Non-clinical depression is a normal reaction to painful life events and/or physical, mental and emotional stress. It can also be caused by medical conditions and some medications, which is why it is important for anyone with depressed moods to get a complete medical exam.
Clinical depression is a problem with the brain, a neurobiological disease with debilitating mental, emotional and physical symptoms. Untreated, clinical depression can destroy brain cells.
Most people with non-clinical depression do not require medication. Yet most are prescribed one.
Feelings of depression can be a completely normal reaction to traumatic events, such as the loss of a loved one, or sudden negative changes in personal circumstances. Other common causes of non-clinical depressed moods include chronic stress, physical stress from serious or chronic illness, painful life events, unresolved childhood trauma, fluctuating female hormones, unhealthy thought patterns or emotional attitudes, and miscellaneous physical illnesses such as thyroid disorders and infections.
Only a health care professional can accurately diagnose clinical depression and whether or not medication is necessary. The website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a medical doctor or mental health professional.
SIX COMMON CAUSES OF NON-CLINICAL DEPRESSED MOODS
1. Chronic Stress & Lifestyle
Long-term physical or emotional stress may be the number one cause of depressed and anxious moods in adults over the age of 40. It is also the least likely to be diagnosed and effectively treated. Chronic stress leads to adrenal exhaustion and other biochemical imbalances, affecting everything from mood to sleep, energy and memory.
2. Painful life events & unresolved emotional trauma
Situational depression is a term used by mental health professionals to describe depressed mood resulting from a traumatic or disappointing life event. Unresolved emotional stress from childhood can also trigger depressed moods at any stage of life.
3. Fluctuating Hormones
Hormonal fluctuations prior to menstruation, after childbirth and before and during menopause can play havoc with the emotions, especially in women whose brain cells are more genetically sensitive to those changes. .
4. Self-defeating mental pattterns or emotional attitudes
Patterns of negative and pessimistic thinking or negative emotional attitudes such as anger or bitterness can cause depressed, anxious and angry moods.
5. Lack of vision and life purpose
We all need a dream -- a vision of purpose to achieve something of significance. Otherwise, we will feel empty, sad and frustrated.
6. Miscellaneous medical conditions other than clinical depression can depressed mood. Examples include thyroid disorders, tumors, pernicious anemia, infections, liver or kidney disease, nutritional deficiency (common among anorexics), Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders. This is why you should always see your doctor for a complete medical exam if you are experiencing severe or prolonged depressed moods.
DOES NON-CLINICAL DEPRESSION AFFECT MY BRAIN?
Everything affects your brain – from how much sleep you had last night to what you ate for breakfast to whether or not you fought with your spouse before leaving for work. While non-clinical depression is not a brain disorder, your brain is still still affected by everyday stresses, even positive stress.
Everyday stresses such as relational conflicts, a crazy work schedule or deadlines at work cause minor imbalances of mood altering neurotransmitters. Internal stresses such as hormone fluctuations, illness and an unhealthy diet also affect serotonin levels. Even a mild cold virus depletes neurotransmitters, which is why some people feel emotionally down when sick. When the stress is resolved, balance is restored. Read more about Your Brain and Mood
HOW DO I OVERCOME NON-CLINICAL DEPRESSION?
You must identify the cause. To help you through this process, DepressionFree.com categorizes non-clinical depression based on the most common causes. But keep in mind that more than one factor may be contributing to your depressed moods.
CHRONIC STRESS & LIFESTYLE
If you are over 40, you will benefit from reading about chronic stress even even if you think something else has caused your depression.
ALWAYS get advice from a medical doctor or mental health professional. This website is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.