Jill Scott

Jill Scott

According to Psych Central, the stigma and prejudice associated with mental health issues in black communities keeps sufferers from seeking treatment.

For that reason the numbers of blacks suffering from depression cannot be estimated. Sufferers and their loved ones may not realize they are depressed until there are tragic consequences.

Earlier today, R&B singer Jill Scott posted a seemingly innocent tweet on her Twitter account that read: “Just had an intense cry!!!!! Standing in the kitchen, considering breakfast 4 the boy when I started to sing “Hear My Call”. Lost it.”

Scott’s “intense cry” might be a cry for help.

Depression is characterized by overwhelming feelings of sadness, despair, anxiety, low mood, helplessness, or suicidal thoughts.

In Scott’s case, the daily routine of cooking for her son triggered an avalanche of tears that surprised her. “I’m better! I just didn’t know I wasn’t ….better,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet.

Depressed mood can affect our daily lives, behavior, and feelings of self-worth. It is normal to experience episodes of sadness and unhappiness when our routine activities of daily living overwhelm us.

But according to eMedicinehealth.net, when the symptoms last for more than a couple of weeks, we may have what is called “clinical depression.”

Clinical depression symptoms can interrupt our daily lives. At its worst, clinical depression may lead you to contemplate, attempt, or commit suicide.

The following are different types of clinical depression:

Major depression is an episode of change in mood that lasts for weeks or months. It is one of the most severe types of depression. It usually involves a low or irritable mood and/or a loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities. It interferes with one’s normal functioning and often includes physical symptoms. A person may experience only one episode of major depressive disorder, but often there are repeated episodes over an individual’s lifetime.

Dysthymia, often commonly called melancholy, is less severe than major depression but usually goes on for a longer period, often several years. There are usually periods of feeling fairly normal between episodes of low mood. The symptoms usually do not completely disrupt one’s normal activities.

Bipolar disorder involves episodes of depression, usually severe, alternating with episodes of extreme elation called mania. This condition is sometimes called by its older name, manic depression. The depression that is associated with bipolar disorder is often referred to as bipolar depression. When depression is not associated with bipolar disorder, it is called unipolar depression.

Seasonal depression, which medical professionals call seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is depression that occurs only at a certain time of the year, usually winter, when the number of daylight hours is lower. It is sometimes called “winter blues.” Although it is predictable, it can be very severe.

Psychotic depression refers to the situation when depression and hallucinations or delusions are experienced at the same time (co-occur). This may be the result of depression that becomes so severe that it results in the sufferer losing touch with reality. Individuals who primarily suffer from a loss of touch with reality (for example, schizophrenia) are thought to suffer from an imbalance of dopamine activity in the brain and to be at risk of subsequently becoming depressed.

Clinical depression is always abnormal and requires attention from a medical or mental-health professional.

Treatment includes medications and psychotherapy. Treatment can last for 6 months to a year or longer.

This has been your Medical Minute.

More Info on the Web

Major Depression – Nih

Major Depression – Mayo Clinic

Depression symptoms – Psych Central

Depression – Medicinenet


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