Understanding Depression: What it is and How to Treat It
Depression is a mental health disorder that can significantly impact how you feel, think, and act. It affects more than 264 million people worldwide. Depression can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are often confused with other conditions or may not even be noticed in the first place. To help you better understand depression, let’s dive into what it is, its various types, and effective treatments.
Types of Depression
Before we talk about treatment for depression, it’s important to understand the different types of depression so that you know which type you are dealing with. The most common forms of depression include major depressive disorder (MDD), persistent depressive disorder (PDD), postpartum depression (PPD), seasonal affective disorder (SAD), psychotic depression, and bipolar disorder.
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): MDD is characterized by an intense feeling of sadness or emptiness that lasts for an extended period of time—at least two weeks—and impacts your daily life. People with MDD have low energy levels, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. It can also lead to suicidal thoughts or attempts.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): PDD is a milder form of MDD where the symptoms last for longer than two years and occur more often than not during that period of time. People with PDD experience feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness along with other symptoms experienced in MDD such as fatigue and changes in appetite or sleep patterns.
- Postpartum Depression (PPD): PPD usually occurs after childbirth when hormones rapidly change within a woman’s body due to pregnancy and delivery. Women may experience extreme sadness, fatigue, guilt, anxiety or anger as well as physical changes like insomnia or loss of appetite during this time. PPD affects 10-15% of women who give birth each year and needs to be treated as soon as possible so that motherhood can still be enjoyed without any lasting effects on the family unit.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): SAD is a type of depression caused by changes in seasons due to lack of sunlight exposure which can cause mood swings such as irritability or sadness during certain times throughout the year such as winter months when days are shorter and sunshine is scarce. SAD sufferers may also struggle with oversleeping, increased appetite for carbohydrates and less energy overall during seasonal changes compared to other times throughout the year when they feel normal again until the next season arrives again causing their symptoms to return once more.
Depression can have serious consequences if left untreated but luckily there are many ways to treat it effectively depending on what type you have been diagnosed with by a professional such as medication management therapy programs lifestyle changes etc With proper care it is possible for patients suffering from any type of depression find relief from their symptoms allowing them to live healthier happier lives free from the burden this mental health condition brings upon them every day making them one step closer towards recovery success! By understanding what depression is its various types and available treatments we can all work together towards improving our mental health wellbeing overall.