Major Or Clinical Depression
Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate and is characterized by severe, relentless symptoms.
- Left untreated, major depressive disorder typically lasts for about six months.
- Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.
Significant Changes In Eating Or Sleeping Patterns
Changes in appetite are common for people with depression. Many people will either use food to repress emotions or increase serotonin. Others sometimes feel complete displeasure from food or have little energy to prepare and consume a meal.
Similarly, oversleeping or under-sleeping can be a symptom of depression. Oversleeping can be due to increased intrusive emotions causing extreme fatigue, whereas under-sleeping can be caused by hyperarousal and stress leading to disrupted sleep patterns.
What Are The Different Types Of Depression
You might have heard a number of terms used to describe depression. In this section, we explain what some of these terms mean.
What is clinical depression?
Clinical depression is a common term, but it is not a formal diagnosis. People sometimes say clinical diagnosis to just mean they have been diagnosed by a doctor.
What is a depressive episode?
Your doctor might say that you are going through a ‘depressive episode’. This is the formal name that doctors give depression when they make a diagnosis. They may say that you are going through a ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ episode.
What is recurrent depressive disorder?
If you have had repeated episodes of depression, your doctor might say that you have recurrent depressive disorder. They may say that your current episode is ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’.
What is reactive depression?
If your doctor thinks that your episode of depression was caused by particular stressful events in your life, they may say that it is reactive. For example, divorce, job or money worries. This is sometimes separated from an adjustment disorder, where you may struggle with some symptoms of depression because of adapting to a major change in your life. Such as separation from people, retirement or migrating to a new area.
What is a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms?
You can find more information about Psychosis by clicking here.
What is dysthymia?
What is cyclothymia?
What is postnatal depression?
What is manic depression?
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Everyday Signs Of Depression
If youve been having symptoms like low mood, loss of interest, and sleep issues for most of the day for more than 2 weeks, you may be dealing with depression.
While two people diagnosed with the same type of depression wont have exactly the same symptoms, there are several depression symptoms that are common.
Here are 10 of the most prevalent :
1. Persistent low mood
Many of us feel down from time to time, but when this feeling just wont go away, it may mean youre experiencing depression.
Sometimes, people with depression describe themselves as feeling numb or flatlined. They may have difficulty mustering up an emotional response to things that happen to them whether good or bad.
2. Loss of interest or pleasure in things you once enjoyed
Whats the point? and Why bother? are phrases you might say describe your mood for a few weeks straight. Work, social activities, and even simple household chores may seem pointless to you.
Maybe you typically love to do DIY projects or enjoy going to the local coffee shop with friends on the weekends. But if you have depression, these things might not appeal to you suddenly. You may find it challenging to muster up the energy to do them, or just dont have the desire.
3. Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness
4. Loss of sex drive
7. Trouble sleeping
Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
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When To Seek Professional Help
If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent enough, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including:
Therapy. Consulting a therapist can provide you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles and motivate you to take the action necessary. Therapy can also offer you the skills and insight to prevent the problem from coming back.
Atypical Depression: Whats in a Name? Article on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of atypical depression.
Depression and Other Illnesses An overview of the mental and physical illnesses that often co-exist with depression, and how this impacts treatment.
Depression support & suicide prevention help
India: Call the Vandrevala Foundation Helpline at 1860 2662 345 or 1800 2333 330
Suicide prevention help
In the U.S.: Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
UK and Ireland: Call Samaritans UK at 116 123
Australia: Call Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14
When To Get Help
It is important not to ignore signs of depression, particularly if they seem to be getting worse. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible is recommended.
Depression is considered a treatable condition. For information on depression tests, diagnosis and treatment, including psychotherapy and antidepressant medication, see the resource on depressive episodes.
If a person shows signs of crisis â obvious indicators that they are strongly affected by depression or at risk of suicide â it is important to
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Here Assessments Will Review Your Previous Personal Family And Medical History Of:
- drug and alcohol abuse
- comorbidities such as anxiety, obesity and diabetes,
- Specifiers such as psychosis or suicidality
- vulnerability factors
In any case where you or a loved one is struggling with major symptoms of depression, suicidal ideation, or unexplained changes in behavior, personality, social, or eating and sleeping habits, contact your doctor. Your general practitioner will be able to recommend you for a formal diagnosis, which you can use to both rule out the chances of symptoms being related to a physical disorder and to ensure you can seek out appropriate mental health treatment.
The Gooden Wellness Center is a mental health treatment facility offering evidence-based treatment programs, including dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, family therapy, and a full range of complementary therapies designed to tackle every part of depression and its causes. We employ licensed therapists and counselors, who are fully qualified to assess your mental illness. However, we cannot offer a clinical diagnosis, which must be provided by your doctor, a psychiatrist, or a psychologist. In most cases, you need a clinical diagnosis to receive reimbursement from your insurance.
At the Gooden Wellness Center, we offer support for both, with a holistic program designed to treat every aspect affecting depression. Contact us today at for a free assessment, or a free tour of our residential mental wellness facility in Pasadena.
Depression: What You Need To Know As You Age
If youre one of the more than 14.8 million American adults who experiences major depression, you may feel so bad that you cant get out of bed, be around the people you love or participate in activities that you usually enjoy. Actually, there are more than 50 different symptoms of major depression, ranging from the well-knowncrying and sadnessto those you might never associate with depression, such as anger, workaholism and back pain.
Depression is a disease that affects every aspect of a persons life, not just mood, says Johns Hopkins expert Andrew Angelino, M.D., Chair of Psychiatry at Howard County General Hospital. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second-leading cause of disability in the world, just behind cardiovascular disease.
People who are depressed are far more likely to have other chronic medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, back problems, arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and to have worse outcomes. Untreated depression can even affect your immune response to some vaccines.
Depression is not just debilitating it can be deadly. An estimated one out of five people with depression will attempt suicide at some point.
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What Risks And Complications Can Depression Cause
Having depression can cause other problems. It can affect your mental health as well as your physical health, and it may affect other areas of your life too. For example, depression may cause:
- disturbed sleep,
- difficulties with work and your hobbies,
- difficulties keeping contact with friends and families, or
- suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harming.
Some people might also drink more alcohol to try and relieve depression. However, as we said in the previous section above, this can actually make depression worse.
If you have any of these problems, speak to your GP.
Ways To Identify The Conditions
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, one place to start is to speak with your primary care doctor. They can do an initial screening and may look for medical conditions that could be contributing to your symptoms. You will likely then be referred to a mental health professional for an official clinical diagnosis.
The mental health professional will use the standard reference manual for diagnosing recognized mental illnesses in the United States, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition .
The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for depression and each anxiety disorder are different. A diagnosis might be harder to make when anxiety and depression overlap.
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Difficulty Concentrating Remembering And Making Decisions
Depression can interfere with a persons cognitive abilities. They may have trouble focusing or concentrating on personal or professional matters. They may also struggle to make decisions, including small, everyday choices.
People with depression may also find that they cannot remember things as well as they did previously. They may forget appointments or commitments and might not recall things that they said or did recently.
When Should I Seek Help
Talking with a mental health counselor or doctor can help prevent things from getting worse, especially if your symptoms stay for any length of time.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, get help right away.
It’s important to understand that feeling depressed doesn’t mean you have depression. That condition involves not only changes in mood, but also changes in sleep, energy, appetite, concentration, and motivation.
If you have physical symptoms like these and find yourself feeling depressed much of the time for days or weeks, see your doctor.
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Common Symptoms Of Depression
Symptoms of depression can vary. They may manifest themselves differently from person to person. However, for most people, depression symptoms affect their ability to perform daily activities, interact with others, or go to work or go to school. If you suffer from depression you may often experience several of the following:
Overeating And Weight Gain
Some people may eat more when they are depressed. Food can become a comfort mechanism for negative feelings or a way to deal with boredom or being alone.
Depression can make it difficult for people to feel motivated to get outside or exercise. Combined with an increase in food intake, this can lead to weight gain.
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Depression Is Different From Sadness Or Grief/bereavement
The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being depressed.
But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:
- In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest are decreased for most of two weeks.
- In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
- In grief, thoughts of death may surface when thinking of or fantasizing about joining the deceased loved one. In major depression, thoughts are focused on ending ones life due to feeling worthless or undeserving of living or being unable to cope with the pain of depression.
Grief and depression can co-exist For some people, the death of a loved one, losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression. When grief and depression co-occur, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression.
Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do
Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:
- Try to be active and exercise.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
- Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
- Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Continue to educate yourself about depression.
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Risk Factors That Can Make You More Vulnerable
Depression most often results from a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. Those factors combined could then trigger depression.
The following are examples of risk factors that can make you more susceptible:
Loneliness and isolation. Theres a strong relationship between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk, but having depression can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems alone.
. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for depression.
Recent stressful life experiences. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing depression.
Chronic illness or pain. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
Signs Of A Bipolar Depressive Episode
Previously known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a condition that can cause extreme shifts in mood. A person may experience periods of deep depression, where they feel very low, and periods of mania, where they feel very high. When a person with bipolar disorder is experiencing a depressive phase, they may have many of the signs of depression detailed above.
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Signs Of Depression In Children
Younger children can also experience depression. However, because their behavior may change as they go through different childhood stages, and because they may exhibit different signs of depression compared to adults, it can be difficult for caregivers to recognize that a child is depressed.
Signs of depression in children may include:
- Clinging to caregivers
- Experimenting with alcohol or drugs
- Displaying a lack of care for things they used to value highly
Other more typical signs of depression in adults, such as sleep disturbances, tiredness, changes in appetite and loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable, may be less commonly present in children with depression.
The symptoms of depression may interfere with the childâs ability to partake in social activities, complete schoolwork and enjoy family life.If a caregiver notices that their childâs behavior and day-to-day functioning has changed significantly, it is recommended that they speak to a healthcare professional.
Like people of other age groups, children can show signs of suicidal thoughts or actions. If a caregiver suspects that a child is at risk of harm, they should contact a healthcare professional or suicide prevention helpline immediately.
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