Treatment for Depression

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What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder which 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. It may manifest in cycles (bipolar disorder) or be relatively continuous for a period months or years. Two of the most common types of depression are major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is further broken down in to several subtypes.

Someone living with depression will usually 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 the majority of the time and unable to wrest much pleasure out of life. In fact, one of the signs of a depressive disorder is losing interest in things which 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 which can substantially improve symptoms and quality of life. Depressive disorders are almost always manageable with proper diagnosis and the right kind of care.

Six Major Types are:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Postpartum Depression (following pregnancy)
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Bipolar I Disorder
  • Bipolar II Disorder
  • Cyclothymia

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Understanding Your Depression

Depression can take a lot of the color out of life. It affects relationships, school, career and even 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 which are proven effective for most cases of depression.

If you or someone you love is living with this type of mental health challenge, or you just want to learn more about them, we have prepared a brief summary of 6 major types of disorders below. Please note that this is an incomplete list as depression is a complex illness and there are many subtypes and variants.

Major Depressive Disorder

Perhaps the most common type, Major depression occurs when someone exhibit consistent symptoms for longer than two weeks. The symptoms usually include general sadness or apathy, a loss of interest in formerly pleasurable things and lack or 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 specific subtype which some women experience after pregnancy or childbirth. PPD is still not entirely understood but research points to changes in hormones which trigger the symptoms. The symptoms go far beyond just a case of the blue. Women living with PPD often battle waves of anxiety, sadness and disturbing thoughts. Insomnia and irritability are also common symptoms.

Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is one of the more severe forms of depressive disorders. Psychosis is a trait that sometimes coincides with other disorders. 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 effective, evidence-based measures including talk therapy, antidepressants, antipsychotics. Electroconvulsive therapy has also been proven quite effective for this condition.

Bipolar I 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 with manic episodes which last at least a week interspersed with depressive episodes which usually last 2 weeks or more. A person with Bipolar I Disorder will often require hospital care during a manic episode. Their behavior during mania can be extreme and erratic making them a potential danger to themselves or others at times. Medication compliance is absolutely essential to managing Bipolar I Disorder properly.

Bipolar II Disorder

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. Depressive episodes are typically less severe and may last much longer. The more subtle presentation of symptoms is what can make Bipolar II Disorder a bit harder to diagnose.


Cyclothymia or Cyclothymic Disorder is another form of bipolar disorder which is less well-known. It is defined by hypomanic symptoms as well as depressive symptoms which last for at least 2 years. These symptoms are also less severe than they appear in patients with Bipolar I Disorder.

Treatment for Depressive Disorders

Evidence-based treatment methods are what we employ at The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center. These are methods of care which are supported by clinical research. Simply put, we use the methods that are based upon scientifically validated evidence and shown to work. Depression is a complex illness and successful treatment is dependent on accurate diagnosis, a well-informed treatment plan and a willing patient.

This is part of the reason why SBMHC places such importance on the diagnosis when it comes to our treatment for depression and other mental illnesses. Everything begins with the diagnosis. Mental health treatment is much too important to trust to a rushed or haphazard diagnosis which leads to treatment that misses the mark. Trust The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center for careful and precise diagnosis and dynamic treatment which adapts to new information rather than following a staid plan which ignores the results.

If you believe you or someone you love is living with a depressive disorder, call The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center at (954) 637-7656

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