5 Signs for Recognizing Clinical Depression and When to Get Help

Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder, impacts many people across the country. In 2017, more than 17 million adults in the United States struggled with mild to severe depression. Today, we will explore common signs for recognizing depression and how to know when to get help for you or a loved one. Below are some common signs.

5 Signs of Clinical Depression

Clinical depression has the potential to cause significant distress in many aspects of your life if it’s left untreated. It is important to be able to spot the warning signs so that you can receive appropriate treatment for this disorder. Below are some of the moderate to severe warning signs that you should be aware of.

1. You Lose Interest in Pleasurable Activities

You may find that petting your cat isn’t as enjoyable as it once was, or going out to eat doesn’t bring about the same excitement as it has before. Understand that this is a common symptom and challenge yourself to do one thing every day that brings you joy, no matter how small. That can look like taking a bubble bath or watching your favorite TV show.

2. You Have Feelings of Hopelessness and Guilt

You may feel as if you will feel down and sad forever, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Remind yourself that feelings aren’t facts and that they are temporary. Developing feelings of gratitude and thanks can help combat feelings of hopelessness and guilt. Write down 5 things you are grateful for each day. These don’t have to be major things. In fact, sometimes we experience the most gratitude over the small things in life. This can include the warm cup of coffee in your hands, the rays of the sun shining through your window, and the coziness of your bed.

3. You Experience Changes in Energy, Appetite, and Sleep

You may find yourself feeling tired a lot sooner in the day. You may be sleeping past your alarm or having a hard time falling asleep at night. Maybe your appetite has gone away or you find that you are eating more than normal. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to stay hydrated, and keep small snacks nearby if you become hungry.

4. You Have Physical Aches and Pains

You may notice an increase in neck and shoulder pain and other physical pains in your body that didn’t exist before the onset of your depression. Moving your body once a day by stretching and walking may help to reduce physical aches and pains.

5. You Have Thoughts or Intentions of Suicide

Having thoughts about not being alive is common when you are experiencing depression. Practice some self-care activities such as journaling, taking a bath, and reading. Reach out to a friend or a loved one via phone or text so they can help distract you. Think about things that have helped you feel grounded and calm in the past.

When to Get Help

No single factor contributes to the development of clinical depression. Researchers have found that genetics, environment, social stressors, physical health issues, and substance abuse all contribute to the development of depression. If you are experiencing multiple symptoms of depression that have occurred every day for 2 weeks or longer and have tried to manage your symptoms on your own but they persist, it may be time to get help.

Fortunately, depression is treatable and common treatment approaches include therapy and medication or a combination of both. If you are thinking about getting help for your depression or any other mental illness, we at Valera Health are here. At Valera Health, we understand that it can feel intimidating to ask for help. That’s why they offer telehealth services for both therapy and psychiatric services. Mental health conditions like depression shouldn’t be left untreated. Hope and help are available on your personal journey with mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or ADHD.

How to Get Help

If you are thinking about getting help for your mental illness, a good place to start is to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor may be able to provide you with a referral to a mental health professional. If you have insurance, you can also call the number on the back of your card to verify your mental health benefits and determine what providers are covered under your plan. You can also see what insurance Valera Health accepts by requesting a consultation.

If you need to talk to someone immediately, call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at 1-800-950-6264 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.


  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml
  2. https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression