Learn more about the different types of depression, types of treatment, and if Alta Centers can help you here.
Depression is a serious medical condition that affects mood, thoughts, and behavior. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work or at home. Depression is not a normal part of aging, and it is not something that you have to “just deal with,” – despite any problematic stigmatization.
There are many different types of depression, many of which you will learn about through this comprehensive article.
Some of the most common risk factors for depressive disorders include having a family history of depression, experiencing chronic stress or trauma, substance abuse, struggling with a chronic medical condition, and even certain medications that can cause depressive symptoms.
Several common causes and risk factors of depression are brain chemistry, genetics, life events, medical conditions, and personality. These will be detailed below.
The genetics of depression are complex and not yet fully understood. However, research has shown that there is a heritable component to the disorder. This means that if someone in your family has depression, you may be more likely to experience it yourself. There are many different genes that have been linked to depression. Some of these genes are involved in the regulation of serotonin, a brain chemical that plays a role in mood. Other genes are involved in the stress response, which can impact how someone copes with difficult life events.
While genes may make someone more susceptible to these factors, they don’t necessarily mean that a person will develop depression. It’s important to remember that depression is complex, and there is not one single cause.3
People with serious medical conditions can experience times of deep sadness, which is normal if it does not become persistent, preventing them from taking care of themselves or enjoying activities they have previously enjoyed. If depression persists, treatment in the form of medication, therapy, or a combination of both may be necessary.
There are medications that can lead to depression in people who aren’t typically susceptible to the disease. Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, some of these medications include Tegretol, Topamax, Neurontin, and barbiturates. If you are experiencing depression but don’t know why, it is important to talk to your provider or seek out a therapist who can guide you.
There are certain personality types that tend to be more prone to depressive disorder. People who are perfectionists, for example, often put immense pressure on themselves and can become easily overwhelmed when things don’t go perfectly. People who tend to be more introspective can also be more prone to depression, as they dwell on negative thoughts and feelings. Other personality types that can be more vulnerable to depression include people who are highly sensitive, those who have low self-esteem, and people who generally tend to see the world in a negative light.
While not everyone with these personality traits will necessarily experience depression, they may be more at risk than others. If you think you may be prone to depression, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms and to seek help if you start to experience any of them.
Symptoms of depression can include persistent sadness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, and thoughts of suicide. It’s not always easy to tell if someone is dealing with depression. After all, sadness and low energy levels can be chalked up to a bad day or two.
However, when these feelings last for weeks or months, it could be a sign of something more serious. Here are some physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms of depression to watch out for.
Some physical symptoms of depression include the following:
Depression can lead to dark thoughts, such as wanting to die or hurt oneself. Having persistent pessimistic thoughts is also a sign that you might be suffering from depression. Pessimism involves having a negative outlook on life or expecting an unwanted scenario to come true.
It is important to note that one key difference between depression and pessimism is that depression can be physically, psychologically, and emotionally debilitating.
Some emotional symptoms of depressive disorders include loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness. People with depression may feel like they are not good enough or that they have done something wrong.
While the symptoms are similar and often overlap, there are numerous different kinds of depression, including the following types: major depression, bipolar disorder, perinatal and postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), persistent depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and psychotic depression.
Major depression is a serious and severe depressive disorder that can negatively impact a person’s thoughts, emotions, physical health, and overall quality of life. Symptoms of major depression can include persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, sleeping too much or not being able to sleep, changes in appetite, and fatigue. Major depression can also lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Bipolar disorder is a type of depression that is characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. People with bipolar disorder can have periods of mania or hypomania (highs) followed by periods of depression (lows). Bipolar disorder affects both men and women equally.
There are two kinds of depression types that can occur during or after pregnancy: perinatal depression and postpartum depression. Perinatal depression can occur during pregnancy, or in the first year after the baby is born.
Postpartum depression is a type of depression that can occur in the first year after the baby is born. It’s important to get treatment for perinatal and postpartum depression because it can affect the health of both the mother and the baby.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depressive disorder, is a kind of depression that typically occurs during changes in the season and starts and ends about the same time each year. SAD generally occurs in the fall and winter months, but it can also occur in the spring or early summer and correlates with the decrease in sunlight.
Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, is a chronic form of depression. It is characterized by a persistent low mood that lasts for at least two years. People with persistent depressive disorder may also experience episodes of major depression during their illness, and it can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It can negatively affect work, relationships, and self-esteem.
PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and it can cause serious disruptions in a woman’s life. Symptoms of PMDD include severe mood swings, depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and changes in appetite. These symptoms can have a significant impact on a woman’s ability to function in her everyday life.
There are different depression types, and it can be difficult to know which type you have. Your doctor can help you identify the specific type of depression you have and recommend the best treatment options.
Depression treatment includes medications, psychotherapies, brain stimulation, and other treatment options. At Alta Centers we can assist in helping find the right treatment for you. Some of those treatment options are detailed below.
There are many different types of medications that can be used to treat depression. Some of the most common include:
If you are considering taking medication for depression, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits. Medication can be an effective treatment for depression, but it is not right for everyone.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, each with its own unique approach and techniques. Some of the most common types of therapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychoanalysis.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) has become quite popular over the last decade or so and has been shown to help in cases of treatment-resistant depression. TMS uses magnetic impulses to stimulate your brain. While the science is still out, it is believed that it can boost nerve cell activity in parts of the brain that control and affect mood.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) has been researched and is considered safe. It works well in cases of severe treatment-resistant depression or bipolar disorder.
Vagus nerve stimulation was first used in the treatment of epilepsy, but it has shown great promise in treating depression as well.
Herbal remedies, acupuncture, reflexology, guided imagery, yoga, exercise, meditation, and massage are also some alternatives to standard medical practices. The most important thing to do is to talk with your doctor about the right treatment plan for depression.
When you are depressed or experiencing depressive symptoms, it can feel like you will never be able to get the help that you need. However, even the most severe cases of depression are treatable with the appropriate treatment plan in place.
If your depression is keeping you from living your life on your terms, seek help from a health care professional to develop a treatment plan best suited to your needs. From cognitive therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle modifications, there is a vast array of treatment options available.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or other depressive disorders, Alta Centers is here to help. Our highly-trained team of therapists and treatment professionals is well-equipped to help you decide on the best possible treatment plan for you. If you are interested in beginning the journey to recovery, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.