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

Last Update on August 1, 2022 : Published on April 30, 2021
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 a 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 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 which 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 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 or learn about the 5 best depression support groups.

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About The Author

Akanksha Soni
Akanksha Soni

Akanksha is an active lifestyle blogger and writer at Calmsage. She has learnt various lessons on happiness and methods to fight depression through 'Gurus' as well as own experiences. An ardent practitioner of Yoga and meditation, she keeps traveling, writes and interacts with people to feel alive.

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