Depression

Overview

Depression is a type of mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of loss of interest and sadness. It can also be called clinical depression or major depressive disorder and affects how you think, behave and feel and can lead to varying physical and emotional problems. Sometimes you will have trouble with day-to-day activities and can sometimes feel as though life is not worth living.

Symptoms

Depression may only occur once in your life though many people experience multiple episodes. During these episodes symptoms occur nearly constantly daily and can include: tiredness and lack of energy, angry outbursts, unexplained physical problems, feelings of sadness, emptiness, tearfulness, and hopelessness, sleep disturbances, anxiety, reduced appetite, loss of interest or pleasure in most activities, trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things, suicidal thoughts.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your doctor may diagnose you with depression based on: lab tests, a physical exam, DSM-5, psychiatric evaluation. There are varied symptoms from person to person and your doctor may add one or more specifier to narrow down the type of depression you have. Some common specifiers include: mixed features (simultaneous depression and mania), melancholic features, atypical features (depression that includes the ability to be cheered by happy events, excessive need for sleep, or other factors), anxious distress, catatonia, psychotic features, seasonal pattern, or peripartum onset.

There are other disorders that can result in depression as a symptom. In order to get the appropriate treatment it is important that you are properly diagnosed. Some of these disorders can include: cyclothymic disorder, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar I and II disorders, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

To treat depression medications and psychotherapy are usually effective for most people. Medications can be described by your psychiatrist or primary care doctor to relieve symptoms. Many people suffering from depression also benefit from seeing a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Treatment

Many people with depression find success with medication and psychotherapy. To relieve symptoms your health care professional can prescribe medications. However, most people with depression will also benefit from regular appointments with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Severe depression could require a hospital stay or an outpatient treatment program until you see improvement in your symptoms.

There are many types of medication you can use to treat depression, ensure you’ve discussed all side effects with your doctor or pharmacist. Some varieties of antidepressants include: tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), atypical antidepressants, and Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).