When we feel a little down, we might say we are depressed, which is a temporary state of sadness or a case of the blues that may last only a day or two. Typically, we are not referring to the clinical definition of depression, which goes beyond simple melancholy; its grip is so pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s daily functioning. This type of depression is a depressive disorder which is treatable, but unfortunately, most people will never seek treatment because they wrongly believe it is a sign of weakness. The symptoms of depressive disorder are serious, long-lasting, and recurrent, making it important to seek treatment. While the causes and symptoms may differ depending on the circumstance, untreated depression can lead to long-term physical, emotional, and interpersonal problems.

Types of Depressive Disorders

Interferes with the individual’s ability to function, making them unable to cope with ordinary life activities like school, work, or even family and friends. Some individuals may have a single occurrence of major depression during their lives, many who are diagnosed with major depression have recurrent bouts of it.
Although less severe than major depression, dysthymic disorder is characterized by depression that has lasted two or more years. The symptoms can interfere with the individual’s coping skills, but when dysthymic disorder develops into major depression, it tends to be more difficult to treat.
Occurs during a break with reality, in which an individual may experience delusions or hallucinations. Individuals may imagine that something is wrong with their bodies and may think they are being unfairly punishing them or their circumstances.
Often referred to as the “baby blues”, postpartum depression occurs within the first six months of childbirth, and can cause mothers to be irritable, tearful, and feel resentment toward their infants. It may also be a sign of bipolar tendency.
Occurs during the winter months when there is less exposure to sunlight and is sometimes referred to as “winter depression.”
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A woman holding a wooden fence looking down in sadness

Occurs when depression coincides with medical conditions such as cancer, thyroid abnormalities or other debilitating illnesses that can induce similar changes in the brain. Recent research shows that depression, inflammation, and immunological abnormalities are interrelated. Individuals with depression or who are grieving are vulnerable to heart or other illnesses influenced by inflammation or a weak immune system. It is important to treat both the medical condition and psychological grief or loss when this occurs.
A side effect of certain prescription medications such as, antibiotics, antifungal drugs, blood pressure medications, acne medications, interferon, oral contraceptives, and steroids. Before taking any medication, check with your doctor about the mood-altering side effects.
Happens when the depression occurs while using substances, while intoxicated or after withdrawal.

Signs and Symptoms of Depressive Disorders

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling worthless
  • Inappropriate guilt
  • Feeling empty
  • Loss of confidence
  • Daily fatigue
  • Appetite change
  • Insomnia
  • Increased sleep
  • Physical pain or aches
  • Thoughts of death/suicide
  • Irritability
  • Suicide attempts
  • Self-loathing
  • Shame
  • Memory problems
  • Agoraphobia
  • Restlessness
  • Indecisiveness
  • Persistent sadness
  • Inappropriate crying
  • Diminished pleasure
  • Pessimism
  • Headaches
  • Waking too early
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Sexual problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Jaw Pain
  • Backaches
  • Painful joints
  • Muscle aches
  • Stomach aches
  • Reckless behavior
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If you suspect that you or a loved one may have depressive disorders, please contact Lifeskills. Call us today at 844-749-1560.

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