While feelings of sadness, loneliness, and despair are a common part of every emotional being, when these feelings are more common than not, it may be a sign of depression. Depression is a very serious mental health condition that needs to be diagnosed as soon as possible. Anyone can be affected by depression, regardless of their background, social status or medical history.
What happens in depression?
Depression is a diverse condition that affects everyone differently. However, the condition is typically characterized by the following:
- The feeling of no pleasure or joy in life
- Concentration or focus becomes harder
- Everything feels hopeless
- Self-esteem is often absent
- Sleeping may be problematic
- Energy levels are low to nonexistent
- Food may not seem appetizing
- Food may be used as a coping tool
- Aches and pains may be present
What are the 7 types of depression?
The 7 types of depression are:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Postpartum Depression (PPD)
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Atypical Depression
What are the criteria for a diagnosis of major depression?
The following criteria are required to make a diagnosis of depression. In order to be diagnosed with major depression, an individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period with at least a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure. The criteria include the following, and are experienced nearly every single day:
- Depressed mood for most of the day
- Significantly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or nearly all, activities for most of the day
- Significant weight gain or weight loss (when not dieting), or increase or decrease in appetite
- A slowing down of thought process and mental function and a reduction of physical movement
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan or intention, an attempt at suicide or a specific plan for committing suicide
What is the primary cause of depression?
There is no one cause for depression, however, the most common causes include:
Family history — People that have a family history of depression or another mood disorder are at a higher risk for developing depression.
Early childhood trauma — Some events affect how the body reacts to fear and stressful situations and can cause certain events or actions to trigger depression.
Brain structure — If the frontal lobe of the brain is less active, there is a greater risk for depression. However, it is still unclear if this occurs before or after the onset of depressive symptoms.
Medical conditions — Certain conditions may increase the risk of developing depression, such as chronic pain, insomnia, chronic illness, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Drug use — A history of drug or alcohol misuse can affect the risk of developing depression, which affects about 21 percent of people who have a substance use problem.
Other risk factors for depression include:
- Low self-esteem or being self-critical
- Personal history of mental illness
- Certain medications
Stressful events, such as:
- Loss of a loved one
- Economic problems
- Relationship problems, including divorce
If you or someone you love is experiencing recurrent symptoms of depression, do not let it go ignored. Trust the medical professionals at Advanced Psych Care to help you address your mental health concerns in a caring and compassionate manner. Call us today to book an appointment. Serving patients in Atkinson, Windham, Plaistow, Pelham, and Hampstead, NH. We look forward to serving you!