Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More Questions About Clinical Depression

I have been consulting Tony Attwood’s The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome (2007) as a reference.  (Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism that includes deficits in socializing.  I have it.)  Attwood makes a statement on page 123 that I find interesting in light of the current discussions about clinical depression.

“Limited social success, low self-esteem and exhaustion can contribute to the development of a clinical depression.”

What this seems to imply is that clinical depression is not always the result of how the brain is.  Rather, there is a clinical depression that can result from bad things happening in a person’s life.  I do not know if my depression is technically clinical, but I can testify that my limited social success in life has led me to have low self-esteem, fear, and depressing thoughts.

I remember one person (a science major) saying that anti-depressant medication will not help those who lack the chemical imbalances that are causing the depression.  Is that true?  I know people with Asperger’s Syndrome who take medication.  They testify that it puts them in a flat mood, or that the things that used to bother them obsessively do not bother them as much now due to the medication.

Could the fact that they were bothered obsessively be a sign of chemical imbalance or clinical depression?  I am different from some people I know (or know of) with clinical depression.  For me, there are outer causes to my depression—-things not going well in my life—-whereas many with clinical depression are depressed regardless of outward circumstances.  At the same time, I can easily find myself obsessing over problems—-a slight from someone here, a social blunder I made there, etc.  Is that obsession a sign of clinical depression?

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