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Depression is a mood disorder which impacts nearly every area of a person’s life. As many as 21 million American adults in the U.S. have experienced clinical depression within the past year. Clinical depression is different than simply “feeling sad”. Everyone experiences situational depression at some point in their lives. Following the death of a loved one, for example. The difference with clinical depression is that it persists. It doesn’t last a few days or weeks. The clinical form of depression generally remains with a person for life. Some types of depression exhibit cycles (bipolar disorder) others are steady and continuous months or years. The two of the most common types of depression we see at TruHealing Centers are major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can also be divided into several types.
A person with depression often experiences disruption in their daily life due to their symptoms. Many can function as far as looking after themselves and performing in school or work. But they are still unhappy most of the time and find it nearly impossible to enjoy life the way most people do. One of the red flags for a depressive disorder in fact, is losing interest in things which you used to enjoy. Depression can be treated successfully, however. Science has not yet found a cure in the traditional sense, but we do have evidence-based treatments which can substantially improve quality of life. Most forms of depression are almost always manageable with proper diagnosis and the right kind of care. Accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment which the client complies with consistently are the key to getting the upper hand on depressive disorders.
The Major Types of Depression are:
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Psychotic Depression
- Postpartum Depression
- Bipolar I Disorder
- Bipolar II Disorder
- Cyclothymic Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder
Also called major depression, this disorder is characterized by a consistent depressed mood which lasts longer than 2 or 3 weeks. Among its symptoms are general sadness, a loss of interest or apathy and lack of motivation or enthusiasm, even for things the person once found exciting. Sometimes the person experiencing major depression isn’t fully aware of it. This can happen due to them “self-medicating” with drugs or alcohol. It can also happen when the depression develops slowly over time or a person lives with depression so long that they become acclimated to it. Sometimes it takes an outside observer to pick up on the signs and symptoms of major depression and prompt a person to get help
Psychotic depression is a more severe depressive disorder. Psychotic symptoms can be triggered by other disorders or even drug use or sleep deprivation. In the example of psychotic depression, the psychotic features, such as hallucinations (seeing things) or delusions (believing things) are combined with the symptoms of major depression listed above. This is a more challenging form of depression to treat, but with careful diagnosis there are evidence-based methods including psychotherapy as well as pharmacological ones, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics. Electroconvulsive therapy has also been proven very effective for treating psychotic depression.
Postpartum depression or PPD is a specific subtype of depressive disorder which women sometimes experience after pregnancy. PPD still isn’t fully understood but research has found that hormones which trigger the symptoms play an important role. Women suffering from postpartum depression often endure periods of anxiety, sadness and disturbing thoughts. Sleeplessness and irritability are also commonly seen among women with PPD. There are a number of effective treatments for the condition and the long-term prognosis for most women is good.
Bipolar I Disorder
Among the 3 major types of bipolar disorder, Bipolar I is the type most people have heard of, although it isn’t necessarily the most common. A Bipolar I depressive disorder features manic episodes lasting at least a week with depressive episodes which usually last 2 weeks or more in between them. Someone with Bipolar I Disorder usually requires a hospital stay during and/or following a full-blown manic episode. Bipolar I manic behavior is often extreme and erratic making clients with this depressive disorder a danger to themselves or others at times. Medication compliance is the key to managing Bipolar I Disorder properly. When you hear of a Bipolar I client having an episode or running into any sort of trouble, it almost always begins with a deviation from their medication schedule. This is the case with any depressive disorder, but with Bipolar I med compliance is especially important.
Bipolar II Disorder
Bipolar II Disorder is a less well known, probably less common depressive disorder. It can also be quite tricky to diagnose. Depressive and hypomanic episodes are also a feature of Bipolar II Disorder, however they aren’t nearly as extreme. Bipolar II clients don’t exhibit the full-blown manic episodes that Bipolar I clients do. Depressive episodes are also less severe and often last much longer. The more subtle symptoms and long cycles often make Bipolar II Disorder harder to diagnose.
Cyclothymic Disorder (or Cyclothymia) is another less well-known form of bipolar disorder. Cyclothymic Disorder is defined by hypomania as well as depressive episodes which last for at least 2 years. Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder are also less severe than with Bipolar I Disorder. This combined with the very long depressive episodes can make it challenging to diagnose without spending a good amount of time with the client or having an extensively documented history of their depressive disorder.
TruHealing Centers: A Trusted Partner
TruHealing Centers is dedicated to helping people living with depressive disorders. We are also proactive in supplying information and resources to people with mental illness and their families. TruHealing Centers believes that education is an essential part of the solution. Our mission is to help people recover from mental illness and substance use disorders, find and help foster long-term recovery. TruHealing Centers is more than a healthcare provider. We’re a partner for recovery. We are ready to give you or your loved one everything they need for successful recovery. All that’s needed to begin is enough willingness to try.
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If you or a loved one would like more information on dual diagnosis treatment, TruHealing Centers can help. Contact us today to discuss your treatment options with an addiction treatment specialist.
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