Things You Should Know about Depression
If you’re one of the 19.4 million adults across the United States who have struggled with depression, then you know that it’s a condition that can have a vast impact on your mood and ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Depression is one of the most common mental health challenges and can display a variety of different signs and symptoms depending on the individual who is experiencing it. Read on to learn more about depression, diagnosis, treatment options, moving through the daily challenges, and why seeking support through in-person or online depression therapy is a great way to find the help you need.
What Is Depression?
The term depression can often be a challenge in itself to navigate. While most people will go through brief stints in their lives of intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or loneliness, the medical condition of depression can bring forward an intensified version of these feelings for an extended period of time, and severely impact one’s day-to-day functions.
Depression can also impact one’s memory, sleep and eating habits, and other cognitive processes. A diagnosis of depression means that an individual has been experiencing these intense symptoms for a minimum of 2 weeks, while also displaying other signs of depression such as loss of interest in regular activities, feelings of hopelessness, and withdrawal from others.
There are many signs and symptoms of depression, and while those listed above are some of the most common, there is no hard and fast checklist for the type of symptoms that someone may be exhibiting.
Depression is a condition that it’s extremely important to address in a healthy and productive way. Without treatment, depression can become more severe, and even lead to cases of self-harm or suicide. Because it is one of the most common mental health challenges that impact our society, there is a wide variety of treatment options that are proven to be effective in helping individuals with depression live healthy and meaningful lives.
Types of Depression
While we may all be familiar with the overall label of depression, in actuality, there are many different types of depression that can result in similar symptoms. Some of the more widely known forms of depression include the following:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): This is also referred to as clinical depression, and results in depression symptoms that interfere with everyday life and last 2 weeks or longer.
- Perinatal and Postpartum Depression: This form of depression can occur during pregnancy or up to 1 year after having birth and result in major depression symptoms. This form of depression is more extreme than what many might see as the typical minor sadness or stress which can be common after birth, and treatment for this form of depression is extremely important.
- Bipolar Depression: For those living with bipolar disorder, there is often extreme fluctuation between periods of manic high energy, and crashes down to extreme low moods. During these crash periods, depression symptoms such as low energy, overwhelming sadness, and feelings of hopelessness can be common.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PDD): This is a severe form of Premenstrual Disorder (PMS) and can result in depression symptoms that occur in the days and weeks before a woman’s menstrual period.
- Psychotic Depression: This form of depression results in severe depression symptoms along with delusions or hallucinations that are characteristic of psychotic episodes.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Also known as seasonal depression, this display of depression symptoms is usually time-bound and begins in late fall to early winter lasting until the spring or summer.
Causes of Depression
There are several different factors that can cause depression, and oftentimes causes are interconnected with one another. Contributing factors include brain chemistry, trauma, life circumstances, medical conditions, genetics, or medication. The important thing to remember when it comes to depression is that there is no hard and fast rule for what might be causing symptoms. For some individuals it might be the circumstance, for others, it might be a result of abnormal brain chemical levels, and for some, it might be a combination of many different factors.
There are several different ways that depression can be treated, however, the first and most important step is to get some professional support when developing your treatment plan. Your doctor might suggest some of the following options:
- Adjusting certain daily activities to include more exercise, healthy eating, increased amounts of sleep, and social interactions.
- Going for in-person or online depression therapy to develop coping strategies and techniques from a trained mental health professional.
- Exploring medication to support adjusting brain chemistry through the use of antidepressants.
- Joining a support group with other individuals who are living with depression.
Book Online Depression Therapy Today
Regardless of the treatment option, you’re interested in exploring, the important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. If you’re experiencing symptoms, make sure you get in touch with your healthcare provider so that they can support you with the next steps.
If you’re currently in the process of looking for online depression therapy services, get in touch with us at ACT Teletherapy. Our expert mental health practitioners will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan and help you develop the tools that you need to navigate depression in your day-to-day life.