Types, Symptoms, & Treatments

Depression is a mood disorder that generally brings about sadness, but it can also influence a person’s energy, motivation, irritability, and overall well-being. It is one of the most powerful mental health conditions a person can endure. The numerous depressive disorders differ based on the types of symptoms as well as their frequency, intensity, duration, and triggers.


What Is Depression?

Depression is a collection of symptoms with the ability to impact all parts of the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Because the term “depression” covers a range of disorders and symptoms, the way one person experiences depression can vary greatly from someone else.

Types & Symptoms of Depression

Bipolar disorder is an umbrella term and is not diagnosable in and of itself. There are a few types of bipolar disorders that are diagnosable. The symptoms are broadly the same but differ in intensity and frequency.
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What Causes Depression?

Several factors contribute to the presentation of depression with biological, environmental, and chemical differences in the individuals. Available depression treatment options target certain neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine to improve symptoms.

How Common Is Depression?

Depression is incredibly common—about 8.7% of women and 5.3% of men have some form of depression. Fortunately, it’s very treatable. Mental health experts can successfully diagnose and treat a range of depressive disorders to restore the health and well-being people desire.

Treatment of Depression

Professionals like psychotherapists know best how to treat depression. Some people will find success with therapy and medication management or lifestyle adjustments like changes in their exercise, diet, and sleep. Not every treatment option will be an appropriate match for every person with depression, so treatment must be tailored to each individual.
Depression therapy is a frontline treatment option. This treatment commonly involves the person with depression attending sessions with a talk therapist in an individual, group or family setting. People with severe depression may require treatment in an inpatient treatment center to maintain safety while increasing available services. Therapy for depression occurs at a range of intensities and frequencies as therapists may employ different therapeutic techniques to reduce symptoms. Some people can benefit from one therapy session each month while others will require several hours of therapy each day to manage the signs and symptoms of depressive disorders.
Medication is another standard treatment for depression that aims to adjust the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, decrease depressive symptoms, and improve overall mental health. Medication management can be used alone or in combination with other treatments like therapy to complement its effectiveness. Medication for depression usually requires some level of trial and error to find the wanted effects. Any person using prescribed medications should always use the drug as directed and make their prescriber aware of any health changes like pregnancy. Stopping medications abruptly can result in unwanted effects, so the prescriber will often recommend a weaning schedule to reduce risk.
Lifestyle Changes
There are plenty of ways people can work to improve their depression at-home. Although these changes may not resolve depression independently, they can add to the benefits of professional strategies. Effective lifestyle changes include learning more about depression, increasing your level of exercise, limiting your use of alcohol and other substances, and establishing a regular sleep routine. Performing these changes will not suddenly eliminate depression, but they could help to limit symptoms and make other treatments more effective. Best of all, these healthy lifestyle changes can be used in conjunction with other professional treatments and carry zero risk of unwanted side effects.

How to Get Help For Depression

When a person identifies the presence of depression, it’s time to seek professional treatments. Though it may be tempting to address the situation alone, depression is a serious mental health condition that deserves professional intervention. Many begin the journey towards depression treatment by speaking to a loved one with personal or professional experience in the field. Waiting may only give time for the symptoms to intensify, so people with depression would do well to seek treatment early.
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