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Treatment for Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that affects nearly every aspect of daily life. At least 21 million American adults have had at least one depressive episode in the past year. Clinical depression differs from the situational form in that it is persistent and may manifest in cycles (bipolar disorder) or be relatively continuous for months or years. Two of the most common types of depression are major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

Someone living with depression will find their symptoms disrupt their daily life. Some will be able to function as far as caring for themselves and even being productive at work or school, but they still find themselves unhappy most of the time and unable to get much pleasure out of life.  An example is losing interest in things that you used to enjoy.

The good news is that these conditions can be treated successfully. While it isn’t technically “curable” yet, we have evidence-based treatment methods for depression that can substantially improve symptoms and quality of life. Depressive disorders are almost always manageable with proper diagnosis and the right kind of care.

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Understanding your Depression

Depression can take the color out of life, affecting relationships, school, career, recreation, and hobbies. Depending on the type, it can make you more likely to encounter legal issues or take unnecessary risks. There are therapeutic interventions and treatment methods that are proven effective for most cases of depression.

If you or someone you love is living with this type of mental health challenge or want to learn more, we have summarized major types of depression below. This is an incomplete list, however, as depression is a complex illness with many subtypes and variants.

>Understanding your Depression

Major Depressive Disorder

Perhaps the most common type, major depression, occurs when someone exhibits consistent symptoms for longer than two weeks. The symptoms usually include general sadness or apathy, a loss of interest in formerly pleasurable things, and a lack of energy or motivation. The symptoms are clear enough, but people aren’t always entirely aware of their depression until someone else notices the signs and brings their attention to them.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression, or PPD, is a subtype some women experience after pregnancy or childbirth. PPD is still not entirely understood, but research points to hormone changes that trigger the symptoms. The symptoms go far beyond just a case of the blues. Women living with PPD often battle anxiety, sadness, and disturbing thoughts. Insomnia and irritability are also common.

Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is one of the more severe forms of depressive disorder. Psychosis is a trait that sometimes coincides with other conditions. In this case, psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations accompany symptoms of major depression. This can make this disorder more challenging to treat, but with proper diagnosis, there are practical, evidence-based measures, including talk therapy, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.

Bipolar Disorder

There are three major types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I Disorder is the type most people are familiar with. Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by manic episodes which last at least a week, interspersed with depressive episodes which usually last two weeks or more. Bipolar II Disorder is lesser known and notoriously tricky to diagnose. Depressive episodes and hypomanic symptoms are a feature of Bipolar II as well, but patients do not experience the full-blown mania that Bipolar I patients do.

Treatment for Depressive Disorders

We use evidence-based treatment methods that are supported by clinical research. Depression is a complex illness; successful treatment depends on accurate diagnosis, a well-informed treatment plan, and a willing patient.

Mental health treatment is too important to trust a rushed or haphazard diagnosis, leading to treatment that misses the mark. We emphasize careful and precise diagnoses and dynamic treatment, adapting to new information rather than following a staid plan which ignores the results.

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