What is Depression?
Depressive disorders are typically referred to as the umbrella term, depression. Depressive disorders are so much more than being sad or going through hard times. Although these can be symptoms or triggers of depressive episodes, these disorders are serious mental health conditions that require tons of understanding, care, and professional advice/treatment. Without proper treatment, depressive disorders can be debilitating to the person with depression and to their loved ones as well.
While there is no single cause or trigger for depression, there are many ways to treat depression. Depression can be genetic, it can come from trauma in life, occur spontaneously, brain chemistry, medical conditions, and even major life changes. In the majority of cases, if an individual has the proper care and treatment, it is possible to fully recover from depression.
Symptoms of Depression
As mentioned before, some of the more common symptoms of depressive disorders include extreme feelings of sadness, a blank outlook on life, and a sudden loss of interest in hobbies or joy in passions. Other symptoms of depressive disorders include:
- Mood swings and irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of energy
- Persistent feelings of guilt
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increased anxiety
- Escapist behaviors like drug or alcohol abuse
- Insomnia or changes in sleeping patterns
No symptoms are the same for every person with depression. Each person has a unique experience with the disorder. Knowing how each factor contributes to a person’s experience and understanding the risks they face and will allow them to gain a more effective treatment. Biological sex and gender identity, along with religious and cultural backgrounds can also play a role in depression and can change the way the symptoms are experienced/treated.
Types of Depression
Depressive disorders have many specific features and there are various different types of depression. Not only is depression its own disorder, but it can also be a symptom of other mental disorders and illnesses. Getting an accurate diagnosis from a mental health professional is crucial to receiving the correct treatment. While there are many types of depression, the two main types are major depressive disorder (MDD) and persistent depressive disorder (PDD).
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder requires an individual to be experiencing at least 5 symptoms for two weeks or longer. The symptoms can include an immense, persistent feeling of sadness, a loss of interest or dramatic change in pleasure in typical activities, changes in appetite, inappropriate feelings of guilt, constant fatigue, and suicidal ideation. Social, educational, occupational, and other domains of functioning in your everyday life can also be affected by MDD.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Having a permanent low or a dark mood that never seems to go away is the main, defining feature of persistent depressive disorder. In order to be diagnosed, this feeling must be prominent in an individual’s life for at least two years. Although PDD is miler than MDD, it is still considered a serious illness, especially for those living with it. Because it is chronic in nature, it is challenging to go about your life. Major depression may introduce PDD and episodes from MDD can happen throughout your life with PDD.
How is Depression Treated?
At Life Adjustment Team, we know how important it is to individualize treatment. While there are many treatments for depression, getting professional evaluation is key to determining the best treatment for you.
Our assertive mental health case management treatment is an outpatient program that focuses on individualized activities, guided by our DPN Method, with the goal of helping our clients develop the skills and tools necessary to lead an emotionally balanced and fulfilling life.
Clients will partake in an individualized session with our Master’s level staff. The assertive case management model includes 1 to 5 visits a week that last from 1 to 3 hours each. We also provide partnerships with external treatment teams to give our clients a full, 360-degree service. To learn more about the case management model, click here.
Life Adjustment Team is Here to Assist You With Your Depression
Life Adjustment Team is a leader in depression treatment in Los Angeles for over 40 years. Allow our team to give you the tools you need to fight back against depression and empower long-lasting change in your life. Contact us today about our assertive mental health case management program, or check out our Intensive Outpatient Program here.
If you’re currently experiencing a mental health crisis, consider these resources:
Crisis Hotline: 24-hour daily psychiatric mobile response and access to services
Crisis Text Line: https://www.crisistextline.org
Text “home” to 741741, 24 hours a day
Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Hotline: (310) 391-1253
Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Hotline: (877) 727-4747