While everyone feels sad or “blue” from time to time, people who suffer from clinical depression have persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and even worthlessness that are so pervasive, they interfere with daily activities in just about every area of the person’s life. Also, while most feelings of sadness can be traced to specific events or general stress or anxiety, but in clinical depression, feelings of sadness and hopelessness tend to occur and persist even at times when no specific cause can be identified.
The American Psychiatric Association has established a series of criteria to help clinicians diagnose clinical depression. They include:
To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be significant enough to interfere with daily activities, and several symptoms must be present. There’s no single test for depression; rather, the Drake Institute uses patient interviews, questionnaires, quantitative EEG brain mapping and biofeedback technology testing to help identify physiological abnormalities linked to symptoms and aid in diagnosis with treatment plan.
Clinical depression can be a result of genetics, biology, past trauma, environmental, and psychological factors. It may include feelings of sadness, pessimism, despair, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss of motivation and interests in previously enjoyable activities and other symptoms. Depression not only dominates your mood and blocks happiness or joy, but it can negatively affect your health, clear thinking, productivity and creativity, relationships, self-esteem and certainly self-care. It literally can take over your life.
While depression can be treated with long-term use of medications, Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine uses a combination of psychophysiological testing with biofeedback instrumentation and EEG brain mapping to identify links between stress, physiological tension levels, abnormal brain wave patterns, and specific symptoms of depression. Once these associations have been identified, biofeedback and neurofeedback treatments are customized and used to reduce abnormal physiological tension levels and improve brain functioning, thus reducing and relieving symptoms. Adjunctive psychotherapy may also be recommended.
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