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Learn More About Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that generally brings about sadness, but it can also influence a person’s energy, motivation, irritability, and overall well-being. The numerous depressive disorders differ based on the types of symptoms as well as their frequency, intensity, duration, and triggers. Thankfully, depression can be treated with therapy and medication. Below you’ll find articles and resources to help you both understand and deal with symptoms of depression.

Depression Statistics and Resources

Depression Statistics and Resources: Context and Implications of the Disorder

by: Melissa Boudin, PsyD
How to Get Out of a Funk: 13 Tips for Success

How to Get Out of a Funk: 13 Tips for Shaking It Off

Action beats funk. This might seem like a cruel truth, because when you’re in a funk you likely don’t feel like doing anything. However, action comes before motivation rather than the other way around.

by: Tanya J. Peterson, NCC, DAIS

What Is Depression?

Key Terms to Know About Depression

Depression Vs. Sadness Depression Vs. Grief Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

All people experience sadness, but not all people experience depressive disorders. If someone loses their job, ends a relationship, or loses a loved one, sadness is expected. Depression, beyond sadness, involves a different level of intensity, duration of symptoms, and effect on a person’s life. Mental health professionals can work to differentiate between the two.

Not everyone who experiences a loss will become depressed, but many will. Because of this connection, it’s essential for people to be aware of and communicate the levels, duration, and frequency of symptoms. Grief & depression does not always require intervention from a mental health professional, but if depression becomes more prevalent, it will necessitate professional involvement.

Major depressive disorder is the condition most people think about when considering depression. MDD is marked by five or more symptoms of depression lasting for at least two weeks. It can range in intensity from mild to severe.

Persistent depressive disorder represents a more stable and consistent level of depression. Symptoms may not be as intense as other disorders, but the duration will be very uncomfortable (at least two years in adults and one year in children).

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder occurs when the repeated hormonal changes create a drastic shift in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In many cases, these symptoms make it difficult for a person to maintain relationships and responsibilities.

A disorder that targets children and teens, DMDD presents as anger and irritability more than sadness and low motivation. Kids with this condition may frequently tantrum and engage in unwanted outbursts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression

What Causes Depression?

Several factors contribute to depression, with genetic components, environmental, and chemical differences in the individuals. Treatments for depression often target certain neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine to improve symptoms.

What Does Depression Look Like?

It’s not always easy to tell if someone is depressed. Some people may express their depression through powerful bouts of irritability and anger. They also may display a blunted affect or emotional blunting. Children and adolescents dealing with depression are more likely to display an irritable mood versus a depressed one.

What Are the Treatment Options for Depression?

Professionals like psychotherapists know best how to treat depression. Depression therapy is a frontline treatment, and medication management or lifestyle adjustments like changes in their exercise, sleep, and eating a diet rich in foods that help with depression can help as well. Not every treatment option will be an appropriate match for every person with depression, so treatment must be tailored to each individual.

How Do I Get Help for Depression?

If you think you have depression, it’s time to seek professional treatments. Though it may be tempting to address the situation alone, depression is a serious mental health condition that deserves professional intervention. Many begin the journey towards depression treatment by speaking to a loved one with personal or professional experience in the field, or telling their primary care provider about their current symptoms.

What Do I Say to Someone Who I Think Might Be Depressed?

Getting help for a loved with depression one poses some challenges, as the other person’s reaction is never certain. When preparing what to say to someone who is depressed, be sure to always approach the situation from a place of love, support, and understanding. Choose a calm time to have a conversation, rather than during a period of anger or distractibility.

“Knowing Oneself comes from attending with compassionate curiosity to what is happening within.” – Dr. Gabor Maté

“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye

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