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We all get depressed from time to time, whether it's about our career, relationships, or physical appearance. However, when depression makes you unable to function in the normal way, this is known as clinical depression.

Clinical depression is a serious mental health illness that has a significant affect on how you feel and how you act. The condition can develop in people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. Fame, wealth and power are no barriers to the condition. It's estimated that up to 5% of the population suffer from clinical depression.

Clinical depression can take many forms, the most common of which being dysthymia, major depression, and bipolar disorder. Dysthymia is the mildest form of clinical depression where symptoms are less intense, but last from a sustained period of time.

Major depression causes a range of debilitating symptoms that have an adverse affect on your ability to live your normal life. This is a more intense form of the condition but one that typically lasts a shorter period of time.

And finally, bipolar disorder, otherwise known as manic depression, is where periods of depression are interspersed with episodes of heightened happiness and activity. The condition is characterised by dramatic swings in both mood and energy levels.

The main symptom of clinical depression is a feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness over a prolonged period of time. In severe cases, it can lead to suicidal or self-harming thoughts.

Other common symptoms of clinical depression include headaches, stomach aches, digestive problems, a lack or energy, and constant tiredness. The condition can also cause indecisiveness, concentration issues, and memory difficulties.

Clinical depression can be treated through medication, such as antidepressants, or with therapy, such as behavioural therapy. A combination of treatment methods often proves most effective.

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