What is Clinical Depression?

Clinical depression is more than the typical feelings of sadness that occur in response to negative events. Clinical depression includes emotional, cognitive (thinking), physical, and behavioral symptoms that last longer than two weeks. Emotional symptoms include sadness, irritability, and anxiety, as well as decreased enjoyment and interest. Cognitive symptoms include ideas of worthlessness, helplessness, and hopelessness, as well as difficulties with concentration and memory. Hopelessness can lead to suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts. Physical symptoms, such as decreased energy and sleep and appetite changes, can initially be mistaken for a general medical condition. Behavioral symptoms include crying, irritable behavior, social withdrawal, and decreased activity and productivity.

Clinical depression can present with varying degrees of severity and length. It is a common illness that causes marked distress and interferes with relationships and work functioning. Clinical depression affects people of all ages, women more than men. There is some evidence that clinical depression, if left untreated, may complicate or worsen general medical conditions, such as heart disease.


Study Opportunities

We are currently conducting several studies on depression. We are interested in certain proteins in the blood that may be signs of depression. We are also interested in decision-making in depressed adults. Our current studies will allow us to address these questions. Both of these studies provide compensation and are accepting depressed individuals as well as healthy volunteers. The decision-making study also includes treatment for depression.

We are also conducting a study evaluating the effectiveness of a new treatment for major depression. This study is for those who have undergone prior treatment but have not gotten better. As part of this study, we are examining the efficacy of low-field magnetic stimulation (similar to an MRI) for reducing depressive symptoms.

For all of our studies, participants will receive a psychiatric evaluation, physical exam, and laboratory tests at no cost.

How to Participate

If you are interested in participating in our depression study, please click here to fill out a questionnaire. Once it is received, you will be contacted by a member of our staff. You can also contact us directly at 404-778-MOOD(6663).