- What Is
- 6 Types
What is depression?
The American Psychiatric Association defines major depressive disorder (depression) as a common, but serious, medical illness that negatively affects how one feels, thinks and acts.
Depression causes sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and decrease a person’s ability to function at work and home.
What is a nervous breakdown?
A nervous or mental breakdown is a common term used to describe a period of intense mental distress during which one is unable to function in everyday life. This term is used to refer to a wide variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety and acute stress disorder.
What are the causes of depression?
Genetic causes of depression
First-degree relatives of depressed individuals are about three times as likely to develop depression
External stressors causing depression
Stressors can be personal, familial, social and environmental, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Medical illness
- Psychosocial stress
- Lack of sleep
- Impaired social supports
- Caregiver burden
- Negative life events
- Loss of a loved one
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Certain medications
- Domestic abuse
- Poor parent-child relationship
- Traumatic life events
- Major life changes – divorce, loss of employment, etc.
Risk-factor interactions that cause depression
The relationship between genetic vulnerability, environmental stressors and brain structural abnormalities are risk factor interactions in the development of depression.
Neuroendocrine abnormalities and neurodegenerative diseases
Abnormalities of the neurotransmitter systems may cause depression.
Neurodegenerative diseases (especially Alzheimer and Parkinson), stroke, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, cancer and chronic pain have been associated with higher rates of depression
Medical problems that affect blood flow to the brain may also trigger depression:
- Patients experience a higher incidence of depression following a stroke
- Higher prevalence of ischemic (loss of oxygenation) brain changes exist in older adults with depression
- A strong association exists between depression and heart disease as well as depression and diabetes
- Higher rates of depression exist among patients with vascular dementia
What are the signs and symptoms of major depressive disorder?
At least five of the following symptoms must have been present during the same two-week period (and at least one of the symptoms must be diminished interest/pleasure or depressed mood):
- Depressed mood: For children and adolescents, this can also be irritability.
- Diminished interest or loss of pleasure in almost all activities (anhedonia)
- Significant weight change or appetite disturbance: In children, this can be a failure to gain weight and weight gain in adults
- Sleep disturbance (insomnia or hypersomnia)
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate and indecisiveness
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt
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What is depression with anxious distress?
Anxious distress may be added to a depression diagnosis if at least two of the following symptoms are present:
- Feeling tense
- Unusually restless
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fear that something awful may happen
- Feeling of potential loss of control
Severity is further specified as:
- Mild: two symptoms
- Moderate: three symptoms
- Moderate-severe: four or five symptoms
- Severe: four or five symptoms with shaking or other movement symptoms (motor agitation)
What is depression with melancholic features?
At least three of the following are required for this specific diagnosis:
What is depression with catatonia (abnormal movement and behavior)?
- Stupor (near state of unconsciousness)
- Catalepsy (trance/seizure with unconsciousness, rigidity, loss of sensation)
- “Waxy flexibility” of skeletal muscles, meaning limbs stay in a position the doctor puts them in with only mild initial resistance, like bending soft wax
- Stereotypy (purposeless persistent repetition of an act)
- Agitation without provocation
- Echolalia (meaningless repetition of another person’s words)
- Echopraxia (meaningless repetition of movements of others)
What is postpartum depression (postpartum blues)?
Depression in the postpartum period is common and potentially serious. Up to 85% of women can develop mood disturbances during the period after childbirth. Postpartum depression is characterized by fluctuating mood, tearfulness, irritability and anxiety.
What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Depression symptoms worsen during the winter and improve during the summer.
Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features
This type of depression with psychotic features like:
What is metabolic depression?
Individuals with depression who have metabolic syndrome may be more likely to have persistent or recurrent depression.
What are the risks and complications of depression?
What are the risk factors for suicide?
- Major depression
- Older age
- Male sex
- Previous history of suicide attempts
- Burden of medical disease and presence of a current serious medical condition
- Recent stressful life events
- Lack of social support
- Family discord, being widowed or divorced
- Presence of a gun in the home
- Unexplained weight loss
- Severe anxiety
- Real or perceived lack of meaningful life pursuits
- Presence of a specific suicide plan and its rehearsal
What is the prognosis for major depressive disorder?
Major depressive disorder causes significant distress and makes it difficult for people to form relationships, enjoy leisure or be functional at work. With appropriate medical treatment, therapy and emotional support, 70-80% of patients may be cured or at least drastically reduce their symptoms.
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What Is Depression?
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DepressionDepression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
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DysthymiaDysthymia is a less severe form of chronic depression. Symptoms and signs include insomnia, suicidal thoughts, guilt, empty feeling, loss of energy, helplessness, sluggishness, and persistent aches and pains. Treatment may involve psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and antidepressants.
Foods to Fight DepressionFoods that help fight depression include turkey, Brazil nuts, carrots, shellfish, coffee, leafy greens, salmon, milk, and berries. These are rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin D. Avoid central nervous system depressants like alcohol and foods containing high-glycemic simple carbohydrates and added sugars that exacerbate depression.
Is Melancholy the Same as Depression?Melancholy or melancholia is a severe form of depression and it is now termed "melancholic depression." The word “melancholia” is a Greek word to describe the feeling of intense sadness and hopelessness. Melancholic depression makes people lose interest in almost all activities.
Postpartum DepressionPostpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
What Are the Benefits of Bone Broth?Broth, also known as stock, made from bones of animals and birds has long been consumed as food since prehistoric times. Traditionally, it has been used as a home remedy for certain diseases, such as the flu. Bone broth is often actively promoted and used as a part of therapy for individuals suffering from a range of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.
What Are the Four Main Types of Psychotherapy?There are various approaches to psychotherapy. Which type of therapy will work best may vary from person to person. Therapists often use more than one type of psychotherapy approach in helping their clients. The four most common types of psychotherapy are psychoanalysis, behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy and humanistic therapy.
What Exactly Does a Psychotherapist Do?A psychotherapist or therapist is a trained professional who assists people with various mental health conditions such as stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, addiction, bipolar disorder, negative behavior patterns, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other debilitating feelings. Psychotherapy is also called talk therapy and can help treat challenges and symptoms associated with mental health and emotional conditions by helping a person understand their repressed feelings, hence equipping them to face new challenges both in the present and future.