Difference Between Depression and Clinical Depression

Key difference - depression vs. clinical depression

Have you ever felt that your life is not going the way you always wanted it to? Still having a hard time forgetting the death of a loved one some time ago and moving on with life? Do you often feel worthless and feel like saying goodbye to all the negative events in life and getting over them? If so, you are likely to be suffering from low spirits or depression, the incidence of which is increasing rapidly in our modern society. Depression and clinical depression are two subspecies of the same condition that the latter is clinically diagnosed for. The main difference between depression and clinical depression is that depression does not require medication, while clinical depression requires medication and advice.

This article examines

1. What is depression? - definition, cause, functions

2. What is clinical depression? - Definition, cause, sings and symptoms, functions, treatment

3. What is the difference between depression and clinical depression? Difference Between Depression and Clinical Depression - Summary of the Comparison

What is Depression

Each of us can experience the loss of a loved one at some point in our lives, exam failing, career problems, doomed hopes in relationships, and many other problems that can negatively affect our lives and lifestyles. We can worry, cry, or react impulsively and that is perfectly normal for a certain intensity and time limit. These negative emotions towards negative life events can be referred to as depression.

Depression is naturally mild and these emotions usually resolve on their own rather than being drawn over a long period of time. Therefore, they do not cause any significant or major harm in the life of the individual. People with mild depression don't need medication or antidepressants, but some people can get better quickly with a few consultations.

Key difference - depression vs. clinical depression

What is clinical depression?

If a person turns out to be relatively overreacting or taking longer to cope with certain events in life, it can affect their physical and mental health.

Clinical depression is defined as persistent dejection, lack of energy and disinterest, which are perceived almost daily for at least 2 weeks and which significantly disrupt the everyday life of the person concerned. This type of depression develops when a person does not have sufficient strength and coping skills to face negative episodes in life.

Depression has female dominance; it affects 1 in 7 women by causing at least 1 episode of depression in their lifetime. The pathophysiology of depression involves an imbalance in brain chemicals known as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. It is also believed that a positive family history and social problems such as poverty and lack of support have a negative impact on the development of the disease.

Features of clinical depression

  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty sleeping (waking up early and falling asleep late at night)
  • Concentration and attention disorders
  • Noticeably decreased interest or pleasure in almost all activities - anhedonia
  • Ideas of self-harm and suicide
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain

A psychiatrist makes a diagnosis of clinical depression by taking a complete medical history from the patient and sometimes from a relative or bystander. A proper history of depression should include full details of the stressors, family history, and premorbid personality along with other normal aspects of a medical history.

Clinical depression is usually treated with both psychotherapy and antidepressants . Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy are also used to treat depression.

Difference Between Depression and Clinical Depression

Difference Between Depression and Clinical Depression


Depression is an almost normal reaction given by a specific person to a negative life event.

Clinical depression is persistent dejection, lack of energy and disinterest, which is felt almost daily for at least 2 weeks and which significantly disrupts the routine of the person concerned.


Simple depression is usually mild without the need for antidepressants.

Clinical depression is moderate to severe in nature and usually requires medication, psychotherapy, and sometimes electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

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"Depressed (4649749639)" By Sander van der Wel from the Netherlands - Depressed (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

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