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Depression, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits




For more information on:   Social Security Disability and SSI Disability.



Depression, also referred to as unipolar depression, clinical depression, major depressive disorder and major depression, is a mental disorder that is most commonly known by sadness, grief, irritability, low mood and a loss of interest in normal activities. It is usually first experienced in early to mid adulthood and a diagnosis is made upon the patient’s reported experiences. Children may have depression as well, though it is oftentimes more challenging to diagnose than adults. There are no laboratory tests for depression, though sometimes a physician may run clinical tests for other conditions before making a diagnosis. A psychological evaluation usually follows a medical check-up. There are many diagnostic tools, such as surveys and questionnaires that help with the diagnosis of depression.

Depression can be a once in a lifetime event or reoccur throughout one’s life. The duration of depression can last for a short time, weeks or months, or be a present for a lifetime. Symptoms can include body aches, crying spells, low energy, low libido and a change in sleeping patterns, eating habits and weight. Those with depression may experience anxiousness, inappropriate guilt, difficulty thinking, pessimism, and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. They may feel sluggish and find themselves experiencing headaches and chronic pain. They may also withdrawal from social situations and in extreme cases have thoughts of death or suicide or attempt suicide. Usually these symptoms, with the exception of thoughts of suicide or a suicidal attempt, need to be present for at least two weeks before a diagnosis can be made.

Depression is oftentimes paired with other mental conditions, such as anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder. There are also different ratings of depression – from mild and moderate to severe, and different types and subtypes. Melancholic depression, postpartum depression and psychotic depression are just a couple.

The cause of depression is generally unknown, although there are many theories and risk factors that have been debated. Some of these factors are biological and some are psychological. The psychological factors are related around how a person developed as a child and how they handle environmental factors like stress. Many doctors feel that events can aid depression, such as abandonment, death, rejection, sexual abuse, work-related stress, trauma and a host of other stressful experiences. Biologically it is thought that depression can be genetic. It has been estimated that 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men experience depression because of genetics. It is also thought that serotonin and norepinephrine (the neurotransmitters that antidepressants effect) are less in those with depression, though it has not been scientifically proven. There are many other biological theories.

Today depression is regarded as a serious condition that can be disabling, though that was not always the case. Treatment includes psychotherapy, antidepressants and in severe cases when other treatments have not worked, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock. ECT is a treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients for therapeutic effect.















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Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews