Depression or depression disorder is one of the most common kinds of mood disorder. Mood disorders (including mania and bipolar disorders) are characterized by strong disturbances in emotional feelings that could prove to have such aversive effects that they could highly interfere with normal, everyday life - including the capacity to interact healthily in social situations, to handle adverse emotions and experiences (such as rejection or being left by oneself), and to carry out basic tasks and responsibilities.
How is ordinary depression (that is, "normal" sadness associated with tragic events such as a break-up of a relationship, the loss of a job or the death of a loved one) differentiated from major depression or severe depression? People who suffer from major depression experience practically the same symptoms of ordinary depression, except that the difference would lie mainly with its severity and the length of time they feel these emotions. Those with major depression would typically feel lonely, worthless, useless and filled with despair, and they would feel these for months or even years.
If you suspect that you are suffering from major depression, know that you are not alone. It is estimated that between 14 million to 15 million people in the United States alone suffer from major depression, and almost 1 in 5 Americans would experience it at some point in their lives. Studies determine that women are twice as likely than men to suffer from severe depression, and that its incidence has increased in rates over the years.
Know that the process to cure depression could be covered in assistance programs and financial plans such as those available with Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Another option for you would be to enlist as a research subject in clinical facilities that focus on research and development in psychology: one such example of these clinical facilities is the Depression Clinic at Stanford University. An advantage becoming a research subject, apart from it being free of all costs, is that you would get high-end and cutting edge treatment from the foremost authorities on psychology. Some of the disadvantages, however, would include taking the chance of being the control group to receive placebo pills instead of actual depression medication, and having to be called in to receive longer treatment and testing than the average patient.
There are some other free clinics in the US; a list could be obtained by contacting the Free Clinic Foundation of America. You can check out their website at freeclinicfoundation.com.
Why not contact other mental health resources? Contact the Knowledge Exchange Network at mentalhealth.org; the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill at nami.org, and the National Empowerment Center at power2u.org.
Other clinical facilities for mental health include the Connecticut Anxiety and Depression Treatment Center in Farmington, CT; the Anxiety and Depression Treatment Center in Naperville, IL; and the Youthcare Residential Treatment Centers for teens in UT. Check out depression-help-treatment.com for a list of other mental health centers.
Another option for you is to go to your local community hospital and inquire at the psychological department there. They would be sure to provide you with a listing of treatment facilities that specialize in mood disorders and severe depression. You could ask them about clinics that offer your preferred mode of treatment: traditional, alternative, home-based, etc. You could also ask about the natural and herb-based depression medications available, such as St. John's Wort.
Remember, depression is beatable - the key here is to know your options, and to know how and where you would be able to receive help.