Depression is a common and serious mood disorder. It can cause severe symptoms that can affect how someone feels, thinks, and how they handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, and/or working. There are different forms of depression and they are all slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances. For the sake of the length of this article, we will only discuss three types of depression.
First, let’s talk about Persistent Depressive Disorder. This can be described as a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. Someone suffering from this disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms. Next, let’s talk about Postpartum Depression. Women may experience this during and/or after pregnancy. Women who suffer from this disorder may experience full-blown major depression. This may entail feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion. These symptoms may make it difficult to complete daily care tasks for themselves and/or for their babies. The last type of depression is Seasonal Affective Disorder. This disorder typically takes place during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lessens during the spring and summer months. Winter depression can usually be accompanied with social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain. (NIMH.nih.gov).
Not everyone who is experiencing depression will have every symptom, and depression looks different on everyone. If you or someone you know is experiencing some of the following symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, or at least for the two weeks, you may be suffering from depression. A few (but not limited to) symptoms may be, persistent sad, anxious or empty mood, irritability, feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness, decreased energy or fatigue, difficulty sleeping, appetite and/or weight changes, and lastly, aches or pains. Again, not everyone will have every symptom and depression looks different of everyone. The severity and frequency of symptoms and how long they last will vary depending on the individual.
Depression can be treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Antidepressants are medicines that treat depression, they may help improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that control mood or stress. Some individuals may need to try several different antidepressants before finding the right one. Several types of psychotherapy, such as evidence based approaches, may help lessen the symptoms of depression. Some types of these therapies may be, cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy. Everyone is different in the type of treatment that will work for them.