I Have Crippling Depression: What’s Going on and Ways to Treat It 2021

I have crippling depression. These are four words you wish you didn’t ever have to admit to yourself or anyone else.

When you are struggling with depression, some days can feel impossible to get through. Believe me – I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to lie in bed and reflect on the day I had, wondering how I made my way through it and not wanting to fall asleep because I was pretty sure tomorrow would be more of the same: more pain, more intense feelings of sadness, trouble concentrating on tasks, and feeling apathetic toward most things and people.

It’s difficult to put into words just how hard it is to have depression, but if you’re here reading this right now, my guess is that you don’t expect me to try. Sadly, you already know what I mean, even if it impacts each of us a little bit differently. Because of that, there is no single solution that can help everyone feel better. Still, the more you get in touch with yourself, your feelings, and what form of depression you have, it will bring you closer to finding some relief.

Whatever unique symptoms, struggles, emotions, or curiosities brought you here to today’s blog, I welcome each of you. I’m here to talk about a more severe form of depression, often referred to as “crippling depression.”

Depression is a severe mood disorder that can significantly impact one’s daily life, even in moderate cases. Depression can affect your emotions, weight, sleeping, and ability to focus. But in cases where depression is more severe, it can be debilitating. It can prevent people from accomplishing tasks and eating or sleeping altogether.

The clinical term for crippling depression is Major Depressive Disorder or MDD. Rather than saying, “I have crippling depression,” many people instead will say they have “overwhelming,” “debilitating,” or “devastating” depression because using the term crippling to describe it can be insulting or hurtful toward those with physical disabilities.

That said, mental health professionals will understand if you come to them and say, “I have crippling depression” because they recognize it as a synonym or common phrase for clinical depression or Major Depressive Disorder. Crippling depression is a popular phrase that people living with the disorder have coined to describe how severe and impactful their symptoms are.

As I briefly mentioned, those who suffer from moderate depression, for example, may experience enough of an impact at work to be diagnosed with depression. But there are others – people with crippling depression – who cannot attend a school or work full-time. Some institutions and resources do not include “ability to work” as a symptom of depression, so many people who suffer from it use this term to explain how significantly different it feels from other forms of depression.

How you choose to characterize your depression is up to you – the point is that it is taking a serious toll on your life, and I want to remind you that you are not alone. You have come here to understand better what’s going on with you and how you can treat this debilitating disorder, and I hope that this information helps you as much as it has me.

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Do I Have A Crippling Depression? How To Deal With It?

Do I have crippling depression

Crippling depression is a form of clinical depression or a major depressive disorder that can make a person feel debilitating. This condition shows remarkably depressive episodes and the individual is not able to complete even the simplest tasks like working in the office, sleeping, eating or cooking.

This depression makes a person feel ‘crippling’ but that might not be the right way to address the condition as it feels hurtful or insulting to people facing physical disabilities. This is one of the biggest reasons that some of the experts prefer using severe depression or major depressive disorder.

However, it is to be noted that crippling depression is not an uncommon state, and approximately 7.1% of adults in the United States experience one major depressive disorder in their lives, as per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

What Is Crippling Depression & Its Symptoms?

Crippling depression is a severe form of depression that limits the basic functionality of a human being, including an inability to live a normal life. Some episodes extend from a few weeks to months and the person may show resistance to treatment. Life looks like a struggle and a number of sufferers explained that they feel like lying in bed all day rather than waking up and going through their life activities.

symptom of Depression

Now the question is if clinical depression is the same as major depressive disorder? Well, it is true that major depressive disorder and clinical depression share the same symptoms but the popular term ‘Clinical depression is an example of how symptoms are affecting their lifestyle in an easily explainable manner.

There is evidence that shows that crippling depression is significantly different from other types of depression according to the degree of severity. It is believed that the symptoms have crossed the threshold from a manageable condition to a disability.

Symptoms Of Crippling Depression 

Symptoms affecting physical health

  • Low energy in the body
  • Struggling to sleep or sleeping all the day
  • Restlessness
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Body pains
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches

Symptoms affecting mood and thought process

If you have any of the above symptoms that are persistent and generating suicidal thoughts within, ask for support immediately. Call 1-800-273-8255 or 911 now or connect with suicide helpline numbers (India).

Cause For Severe Form Of Depression Or Crippling Depression

Those who are wondering why I have crippling depression, this section might help you! NIMH defined four categories that put a person at risk of the depressive state including:

  1. Genetic
  2. Biological
  3. Environmental
  4. Psychological

There has been an estimation that about 50% of cases of crippling depression are linked to genetic behavior. It can occur to those who have previously dealt with depression or have a family history of the same. If someone is facing serious medical disorders like cancer, chronic diabetes or have major life transitions then the risk accelerates.

Diagnosis Of Crippling Depression

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), if someone has the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks then the doctor may diagnose them with crippling depression. Although the physician will be asking you to go through physical exams and lab tests to rule out physical symptoms.

Other points considered:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in activities that were loved earlier
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Loss of memory and concentration
  • Appetite changes

Treatment Of Crippling Depression

There are a number of treatment options to help you overcome crippling depression and they are processed according to triggering events or genetic predisposition, as per every individual.

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy for depression

Psychotherapy usually involves ‘talk therapy’ or where a person gets to talk with a mental health professional about their experiences in order to find solutions. Several therapy approaches include:

All the three methods above help in identifying the reasons for distorted thinking, patterns, behavior, and responses. Based on the talks, the therapist helps in finding goals and working towards them.

Psychotherapy is an effective treatment as the person becomes aware of the negative thoughts and unrealistic ideas and helps themselves in overcoming maladaptive behavior.

2. Medications

Antidepressants and other required medications are provided by the physician according to the condition of a person. However, it is most likely that you would be recommended medications along with psychotherapy.

3. Electroconvulsive Therapy

ECT is given only when the other therapies do not succeed as expected. The person will electrically stimulate the portion of the brain when you are under anesthesia.

Nowadays, ECT is a painless procedure and effective in providing relief from the long-term effects of crippling depression. Do not hesitate to discuss ECT with your doctor as treatment of crippling depression.


We are hopeful that you are aware of what crippling depression is, what causes it and how it can be cured. It is advised to ask for help right now if you are dealing with crippling depression by emailing us at info@calmsage.com or learn about the 5 best depression support groups.


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