Depressive Disorders

Depressive Disorders
Understanding Depressive Disorders


Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders suffered in the US today. Depression is more than feeling down for a few days; rather being an illness that sufferers need to learn to deal with for a lifetime. Depressive disorders are mostly characterized by intense and persistent feelings of worthlessness, overwhelming sadness and interrupted eating and sleeping patterns. When a person is experiencing acute depression, they are very likely to have suicidal thoughts and feelings.


There are different types of depressive disorders which we take a closer look at here:


Major depressive disorder: The symptoms of this most common type of depression are likely to interfere with a person’s ability to carry out their daily responsibilities at home, school or work. At points, a person with major depressive disorder is likely to suffer acute episodes which may be experience for prolonged periods of time. The body’s immunity can sometimes be compromised as a result of major depressive disorder.


Dysthymic disorder: This is a persistent form of depression which causes a person to feel negatively for most of their day, extended over a period of two years or longer. As with other types of depression, people with dysthymic disorder are likely to experience acute episodes from time to time.


Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: This is often referred to as PMS or PMT and is characterized by depressive feelings around a week before menstruation. This is a hormonal-linked condition that can be eased with certain contraceptive medications.


Psychotic depression: This is a very severe type of depression that requires specialist treatment. People with psychotic depression are likely to experience hallucinations and delusions along with feelings of nihilism, death, guilt and extreme inadequacy.


Postpartum depression: It is not uncommon for women to develop major depression within around four weeks of giving birth.


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): SAD is a condition that is triggered by seasonal changes, typically from spring and summer to fall and winter, although not exclusively. SAD can be partially treated with light therapy although it is more effective when offered with other therapies at the same time.

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