What Does Depression Look Like
Well raise your question with a few Qs of our own: Are you female? Are you a teen? Depression can also affect different ages and genders in unique ways:
Women are more likely to ruminate . This can look like negative self-talk, sudden crying spells, feelings of guilt, or blaming oneself. Women are also more likely to have depression at the same time as an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, eating disorder, or obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Men with depression are more likely to show signs of irritability, anger, apathy, escapist behavior , or reckless behavior .
Younger people can struggle with depression and MDD . Children and teens may sometimes exhibit oversensitivity, social withdrawal, poor school performance, frequent physical complaints , or feelings of incompetence and despair .
Older adults and the elderly are often misdiagnosed or undertreated for depression because their symptoms can be mistaken for other disorders , or they may assume their feelings are just an inevitable part of aging. For many, sadness isnt the biggest indicator of depression instead, physical complaints are often the predominant symptom. Sleep trouble, low motivation, neglect of personal care or hygiene, and fixation on death are other signs of depression in older adults.
What Is The Mean Duration Of Depressive Episodes
The American Psychiatric Association defines depression as a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how a person feels, thinks and acts. Though the duration of a depressive episode can vary, the mean duration is thought to be six to eight months long. People can experience one or several episodes of depression in their lifetime. These episodes may also vary from mild to severe symptoms.
Depressive episodes can occur at any age, although it is most commonly seen in the age groups of 18 to 29, 30 to 44, 45 to 64 and 65 years and older. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to various emotional and physical problems and reduce a persons ability to function at work and home.
Fortunately, depression is treatable. With appropriate medical treatment, therapy and emotional support, 70 to 80 percent of patients may be cured or at least experience a drastic reduction of their symptoms.
Psycom Explains The Different Types Of Depression From Major Depressive Disorder To Dysthymia Postpartum Depression Seasonal Affective Disorder And More
Depression is more than just feeling sad. Everyone feels low, upset, or unmotivated from time to time, but depression is much more than simply being down in the dumps. Depressive disorder is a mood disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. Signs and symptoms of depression can range from hopelessness and fatigue, to a loss of interest in life, physical pain, and even suicidal thoughts. The DSM-5 definition of depression states that should a person present with these symptoms for a period of two weeks, the individual is experiencing a depressive episode.
There are many different types of depression, some of which are caused by events in your life, and others by chemical changes in the brain. Depression can be thought of as an umbrella term for a variety of disorders, some of which are caused by certain life events or situations, and others by chemical changes in the brain. Whatâs more, while some of the symptoms associated with the various depressive disorders overlap, there are also some key differences.
With the term âdepressionâ encompassing so many types of depression, if you think you might be depressed, you may be asking yourself: what kind of depression do I have?
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Will Someone Who Has Had Depression Get It Again
Having experienced an episode of major depression does put a person at greater risk for future episodes, but not everyone who has recovered from depression will experience it again. Sometimes depression is triggered by a major life event, illness, or a combination of factors particular to a certain place and time. Depression can also occur for no obvious ”reason.” Getting the proper treatment for the correct amount of time is crucial to recovery and in helping prevent or identify any future depression.
When You Should Contact A Doctor
If youre not feeling better 2 weeks postpartum, get in touch with your doctor. While youll be screened for PPD at your 6-week postpartum appointment, you dont have to wait that long. In fact, doing so can make it take longer for your PPD to get better.
After 2 weeks, if youre still experiencing intense feelings, its probably not the baby blues. In some ways, thats good news: It means you can do something about the way you feel. You dont have to wait it out.
When you do ask for help, be as honest as possible. We know its difficult to talk about the negative emotions associated with new parenthood, and it can be scary to reveal just how much youre struggling. However, the more open you are about your PPD, the better and faster your provider will be able to help you.
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Depression Awareness: Understanding The Signs Of Depression
Depression can range from mild to severe and can be brought on by any number of factors. For the most part, symptoms of mild to moderate depression will last for around two to three weeks, and will gradually subside with time. When depression crosses over from moderate to severe, then it typically will become a diagnosable condition such as major depressive disorder or chronic depression.
Having good depression awareness can help stop your mild depression symptoms from becoming severe. It can help you start your path to treatment sooner than later, which is important when dealing with mental illness.
Below are some common signs of depression ranging from mild to severe.
Postpartum Psychosis Risk Factors
The factors increasing the risk of postpartum psychosis include:
- First pregnancy
- History of postpartum psychosis in one or more previous pregnancies
- History of bipolar disorder
- History of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder
- History of a traumatic pregnancy
- Depression during pregnancy
- Recent stressful or adverse life events
- Inadequate social supports
- Family history of bipolar disorder or postpartum psychosis
- Discontinuation of psychiatric medications during pregnancy
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Depression And Physical Conditions
Although the cause of depression is not clear, there are some useful things to remember about depression in relation to physical conditions.
- Depression is more common in people who are known to have certain physical conditions.
- The diagnosis of depression is sometimes confused with some undiagnosed diseases caused by physical conditions.
Recognizing Depression In Grief
Bereavement is not linear. It takes multiple forms at different times in ones life. It is influenced, among other things, by the strength of our attachment to the lost loved one and how central he or she was to our lives. Bereavement never really ends. It ebbs after a while, but can then emerge on birthdays and anniversaries, in certain places, or triggered by something like a special song.
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When Is Ppd An Emergency
Sometimes, you or a loved one should not delay care if the symptoms are severe. If youre worried that you or a loved one could hurt themselves or the baby, there is immediate help available. You can go to the nearest emergency room, call 911, or contact:
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-TALK , which is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
The Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741, which is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
There is also a rare but related condition that some women experience called postpartum psychosis. This condition causes hallucinations, abnormal behavior, racing thoughts, irritability, and confusion. Postpartum psychosis can be more serious than PPD, and people with these symptoms should be evaluated immediately so they do not hurt themselves or those around them.
How Long Depression Lasts Depends On Many Factors
Depression affects everyone differently.
Even though there are a few established symptoms of the condition, not everyone experiences them in the same way.
For some people, depression symptoms are persistent over the years. For others, symptoms will come and go at times.
Some research suggests that the symptoms of clinical depression can last an average of 10 months if no other mental health conditions are present.
But this is not always the case. Because there are different types of depression, symptom duration varies greatly.
For example, a depressive episode caused by mourning might last a few days or weeks and often resolves on its own.
In most cases, however, depression requires the support of a health professional.
There are many types of depression, and the type youre experiencing may impact how long or intense your symptoms are.
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How Can You Determine If An Illness Is Causing Depression Or Depression Is Causing An Illness
Illnesses that can lead to depression are usually major, chronic, and/or terminal. When an illness is causing depression, there is often long-term pain or physical disability present or there is a sudden change in lifestyle.
Depression causes illness in a different way. Like psychological stress, it can weaken the immune system , allowing a person to get more colds or the flu. There is often a notable presence of “aches and pains” with no particular cause. Having depression may also cause the symptoms of another medical illness to last longer and intensify its symptoms, but the true relationship of depression-induced illness, in terms of major disease, has not been thoroughly defined.
It is important to seek the advice of your doctor if you think you or someone you know may have depression. Your primary care doctor is a good place to start. They can screen you for depression and develop a treatment plan to help manage your symptoms.
Understand And Accept Depression
Learning more about depression can help people deal with the condition. Depression is a widespread and genuine mental health disorder. It is not a sign of weakness or a personal shortcoming.
Accepting that a depressive episode may occur from time to time might help people deal with it when it does. Remember, it is possible to manage symptoms with treatments, such as lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy.
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Who Is At High Risk For Depression
Those most at risk for developing depression include women, the elderly, those with a personal or family history of depression, chronic stressors, those with other concurrent mental and physical health conditions, low socioeconomic status, and those taking medications that may cause depression, like birth control or some anxiety medications.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
At least five of the following symptoms must have been present during the same two-week period and at least one of the symptoms must be diminished interest/pleasure or a depressed mood.
- Depressed mood: For children and adolescents, this can also be irritability
- Significant weight change or appetite disturbance: Failure to gain weight in children and weight gain in adults
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Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryAmerican Psychiatric Association Practice GuidelinesPsychiatric TimesAnnals of Clinical PsychiatryJournal of Clinical PsychopharmacologyPediatricsNew England Journal of MedicineAmerican Journal of PsychiatryClinical Child Psychology and PsychiatryInternational Journal of Clinical Experimental HypnosisJournal of Psychiatry and NeuroscienceThe British Journal of PsychiatryBiopsychosocial MedicineJournal of Paediatric Children’s HealthInternational Clinical PsychopharmacologyJournal of the American Medical AssociationAmerican Journal of PsychiatryAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
How Long Do Anxiety Disorders Last
The above list, however, refers to how long a specific attack lasts. The disorders themselves can last the rest of your life or only a few days. Your ability to overcome the anxiety depends a great deal on the help you seek out and your willingness to commit to treatments.
Anxiety attacks tend to be self-sustaining. Suffering from an anxiety attack often causes fear of experiencing an anxiety attack again, and that fear can make your anxiety symptoms worse and trigger another attack. That’s why seeking help is so important.
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Make A Bedtime Routine
Sleep can have a huge impact on mood and mental health. A lack of sleep can contribute to symptoms of depression, and depression can interfere with sleep. To combat these effects, try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even at weekends.
Establish a nightly routine. Start winding down from 8 pm. Sip chamomile tea, read a book, or take a warm bath. Avoid screen time and caffeine. It may also be helpful to write in a journal before bed, especially for those whose racing thoughts keep them up.
Can Depression Go Away On Its Own Without Treatment
Surprisingly, some experts say that it can. For some people, depression is cyclical or seasonal, and they can eventually recover and remit without any specific intervention, says James Murrough, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment at Mount Sinai. “But we also know that treatments like psychotherapy and medications can severely reduce the symptoms and duration of an episode of depression. Many individuals who suffer from depression never seek treatment, and thats why from a public health perspective we want to keep reducing the stigma around it.
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Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression
How often postpartum depression symptoms occur, how long they last, and how intense they feel can be different for each person. The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms for depression, but may also include:
- Crying more often than usual.
- Feelings of anger.
- Feeling numb or disconnected from your baby.
- Worrying that you will hurt the baby.
- Feeling guilty about not being a good mom or doubting your ability to care for the baby.
How Long Can Depression Last If Untreated
How long does it take to get over depression if you dont do anything to improve your situation?
If youre simply playing the waiting game, and not doing anything to get rid of depression on purpose, like deliberately improving youre thinking, then youre hoping to accidentally stop being depressed one day.
For example, youre hoping that one day your situation will change in a way that makes you happy, rather than depressed.
And this could happen. For example, you could meet someone special who inspires you to think more positively about yourself and your life, and in such a way, you could accidentally break free of depression and be happy.
But when you take this approach, how long depression lasts is simply a matter of luck. It could be days, months, or years. Or it could even last your entire life.
And why on earth would you leave depression up to chance, when you can be guaranteed to eliminate depression by improving your thinking and lifestyle?
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What Causes Postpartum Depression
There are many factors that contribute to the development of PPD. These factors tend to be a combination of dramatic hormonal changes that occur during and after pregnancy, the natural challenges of caring for a newborn baby, and some predisposed risk factors that may make PPD more likely.
First, after giving birth, a woman experiences a significant decrease in the amount of estrogen and progesterone in their body. These hormonal changes are expected, but they can often result in significant fluctuations in mood, feelings of sadness or guilt, lack of interest, or even unexplained episodes of crying or anger. Remember: Its not you its the way your brain is reacting to the lack of hormones.
Second, parenting a newborn is naturally a challenging, relentless responsibility, and it can often result in sleep deprivation, anxiety, and financial stress, to name a few of those challenges. It also means you have less time to care for yourself: to exercise, eat a healthy diet, and do the things that normally you enjoy.
All of these factors can really add up, especially for those that have other risk factors for PPD, such as:
A past history of anxiety or depression
Difficulties experienced during pregnancy or childbirth, such as an emergency cesarean section or longer stays in the hospital
Lack of social support
Track Triggers And Symptoms
Keeping track of moods and symptoms might help a person understand what triggers a depressive episode. Spotting the signs of depression early on may help them avoid a full-blown depressive episode.
Use a diary to log important events, changes to daily routines, and moods. Rate moods on a scale of 1 to 10 to help identify which events or activities cause specific responses. See a doctor if symptoms persist for 14 days or more.
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Risk Factors For Recurrent Depressive Episodes
Risk factors for depression can include a combination of genetic and environmental factors as well as personal experiences, like stressful events or trauma.
- Some examples of risk factors for recurrent depressive episodes:
- How old the person was when they had their first depressive episode
- The severity of the first depressive episode
- The presence of other mental health problems
- Family history of depression
- The presence of stressful life events
There is no average duration for major depressive disorder as a whole since every persons experience and response to treatment is different. Depressive events must last at least two weeks to meet the diagnostic criteria to qualify as a depressive episode.
Studies found that the average duration of a major depressive episode is between three or four months, while other research has estimated that the average duration is 6 to 10.7 months.