What Are The Different Types Of Depression
Two common forms of depression are:
- Major depression, which includes symptoms of depression most of the time for at least 2 weeks that typically interfere with ones ability to work, sleep, study, and eat.
- Persistent depressive disorder , which often includes less severe symptoms of depression that last much longer, typically for at least 2 years.
Other forms of depression include:
- Perinatal depression, which occurs when a woman experiences major depression during pregnancy or after delivery .
- Seasonal affective disorder, which comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in late fall and early winter and going away during spring and summer.
- Depression with symptoms of psychosis, which is a severe form of depression where a person experiences psychosis symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations .
Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder also experience depression.
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.
Depression In People With Dementia
Depression is common in people with Alzheimers and related dementias. Dementia can cause some of the same symptoms as depression, and depression can be an early warning sign of possible dementia. Suicide attempts may also increase in people recently diagnosed with dementia. It is important to have support systems in place to help cope with a dementia diagnosis and possible depression symptoms that follow. More research is needed to determine effective depression treatment options for people with dementia.
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How Do Antidepressants Work
The most common antidepressant medications for children are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . These medications increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that can help increase feelings of happiness and well-being.
Use extra caution with antidepressants in children. Some children show no improvement with the medications, or may even feel more depressed. If a healthcare provider recommends antidepressants, watch your childs condition closely. Never allow your child to stop taking antidepressants suddenly. Doing so can cause serious side effects or make depression worse.
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Depression And Older Adults
Feeling down every once in a while is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last a few weeks or months, you may have depression. Read this article to find common signs and symptoms of depression, treatment options, and if you or your loved one may be at risk for depression.
On this page:
How To Ask For Help
Depression is a true medical condition, just like diabetes or high blood pressure, and as such, it can be treated and managed. Unfortunately, Garza knows that may not be common knowledge and acknowledges that there may still be a stigma regarding mental health and seeking help.
It is OK to not be OK, Garza stresses. A common myth about mental health, in general, is that a person is either mentally well or not well. Being well is more of a continual experience and may be impacted by emotional problems, changes in relationships or health, and external stressors. The same is true for aging and mental wellness.
If you find yourself struggling with any of the symptoms listed above, or know someone who may be struggling, be open to conversations. If youre worried about what to say in response to someone who opens up to you about the way theyve been feeling lately, know that sometimes just lending an ear may be all someone needs at the time.
A willingness to listen more and talk less can be very helpful and therapeutic for someone needing help, Garza explains. But it is ok to ask questions and provide support when someone is in need.
Treatment can look different for everyone, from individual and group therapy to inpatient and outpatient services.
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Is It An Inevitable Fact Or Transformative Opening
Posted October 22, 2012
In a spiritually sensitive culture, it might well be that age is something to be admired or envied. – Rowan D. Williams
Major Depression is a brain disorder. A terrible condition that can strike at any age yet, it is estimated that there are seven million older adults with depression in the U.S. An added five million have whats known as a subsyndromal depressionmeaning they have depression symptoms but dont meet enough official criteria to get the diagnosis. What that means is that there are an awful lot of people in what ought to be the golden years of life dealing with dreadful sad and nervous moods and/or having sleep and energy difficulties, losing desire or pleasure in even basic things such as eating and being with others, dealing with increased aches and pains, and having awful thoughts about life and themselves.
In the midst of all the symptoms of this insidious illness, there lies something that may be equally disturbing. It may or may not surprise you to hear that at the core of all depressions are psychological issues that are common to practically everyone as we get older. Ill explain.
Children can totally immerse themselves in a fantasy world. Even as they grow up and into young adulthood, they can still live in a form of fantasythat their lives will last forever. Even the first inklings of Oh my gosh, Im turning 30, can be easily distracted from at that age.
Talking With Friends And Family About Suicide
Its important to watch for signs and symptoms of depression or suicide. Dont shy away from asking if a family member or friend is feeling depressed or suicidal. It may be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is important. Asking if someone is having thoughts of suicide will not make them more likely to act on those thoughts. Your questions may help the person open up about how theyve been feeling and encourage them to seek treatment.
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Should I Worry That My Child Will Commit Suicide
National surveys from the government show the overall risk. In 2019, for example, nearly 9% of high school students attempted suicide at least once over the course of a year. Thinking about suicide also continued to rise from previous years . Although less common, young children do attempt suicide as well.
Watch your child closely for the warning signs of suicidal behavior, including:
- Focus on death and dying.
- Giving away possessions.
- Combination of the two.
Medication And Older Adults
As you get older, body changes can affect the way medicines are absorbed and used. Because of these changes, there can be a larger risk of drug interactions among older adults. Share information about all medications and supplements youre taking with your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this worksheet to help track your medications.
Treatment, particularly a combination of psychotherapy and medications, has been shown to be effective for older adults. However, not all medications or therapies will be right for everyone. Treatment choices differ for each person, and sometimes multiple treatments must be tried in order to find one that works. It is important to tell your doctor if your current treatment plan isnt working and to keep trying to find something that does.
Some people may try complementary health approaches, like yoga, to improve well-being and cope with stress. However, there is little evidence to suggest that these approaches, on their own, can successfully treat depression. While they can be used in combination with other treatments prescribed by a persons doctor, they should not replace medical treatment. Talk with your doctor about what treatment might be good to try.
Dont avoid getting help because you dont know how much treatment will cost. Treatment for depression is usually covered by private insurance and Medicare. Also, some community mental health centers may offer treatment based on a persons ability to pay.
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Data Source And Methods
Data from the 2019 National Health Interview Survey data were used for this analysis. NHIS is a nationally representative multipurpose health survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population. It is conducted continuously throughout the year by the National Center for Health Statistics . Interviews are conducted in the respondents home, but follow-ups to complete interviews may be conducted by telephone when necessary. For more information about NHIS, visit:
Point estimates and the corresponding variances were calculated using SAS-callable SUDAAN version 11.0 to account for the complex sample design of NHIS. Linear, quadratic, and cubic trends by age were evaluated using orthogonal polynomials in logistic regression. Differences between percentages were evaluated using two-sided significance tests at the 0.05 level. All estimates presented meet NCHS data presentation standards for proportions .
Medical Treatments For Depression
If you’re experiencing moderate to severe depression your doctor may prescribe antidepressant medication, along with psychological treatments. Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed when other treatments have not been successful or when psychological treatments aren’t possible due to the severity of the condition or a lack of access to the treatment.
Electroconvulsive therapy is sometimes recommended for people with severe, life threatening depression that has not responded to psychological therapy or medication. ECT can only be provided by psychiatrists and in specialist facilities.
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Recognising The Real Problem
Your mental health is often mixed in with other issues, such as loneliness and the physical and mental changes that come with age. This can make it harder to notice changes in your thoughts , feelings and behaviour. Signs of depression and anxiety can often be confused with just getting older.
If you know about the more common symptoms of depression and anxiety that older people and kaumtua may experience, it will help you recognise whats really going on. How you feel can change from day to day. This means that you need to look for changes that have affected you for two weeks or more.
Changes common in older people include:
- withdrawing from friends and whnau
- weight and appetite loss.
If you recognise any of these changes, take action. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start enjoying life again!
Talking to your doctor about it will be a big help. It’s best to see your regular doctor or someone in the same clinic, so that they have a full picture of your overall health and any other medical conditions. You may find that side effects from medications, chronic pain, or lots of hospital visits are adding to the problem.
If youre drinking alcohol, and/or using recreational drugs, it may be making your medicine stronger or weaker, or making its side effects worse. The alcohol or drugs themselves could be affecting your mood.
What Are The Treatment Options
Treatment options for children with depression are similar to those for adults, including psychotherapy and medication. Your child’s doctor may suggest psychotherapy first and consider antidepressant medicine as an option if there is no significant improvement. The best studies to date show that a combination of psychotherapy and medication is most effective at treating depression.
But studies do show that the antidepressant fluoxetine is effective in treating depression in children and teens. The drug is officially recognized by the FDA for treatment of children ages 8 to 18 with depression.
Most medications used to treat depression in children have a black box warning about the possibility of increasing suicidal thoughts. It is important to start and monitor these medications under the care of a trained professional and talk with them about the potential risks and benefits for your child.
Treating children who have bipolar disorder
Children with bipolar disorder are usually treated with psychotherapy and a combination of medicines, usually an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer.
Antidepressants need to be used with caution, as they can trigger bouts of manic or hyperactive behavior in children with bipolar disorder. Managing a child’s medication must be part of an overall care plan that includes therapy and routine primary care appointments.
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Can Depression In Children Be Prevented
Children with a family history of depression are also at higher risk of depression. Children who have parents with depression tend to have their first episode of depression earlier than children whose parents donât have the condition. Children from chaotic or conflicted families, or children and teens who abuse substances like alcohol and drugs, are also at greater risk of depression.
Medical Conditions That Can Cause Elderly Depression
Its important to be aware that medical problems can cause depression in older adults and the elderly, either directly or as a psychological reaction to the illness. Any chronic medical condition, particularly if it is painful, disabling, or life-threatening, can lead to depression or make your depression symptoms worse.
- Multiple sclerosis
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Depression In Children: Warning Signs
Parents should be particularly vigilant for signs that may indicate that their child is at risk for suicide.
Warning signs of suicidal behavior in children include:
- Many depressive symptoms
- Social isolation, including isolation from the family
- Talk of suicide, hopelessness, or helplessness
- Increased acting-out of undesirable behaviors
- Increased risk-taking behaviors
- Focus on morbid and negative themes
- Talk about death and dying
- Increased crying or reduced emotional expression
- Giving away possessions
If you suspect that your child or teenager is depressed, take the time to listen to their concerns. Even if you don’t think the problem is of real concern, remember that it may feel very real to them. Itâs important to keep the lines of communication open, even if your child seems to want to withdraw. Try to avoid telling your child what to do. Instead, listen closely and you may discover more about the issues causing the problems.
If you feel overwhelmed or unable to reach your child, or if you continue to be concerned, seek professional help.
The Biggest Temptation While Depressed Is To Shut Yourself In Your Room And Wallow In The Darkness
Dont. Drag yourself out to gatherings. Text a friend. Ask to hang, or even just talk. Humans are social animals and shutting ourselves out from human contact is keeping us from an essential part of mental health. Being around people will make you feel less isolated and more loved. Talk, share your problems, and get help.
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How Can Treatment Help
Parents should take child symptoms very seriously, said Jonathan Comer, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Florida International University. In serious forms it snowballs with time, and earlier onset is associated with worse outcomes across the life span.
In a 2016 longitudinal study, Dr. Kovacs and her colleagues traced the course of depression starting in childhood, and found recurrent episodes in later life.
So if you see changes like withdrawal from activities, irritability or sadness, fatigue, or sleep disturbances that persist for two weeks, consider having the child evaluated by someone who is familiar with mental health issues in children of that age. Start with your pediatrician, who will know about resources available in your area.
Parents should insist on a comprehensive mental health evaluation, Dr. Busman said, including gathering history from the parent, spending time with the child and talking to the school. An evaluation should include questions about symptoms of depression as well as looking for other problems, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety, which may be at the root of the childs distress.
As much as possible, parents should try to keep children going outside, taking walks, even playing outdoor games, even if they are less enthusiastic about their usual activities. As with adults, physical exercise has both mental and biological benefits as do fresh air and sunshine.