As a mental health technician at Temple University Hospital’s Episcopal Campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Todd Belok draws on experience with patients diagnosed with a wide variety of mental illness. Also a former psychiatric technician at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington in Washington, DC, Todd Belok applies a knowledge of major depression and other similar disorders.
Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, causes serious changes in mood as well as a loss of interest in everyday activities. The person may experience the lack of ability to feel pleasure and may notice consistent sadness, anxiousness, and feelings of emptiness.
The individual with clinical depression is likely to feel worthless, guilty, or hopeless. Diminished levels of energy may lead to slowness in movement and speech, although some people instead become restless and cannot sit still for extended periods of time. Similarly, while some patients experience difficulty sleeping, others sleep to excess.
In a patient with major depressive disorder, some or most of these symptoms are present on a daily basis for at least two weeks. Symptoms may lead to suicidal ideation or suicide attempts, at which point the disorder is at its most dangerous. It is important for patients with depressive symptoms to see a qualified health care professional, as depression often responds to an appropriate course of treatment.