What are the signs of depression?
Who does depression affect?
Depression affects people of all ages, genders, races, and socio-economic statuses. However, some groups are more likely to experience depression. Women are twice as likely as men to experience a depressive episode. Risk factors for developing depression include poverty, psychological trauma, and adverse life events.
How common is depression?
More than 300 million people worldwide experience depression. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide. 6.7% of adults in the United States experienced a depressive episode in the last year.
Can depression be treated?
Yes! Depression is most commonly treated with therapy, lifestyle changes, and/or medication. In severe cases in which other treatments are ineffective, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may be recommended.
An episode of major depression is characterized by symptoms of depression all or most days over at least a two week period.
Chronic depressive symptoms that last for two years or longer without respite is called persistent depressive disorder (PDD). This disorder was previously known as dysthymia or chronic depression.
This type of depression occurs seasonally, typically during the winter months, though for some it occurs in the summer.
Sometimes, depressive symptoms occur as the result of specific stressful life events, such as bereavement, relationship problems, illness or physical injury, or financial struggles. Please note that this is not a formal diagnostic category but is helpful for distinguishing between contributing factors of depression.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a type of depression that occurs exclusively in females at the start of their menstrual period. In addition to feeling depressed, other signs include mood swings, irritability, and anxiety, beyond the normal symptoms of PMS.
In addition to professional help, other techniques that can help improve symptoms include:
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The most common types of psychotherapy for depression include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and group therapy.
Antidepressants may also be prescribed by a psychiatrist. There are several types, including SSRIs and SNRIs. It is important to be monitored by a doctor and not to stop medication suddenly.
A variety of lifestyle changes including nutrition, sleep, exercise, and spirituality can also benefit those who experience depression.
If the severity of symptoms inhibits the individual from basic functioning or causes them to be a danger to themselves, intensive outpatient, residential, or inpatient treatment may be recommended. For more information, click here.
In cases of severe and debilitating depression in which the individual's symptoms are unresponsive to other treatment, your doctor may recommend ECT. Contrary to popular depiction, this is not a treatment to be afraid of. However, it can cause significant side effects and should be carefully considered with your physician.
Made In His Image is a Catholic ministry that serves women recovering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, and abuse.
Kati Morton is a licensed therapist and active online advocate for mental health. Check out her video resources on depression.
Dr. Aaron Kheriaty is a licensed psychiatrist and practicing Catholic. In this book, he offers his expertise on treating depression from a Catholic perspective.
Matt Haig shares his personal journey from suicidal depression to recovery and how it taught him to love life even more. Through the support of writing and the love of his family, he found new reasons to live.
This memoir of depression and mental anguish paints a picture of depression like no other. The author shares his personal story struggling with severe depression and the path he found to recovery.