Learn more about depression treatment options at Northlake Behavioral Health.
Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder that affects how someone thinks and feels including low mood, loss of interests, and lack of feelings or pleasures of certain activities. Depression can impact activities of daily living including work and family life. When someone experiences depressive symptoms for at least two weeks, this can be a sign of major depression.
Types of Depression
There are several types of depression, each stemming from different circumstances. The most common forms are:
Major depressive disorder
Major depressive disorder, or clinical depression, is when an individual experiences symptoms for at least two weeks. Causes can either be genetic or come from life circumstances such as tragedy or trauma.
Persistent depressive disorder
Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, is a longer lasting depression typically lasting two or more years. Persistent depressive disorder can often go undiagnosed as people who suffer from persistent depressive disorder may believe depression is part of their character and are not aware treatment is an option.
Postpartum depression can occur during or after pregnancy. This form of depression is separate from “baby blues” which is the least severe form of depression that goes away within two weeks. Postpartum depression is when a someone suffers from major depressive symptoms that can also affect how the mother can take care of their newborn.
Psychotic depression is when someone experiences major depression along with delusional thinking or hallucinations. Psychotic depression often requires hospitalization.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression where an individual experiences the symptoms of depression at the same time every year. Usually seasonal affective disorder occurs during the winter months because there is less sunlight and colder weather.
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in eating behaviors
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities
- Low energy
- Sleep problems
- Social withdrawal
- Thoughts of self-harm
Causes and Risk Factors
Certain causes and risk factors of depression include:
- Family history of depression or other mood disorders
- History of substance abuse
- Traumatic life events including a loss of a loved one
Depression can be treated. A licensed clinician will determine the best treatment options for you. Treatments for depression include:
- Medication Management: A licensed clinician can prescribe medication to manage the symptoms of depression.
- Therapy: Therapy and counseling can help treat depression. There are several different types of therapy and a licensed clinician will identify which are the most effective for you.