What Are the Common Symptoms of Depression?
The symptoms of depression can vary based on a variety of factors including age, gender, and experiences. Typically the symptoms of depression are present daily, for the majority of the day, every day, for a long period. Symptoms of depression can include:
- Being irritable, anxious and quickly angered
- Difficulty in making decisions, concentrating and focusing
- Negative feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Feeling extremely sad, empty or hopeless
- No longer being interested in things you used to enjoy
- Issues falling or staying asleep
- Feeling tired throughout the day
- Changes in appetite (Either an increase or decrease)
- Inability to complete everyday tasks without extreme difficulty
What Are The Risk Factors of Depression?
Depression can have a combination of causes or risk factors. Some common causes of depression can include:
- Witnessing a stressful event such as declining health or the death of a loved one
- Having a chronic illness such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes
- Experiencing a traumatic event such as divorce, war, loss of a job, a severe accident or natural disaster
- Exposure to reoccurring abuse in a relationship or environment
- Genetic predisposition through blood relatives with depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental health issues
- Abuse of or addiction to drugs and alcohol
- Having low self-esteem
- Side effects from taking certain types of medications
- Brain chemistry and hormones
What Are The 9 Common Types of Depression?
- 1. Major Depression
- Referred to as Clinical Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, this is one of the most common mental disorders experienced by Americans. It is marked by an ongoing, consistent depressed mood that impacts a person’s life from day today. Symptoms are felt nearly every day for two weeks or longer.
- 2. Persistent Depression
- Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder is characterized by depression that lasts for years and has a major effect on daily life. It is considered not as severe as major depression but it lasts longer and can lead to Major Depressive Disorder. People with Persistent Depressive Disorder feel sadness even during happy occasions and may be labeled as pessimistic though their behavior is due to their disorder.
- 3. Bipolar Disorder
- Formerly known as Manic-Depressive Illness or Manic Depression, Bipolar Disorder is marked by extreme swings in moods, energy, and sleep. People with Bipolar Disorder can have depressive episodes that include thoughts of suicide and feelings of emptiness. These feelings of depression are interrupted by episodes of mania that can last for days which can include racing thoughts and speech, risky behavior, and hallucinations. Symptoms can appear as little as a few times a year or be experienced weekly.
- 4. Depressive Psychosis / Psychotic Depression
- A person with psychotic depression will experience symptoms including hallucinations, delusional ideas, and believe they are seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
- 5. Perinatal Depression / Postpartum Depression
- Following childbirth, many women experience symptoms of depression. The symptoms are attributed to an extreme change in hormones. While this is typical for many new mothers, a percentage will experience more severe symptoms known as postpartum depression (PPD) or more commonly called “baby blues.” Symptoms can occur right after the baby's birth or be delayed for months. Symptoms can be experienced up to the first year of the baby’s life.
- 6. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
- Known more simply as PMDD, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder affects about 5% of women and is manifested as a pattern of troublesome symptoms that surface 7-10 days before menstruation and then disappear until the next menstrual cycle. In addition to typical depression symptoms, women with PMDD also experience binging, food cravings, panic attacks, cramps, and bloating.
- 7. Seasonal Depression
- Seasonal Depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is triggered by the changing of the seasons. When symptoms are experienced during summer months, it is often referred to as Summer SAD. It may be related to too much sun affecting melatonin production. Seasonal Affective Disorder can also be present in the wintertime due to the weather becoming cold, a reduction of daylight, and feeling isolated inside. This is sometimes referred to as the winter blues.
- 8. Situational Depression
- Situational Depression is developed after the experience of a stressful or traumatic event. It is short-term and can be triggered, for example, by the death of a loved one, moving, or relationship issues.
- 9. Atypical Depression
- With Atypical Depression the symptoms of depression can come and go. Feelings of happiness can be experienced and can come and go. People with Atypical Depression may experience other symptoms in addition to those typically associated with depression including a heaviness in their arms or legs, eating disorders, and sensitivity to rejection and criticism.
What Are the Physical Effects of Depression on the Body?
The effects of depression do not only impact the brain and a person's mood. It is not uncommon for people to also experience the physical effects of major depression on their bodies as well. The most typical physical symptoms correlated with depression include:
- Low energy levels and chronic fatigue
- Irregularities with sleep including oversleeping and difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
- Digestive problems including diarrhea, nausea, and constipation
- Increased overall body pain and aches including back pain, stomach pain, and muscle pain
- Headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness
- Decreased or increased appetite that leads to weight gain or loss
- Agitation or restlessness
- A decreased interest in sex
How Can Depression Cause Physical Symptoms?
People with depression have a decreased amount of serotonin (which is related to happiness) and an increase of cortisol and adrenaline (which are stress hormones released in fight or flight situations). As a result, their body is in an alarming state which can trigger irritability and mood swings. Overall the body does not work as normal which can lead to a domino effect of issues. A person with major depression may feel like the cycle is impossible to break.
For instance, a person may have trouble sleeping if they are worried and anxious. That can lead to fatigue, poor concentration, and disruption of their circadian rhythm. That can, in turn, affect appetite and lead to an array of other health issues including obesity and diabetes.
How Do You Know if You Have Depression?
The first step to getting help is to find out if you have depression. If you’ve read the depression symptoms and risk factors listed above, and feel that many of these apply to you, try filling out and submitting our Depression Test. Once submitted, your information will be reviewed by our experts at MidValley Healthcare to help determine if you are at risk for depression.
Is Depression Linked to Addiction?
About 20 % of Americans with a mood disorder, such as depression, also have an addiction disorder, and about 20 % of those with an addiction also have an anxiety or mood disorder, the ADAA(Anxiety and Depression Association of America) reports. Studies show that people with depression have lower pain tolerance since their brain is not functioning as normal. That can lead to a cascade of chronic pain issues in which a person may begin to self medicate. Dopamine levels are also found to be reduced in people with chronic depression, so they often increase doses and decrease the time between doses to relieve pain and feel good. In this instance, depression can lead to addiction through self-medication.
Does Depression Go Away?
Unfortunately, Depression is a medical condition that requires treatment. Depression does not go away on its own. The good news is that there are several treatment options available for Depression.
What Options Are Available For Depression Treatment?
Professional Care Methods to Managing Depression
By beginning the professional treatment of depression as soon as possible, you can increase the chances of a better outcome. At MidValley Healthcare in the Boise area, we believe that no two patients are affected by depression in the same way. That’s why we work with our patients to find the right path for them. We can treat even the most severe cases of depression by using a combination of treatment modalities including:
- Psychotherapy, also referred to as “talk therapy” or “counseling”, is the treatment of a mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means. At MidValley Healthcare we pair counseling with other types of therapy such as individual counseling, group therapy, or/and TMS therapy when treating depression. Adding psychotherapy to a patient’s treatment plan not only adds to their support network but it also gives patients the ability to problem solve in a safe, neutral, non-judgmental environment. In our counseling sessions, patients develop skills such as Mindfulness and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).
- Psychoeducational therapies refer to the process of teaching people the skills needed to break the cycles of mental health. Our Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) offer several different types of psychoeducational therapies such as Coping, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). You never have too much support in your journey to recovery.
- Medication Management
- Depression can be debilitating. Medication therapy with antidepressants is a popular treatment choice for those suffering from depression. Antidepressants may not cure depression, but they can reduce your symptoms. When paired with other types of therapy such as counseling, group therapy, or TMS therapy recovery from depression is possible.
- Antidepressants relieve depression by affecting certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are all neurotransmitters associated with depression. The effects of each type (class) of antidepressants vary slightly. Therefore, it may take trying a few different ones before the correct one for you is determined.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
- Over 350 million people in the world suffer from depression and are not getting the treatment they need to maintain daily life. Many people have tried multiple antidepressant medications that have failed. For these adult individuals, NeuroStar® TMS could be a viable solution. It is the #1 TMS choice prescribed by doctors. NeuroStar® is an FDA-cleared, non-drug, non-invasive method for treating depression with no systemic side effects.
- TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation uses targeted magnetic fields to stimulate areas of your brain that are underactive and provide relief from major depressive disorders. TMS is a proven, safe, and effective treatment. A typical course of TMS treatment consists of daily therapies five days a week for four to six weeks. Sessions can be completed in as little as 19 minutes. No anesthesia or sedation is required, and patients are awake during the treatment.
Self Care Methods to Managing Depression
In addition to getting professional care to treat depression, you can practice healthy self-care by:
Contact MidValley Healthcare for Help with Depression
The ramifications of depression can be debilitating both physically and mentally. If you are concerned about someone you love or feel that you may have depression, MidValley Healthcare can help. We understand that life can be complicated and strive to assist people with getting the help they need to discover a better quality of life.
MidValley Healthcare offers services for behavioral health and related treatments. We can also provide treatment with transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy for Major Depressive Disorder. Recovery from depression is possible. To make an appointment or learn more, give us a call today at (208) 888-5848 or submit our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing how we can help you find happiness again.