
There are several space telescopes observing the cosmos at the very time of this writing, and there are plans to launch even more of them in the near futur...
Loading Comments...