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What Is Moderate Depression?

Moderate depression can severely impact a person's quality of life.
Moderate depression can make it challenging to get out of bed in the morning and start the day.
A therapist often can help determine the source of moderate depression.
People suffering with moderate depression commonly experience feelings of hopelessness.
People who are moderately depressed may suffer from headaches or chronic fatigue.
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  • Written By: Lori Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
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Moderate depression is a mood disorder that causes a person to feel an overwhelming sense of despair, sadness, and hopelessness that lasts for an extended period. Quite often, these emotions can follow a negative event in a person’s life, such as divorce, loss of a job, disability, or a death in the family. While circumstances like these would cause most anyone to grieve and feel somber, in cases of moderate depression, these symptoms do not usually diminish over time. On occasion, the melancholy feelings are so intense that the person who is suffering may secretly contemplate suicide.

Withdrawal from people or activities, excessive sleeping and frequent crying is quite common for an individual suffering from this affliction. While most people experience symptoms of sadness from time to time, those tormented with moderate depression usually feel these emotions consistently, over a period of several months or longer. The disorder can occur as a result of a number of factors that sometimes have nothing to do with a particular event and, instead, may be caused by a physical ailment or mental disorder. On occasion, the reason for the condition is unknown.

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Those who suffer from moderate depression are frequently affected by physical symptoms that manifest as a result of the mood disorder. Headaches, digestive problems, chronic fatigue, and even joint pain, is common. Other times, physical illness can cause emotional instability, such as in cases where a patient suffers from cancer or chronic pain. An individual can often become so besieged with the limitations of a persistent physical ailment that it takes over every aspect of his or her life, and causes moderate depression.

Certain chemicals in the brain, like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, regulate feelings of pleasure, motivation, irritability, and other behaviors. When they become imbalanced, and the communication between neurotransmitters is altered, psychological symptoms of moderate depression can occur. Sometimes symptoms are mild, but other times the feelings are serious and people can exhibit self-defeating or self-sabotaging behavior.

Overcoming the mental disorder is often a multi-disciplinary approach, and should be addressed as early as possible to avoid progression of the condition. A combination of therapy and medications is most frequently recommended. Talk therapy with a licensed psychologist can be very helpful in determining the source of the depression, and developing coping strategies. A medical doctor or psychiatrist can suggest various anti-depressant medications, available by prescription, to help regulate the mood and often improve a patient’s quality of life.

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Discuss this Article

a191124r
Post 4

Is there a website for online therapy?

SteamLouis
Post 3

I'm not against the use of medications to treat moderate depression. But I'm trying to treat my depression on my own through natural ways. I force myself to go outside, get sunlight and exercise regularly. I also make a point to meet friends and family no matter how lousy I feel. I think it's helping because my depression has gone from moderate to mild depression in these past few weeks.

stoneMason
Post 2

@SarahGen-- Those are great questions. I'm not a doctor, but I've been battling a depression disorder for many years so I think I can answer.

Moderate and severe depression often have the same symptoms, the main difference is the intensity of the symptoms. Both can cause you to experience grief, mood changes and crying. You may stop socializing and doing things you enjoy. You may sleep a lot and stay at home most of the time. You may feel hopeless and anxious.

Severe depression causes these symptoms to be much more severe though. For example, if you have severe depression, you may have suicidal thoughts more frequently than someone who has moderate depression.

The best way to know what type of depression you have is to see a psychologist and fill out a questionnaire. The questionnaires used by psychologists and psychiatrists help determine how serious your depression is and if you are also dealing with other issues like anxiety.

The intensity of depression symptoms do determine the type of therapy and medication that will be used to treat it.

SarahGen
Post 1

How can I tell whether I have moderate or severe depression? Are they treated differently?

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