What Are Depressive Disorders?
In the United States, 16 million Americans battle depressive disorders every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Those with depressive disorders fight against persistent feelings of loneliness, pessimism, and worthlessness that cause normal daily interaction with family and friends to seem daunting.
Types of Depressive Disorders
Depressive disorders are categorized into the following types.
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder is a condition that interferes with an individual’s ability to function. During periods of depression, the individual may be unable to cope with ordinary life activities like school, work, or even family and friends. While some people may have a single occurrence of major depression during their lives, most people who are diagnosed with major depression have recurrent bouts of it.
Dysthymic disorder is less severe than major depression and is characterized by depression that has lasted two or more years. The symptoms may not disable the individual (as in major depressive disorder), but they can interfere with the individual’s coping skills. When dysthymic disorder develops into major depression, it tends to be more difficult to treat.
Depression with Psychosis
Depression with psychosis occurs during a break with reality, when an individual may experience delusions or hallucinations. People with depression with psychosis may imagine that something is wrong with their bodies.
Postpartum depression can develop during pregnancy and up to a year after child birth. Often referred to as the “baby blues,” postpartum depression can cause mothers to be irritable, tearful, and feel resentment toward their infants. It may also be a sign of bipolar tendency.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder occurs during the winter months when there is less exposure to sunlight. It’s sometimes referred to as “winter depression”.
Mood Disorder Due to Medical Conditions
Mood disorder due to medical conditions is when depression has a dual diagnosis with medical conditions (e.g., cancer, thyroid abnormalities) that can induce similar changes in the brain. Recent research shows that depression, inflammation, and immunological abnormalities are interrelated. Therefore, the depressed or grieving individual is vulnerable to heart or other illnesses influenced by inflammation or a weak immune system. It is important to treat both the medical condition and psychological grief or loss when this occurs.
Certain prescription medications can cause medication-induced depression including, but not limited to antibiotics, antifungal drugs, blood pressure medications, interferon, oral contraceptives, and steroids. Before taking any medication, it is always wise to inquire about the mood-altering side effects.
Substance-induced Mood Disorder
Substance-induced mood disorder happens when depression occurs while using substances, while intoxicated, or after withdrawal.
Signs and Symptoms of Depressive Disorders
Treatment for Depressive Disorders
Without the proper depression treatment, the frequency and severity of depression often increase over time, lasting from weeks to a few months to many years. It may be challenging for those with depression to take action to help themselves but gaining awareness and learning to identify depression through treatment can start the recovery process.
Treatment for depression requires comprehensive care, an active client-clinician connection, and ongoing support. During our depression residential treatment and outpatient treatment programs, Lifeskills’ expert clinicians ensure that clients receive the individualized support needed to have the best chance at sustaining long-term recovery.
Additionally, depression often co-occurs with a substance use disorder. If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder along with depression, our specialized dual diagnosis treatment program will address both disorders.