Depression is a severe condition that negatively affects how people think, feel, and behave. In contrast to normal sadness, clinical depression is persistent, often interferes with a person’s ability to experience or anticipate pleasure, and significantly interferes with functioning in daily life.
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.
There are many signs of depression that might imply a need to seek medical attention:
- A feeling of prolonged sadness
- Feeling like hope is lost
- Feeling worthless
- Loss of interest in things you used to like
- Overeating/too little
- Unable to sleep(insomnia)
- Unable to concentrate
- No energy/tiredness
- Headaches or other pains in the body
- Thoughts of suicide
TYPES OF DEPRESSION
Major depressive disorder (MDD) — sometimes called clinical depression — is the most frequently diagnosed type of depression.
An estimated 7% of U.S. adults trusted Source (17.3 million) had at least one major depressive episode in 2017, and 68% did have “severe impairment.”
Per the DSM-5, MDD is characterized by symptoms of depression lasting at least two weeks (often longer) that significantly affect your ability to function. This includes at least five key signs:
- feeling sad or hopeless every day
- sudden weight loss or gain
- insomnia or hypersomnia
- psychomotor agitation (body tics, fidgeting, restlessness)
- fatigue or energy loss
- feeling worthless or guilty
- trouble concentrating
- recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Postpartum depression (aka perinatal depression) can begin during pregnancy or within the first year after childbirth.
According to a CDC report,Trusted Source, 13% of women surveyed (approximately 1 in 8) reported postpartum depression symptoms after a recent birth.
While it’s most commonly associated with those who give birth, other people (like partners) can also have this form of depression.
While having a new baby is naturally stressful and challenging, postpartum depression amplifies these feelings to an extreme degree. Symptoms can include:
· difficulty bonding with your baby
· crying more than usual
· feeling sad or hopeless
· being more irritable or angry than usual
· changes in appetite
Persistent depressive disorder (formerly dysthymic disorder)
Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is chronic depression that usually lasts at least two years in adults and one year for children and teens.
While PDD is similar to major depressive disorder, it typically has less severe symptoms but is longer lasting — so it can be just as debilitating.
Feeling sad and hopeless for such a long period can wear you down, making it harder to function at work, school, or home. You might find it challenging to enjoy hobbies or time with friends and feel pessimistic about the future.
PDD is characterized by its chronic, long-term nature, which can involve:
· consistent low energy and fatigue
· trouble sleeping (insomnia)
· sleeping too much (hypersomnia)
Bipolar disorder depression
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is when depressive symptoms alternate with manic or hypomanic symptoms. During the depressive phases, you may have general depression symptoms. While you’re in the manic phase, you might have symptoms like rapid speech, grandiose ideas, elevated mood, and others. Hypomania is similar to mania, but it’s less extreme. If you have bipolar disorder, you may also have times when you are neither depressed nor manic or hypomanic.
Depression becomes debilitating when severe, overwhelming,life-altering,or ”crippling.”
This degree of depression is not something anyone should have to live with for long.
CAUSES OF DEBILITATING DEPRESSION
Crippling depression does not discriminate by age, gender, race, or ethnicity. It can occur in adults who have never previously dealt with depression or teenagers with extensive family histories of depression.
SYMPTOMS OF DEBILITATING DEPRESSION
Some signs that your depression has become debilitating include:
- Psychotic symptoms, like delusions or hallucinations, becoming physically immobile
- persistent and intense feelings of sadness, anger, or frustration
- thoughts of suicide
- sleep disturbances, sleeping too much or too little
- apathy, lack of interest in activities or people
- difficulty working
- poor personal hygiene: Not showering or bathing for days or weeks, wearing dirty clothes, not brushing hair
- severe mood swings or shifts in temperament
- weight changes, gain or loss
- difficulty concentrating
- frequent pain such as headaches or backaches
- Forgetting to eat or eating only whatever junk food is available
Debilitating depression may seem like it will last forever, but help is available.
With the proper support, depression is very treatable. Often, multiple treatment options will work hand-in-hand to get you the best possible outcome.
If you have depression, common treatments include:
- antidepressants combined with talk therapy (aka psychotherapy) — this is considered the gold standard in depression treatment
- lifestyle changes like eating more nutritious foods, exercising, or joining a support group
- self-help methods or self-care strategies
Some people may also try herbal supplements, though none are FDA-approved. If you want to add any accessories, consider reaching out to your doctor or a pharmacist first. It’s essential if you’re already taking medications, as they may interact.
If you haven’t responded to medications or several treatments, your depression may be treatment-resistant. Don’t despair! There are still many options to explore, including:
- changing your medication strategy with your doctor
- using a therapy type you haven’t tried yet, or changing therapists if needed
- brain stimulation therapies like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
- ketamine therapy
- practicing new self-care techniques
Individuals with depression should note their symptoms to know when it becomes crippling. A therapist can help keep track of their symptoms and developments. Friends and family should also be educated to look out for the warning signs of debilitating depression around them to help keep track of the patient.
If the symptoms persist and cause general or life-threatening redundancy, the patient should be medically reviewed, measures should be taken, and medications listed above considered.
Therapy is known to yield good results in treating depression.