Depressive disorders are mood disorders characterized by feelings of sadness and loss of interest in everyday life. People with depressive disorders experience different physical, psychological, social and emotional problems, which can affect how they think, act and feel. The symptoms of depression vary in length and severity depending on the depressive disorder. When left untreated, the symptoms of depressive disorders can interfere with patients’ ability to function in their daily lives and can lead to suicide attempts and recurrent thoughts of death and suicide. It is important that individuals with depression seek professional help to treat their depression before their symptoms become worse.
Major depressive disorder
Major depressive disorder (MDD), or clinical depression, is most often what people are talking about when they are talking about depression. The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 15.7 million adults over the age of 18 had at least one major depressive episode and 10.2 million adults had a major depressive episode with severe impairment in the past year.
People with MDD have recurring major depressive episodes that involve either a depressed mood, loss of interest of pleasure in all, or nearly all, activities or both. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the symptoms of MDD include:
- Feelings of sadness, anxiety and hopelessness
- Feelings of inappropriate guilt or worthlessness
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Difficulty sleeping (such as hypersomnia or insomnia)
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Changes in appetite or significant weight loss or gain
- Suicidal thoughts, intent or behavior
- Aches, pains, headaches or digestive problems
- Psychomotor agitation (increased motor activity) or retardation (slowed movements or activity)
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
Major depressive episodes (MDE) can develop under circumstances such as during pregnancy or postpartum, collectively known as peripartum major depressive episodes, or may have a seasonal pattern where patients may be more likely to experience episodes during a specific time of year (e.g., winter). There are also different forms of MDD. For example, some people with MDD may also have psychotic symptoms where they have delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (see or hear things that are not there) along with their depressive symptoms.
Persistent depressive disorder
Persistent depressive disorder, formerly known as dysthymia, is a mood disorder that is characterized by a depressed mood for two years or longer in adults and one year or longer in children. People diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder have changes in appetite and sleeping patterns, fatigue or difficulty concentrating, with symptoms that closely resemble a major depressive episode, but do not meet criteria for MDD. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is one example of a depressive disorder that falls under this category.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is the presence of mood disturbances during a woman’s menstrual cycles that is characterized by symptoms such as mood swings, depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness or self-depreciating thoughts, anxiety, tension and irritability or anger and/or increased conflicts in interpersonal relationships. Women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder also have at least one of the following symptoms:
- decreased interest in usual activities
- subjective difficulty in concentrating
- hypersomnia (i.e., sleeping too much) or insomnia (i.e., difficulty falling or staying asleep)
- sense of feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- physical symptoms (e.g., breast tenderness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, sensation of bloating or weight gain)
Other depressive disorders
When patients do not meet the full criteria for any of the main depressive disorders, they may be diagnosed with the following depressive disorders:
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder- irritable or angry mood and behavioral and/or verbal temper outburst present for 12 months or longer and before the age of 10.
- Substance or medication-induced depressive disorder- symptoms due to direct effect of a substance (e.g., alcohol) or medication
- Depressive disorder due to another medical condition- depressive symptoms due to physiological effects of a medical condition
- Other specified depressive disorder- depressive symptoms do not meet the criteria for any specific depressive disorder (e.g., recurrent brief depression, short-duration depressive episode and depressive episode with insufficient symptoms)
- Unspecified depressive disorder- clinically significant distress associated with symptoms that do not meet criteria for any other depressive disorder
Sovereign Health of Florida
People with depression often have debilitating symptoms that can be very difficult to deal with alone. Fortunately, patients given proper treatment for depression are able to better control their symptoms and triggers. Sovereign Health of Florida offers behavioral treatment for adult men and women with mental disorders such as depression, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Our patients are thoroughly assessed to determine whether there are any underlying or co-occurring conditions and to create comprehensive and individualized treatment programs to meet each patient’s specific needs.
Treatment for depression often includes medication, therapy or a combination of both. Upon admission, patients undergo a psychiatric evaluation for the psychiatrist to determine their diagnosis and need for medication for depression. Patients at Sovereign Health of Florida receive individual psychotherapy for depressive disorders, which can be highly effective for treating depression and teaches patients how to avoid and identify triggers and deal with underlying psychosocial problems and negative emotions in a more healthy and productive way.
Patients also receive evidence-based therapy and interventions including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), a type of psychotherapy that is effective for treating patients with depression. CBT teaches patients how to identify and change their negative thinking patterns and behaviors and coping skills that can help them overcome their depression. In addition, psychoeducational groups and group therapy can be effective for patients with depression develop an understanding of their symptoms and prognosis.
To learn more about our treatment programs for depression at Sovereign Health of Florida, please call our 24/7 helpline to speak to a member of our admissions team.
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