My last post I talked about my journey with depression. It’s important to talk about and know what causes depression, the different types of depression and the treatment plans. When I was first diagnosed with depression I was given some information from the National Institute of Mental Health website where I would be able to find some great information about my diagnosis. .This is where I was able to find out that depression is caused b.y a chemical imbalance in the brain due to a reduction of serotonin and norepinephrine which are also known as neurotransmitters.
There are many reasons you may be feeling depressed. It can be due to a serious illness or a medication side effect. There are many more signs and symptoms to depression other than feeling sad. My depression started out postpartum that never went away because I didn’t seek help. It became one thing after another such as relationship issues, losing my job, diagnosed with a seizure disorder. My boyfriend moved across the United States to go to school, my step dad was killed, more relationship issues and postpartum again. Needless to say I have had many factors that have led to my depression.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) depression also referred to as clinical depression or depressive disorder. To be diagnosed with depression you must have depression symptoms present for at least 2 weeks for most of every day of those 2 weeks. I mentioned before its more than sadness, sadness is one small part of depression. Depression symptoms will differ for different people. Some of the symptoms listed on the NIMH website were:
-Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
– Feelings of hopelessness
-Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
-Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
– Decreased energy, fatigue, or being “slowed down”
-Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
– Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening or oversleeping
-Appetite and/or weight changes
-Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempt
-Restlessness or irritability
– Aches or pains. Headaches, cramps. Digestive problems without a physical issues and does not ease with treatment.
Over the past 7 years I can tell you without a doubt I have experienced every single one of these symptoms. The only thing I want to say is if you EVER have thoughts of harming yourself in ANY WAY PLEASE TELL SOMEONE! Your life is way too precious to lose. Do not be afraid to get yourself some help because we all need some help every not and then!
I will be honest until I was actually diagnosed with major depression I thought depression was sadness. I was unaware of the different types but it turns out to be a lot more in-depth than I could have ever imagined. There are 2 common forms of depression; major depression and persistent depressive disorder. There are less common forms Perinatal Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Psychotic Disorder.
Major Depression: You will have symptoms most of the day, daily for at least 2 weeks. This will interfere with your daily routine such as work, sleep, eating habits. It is possible for someone to have one episode in their lifetime or they may have several.
Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Also known as Dysthymia this known as having symptoms of depression that has lasted for at least 2 years. Being diagnosed with PDD you may also have episodes of major depression; then periods that are less severe.
Perinatal Depression. Woman with perinatal depression will experience full blown depression during pregnancy. After pregnacy you may experience postpartum.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. It usuallyround late fall and lasts until spring or until the weather turns nice again. It’s seen in areas where the weather turns very cold and can get a lot of snow. Where people stay indoors a lot and tend to get “cabin fever”.
Psychotic Depression. This is when someone has severe depression and a form of psychosis. They may have delusions or hallucinations.
There are many ways you can treat depression but, you need the right treatment. You need the right support system because you can’t do it alone, trust me I have tried and failed. Antidepressants work great but can take a couple weeks to take full effect. Depending on your other medical issues, your age and any other issues this may not be an option for you.
Psychotherapy is a option whether you choose to see a counselor, a psychologist or a psychiatrist. They can help you work through your problem areas, change your way of thinking and how to better handle stressful situations. Have a support system whether this is friends, family, in-laws, anyone you can trust. Having people you can trust and rely on is as important as you go through this process.
I have noticed that if I start feeling myself becoming depressed I try to do things to lift my spirts such as:
-go for a long car ride and listen to some good music with the windows down.
– Regardless I avoid alcohol because mixing medication and alcohol isn’t a good idea and alcohol makes my depression worse.
-I will spend more time coloring or writing because it is something that I love to do.
Recently, I had spoken to my psychiatrist about symptoms of depression and anxiety being similar with a child’s symptoms? She said to once again get onto the NIMH website and they are actually very different. I decided I wanted to share it with you all because I wanted to bring some more awareness to this. According to the NIMH woman will have depression more than men due to our biological and hormonal factors. Woman with depression usually have symptoms such as worthlessness, guilt and sadness.
Men will usually see symptoms such as fatigue, irritability and anger. They may even not seek help because they don’t think they have a problem. Men with depression may become reckless or start misusing drugs and alcohol. In older adults they may be less likely to admit they are feeling sad or having some grief. They also have a higher chance having a medical condition which could be the cause of the depression.
Young children who are suffering from depression will cling to their parent. They worry about a parent dying. They pretend to be sick, and refuse to go to school. They will be too young to know what depression is unless it’s explained to them so they are acting how they feel. Teens with will get in trouble in school, and be irritable. They may also deal with other disorders such as substance abuse, eating disorders or anxiety.
If you or someone you know needs some help. Please give them the number to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. This is a 24-hour hotline number. 1-800-273- TALK
The information provided from the National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov