You are not alone if you’ve been feeling down and out of sorts or are struggling to shake the dark cloud of depressive and intrusive thoughts. Depression comes in several forms and is one of the most common mood disorders in the world. The condition is so widespread that it’s estimated that 1 out of every 6 individuals will experience some type of depressive episode at least once in their lifetime.
Living with depression is not easy, especially when symptoms become so chronic that they start to influence every aspect of your life. Untreated, the condition can worsen and eventually lead to medical and chronic health problems or additional mood disorders. Many people living with poorly managed or untreated depression symptoms are at risk of cardiac and cognitive complications, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s or dementia, respectively.
Depression is extremely common and can cause mild, short-term symptoms that might go away without depression therapy in Los Angeles only to return during times of stress, tension, or physical distress. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a guideline used by mental health professionals to diagnose and treat mood disorders, such as depression, depression has the following subsets.
Atypical depression often starts during childhood, though it’s not common for it to appear during adolescence and later in life. Atypical depression doesn’t usually cause many of the traditional symptoms associated with major depression. Atypical symptoms tend to influence a specific pattern of behaviors, such as irritability, sleep problems, abnormal eating habits, immobility, rejection sensitivity, and other issues.
The changes in personal habits and personality are not persistent. Instead, they are usually triggered by negative or stressful events. One of the biggest indicators that atypical depression is present is symptoms become more manageable or easier to mask when something positive occurs.
Atypical depression is a chronic condition that is managed with treatment, such as antidepressants, MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), and other medications. Talk and behavioral therapy are also effective depression therapy in Los Angeles options to help keep symptoms in remission.
Major Depressive Disorder
Clinically referred to as MDD, the condition impacts just under 10 percent of adults across the country annually, states the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Women are more likely to develop this disorder than men. The condition is not curable, but with the right therapeutics and medications, symptoms are manageable.
Major depressive disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed types of depression in the country. Also known as clinical depression, the condition is present when patients experience two or more symptoms persistently over a two-week period. Signs indicative of MDD include disinterest, guilt, irritability or anger, cognitive issues, suicidal thoughts, sleep issues, and unusual weight changes.
A small percentage of those living with clinical depression may also experience psychosis symptoms that become more severe and frequent with age.
SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder
This type of depression causes symptoms that peak and wan with the seasons or certain weather changes. Many people experience symptoms during the winter or when it’s rainy or gloomy outdoors. SAD is also common during the warmer seasons, in particular summer.
The most common symptoms associated with seasonal depression disorder include sad, bleak, and dark thoughts, irritability, fatigue, food cravings, and weight gain.
PDD or Persistent Depressive Disorder or Dysthymia
PDD is a form of high-functioning depression. High-functioning means symptoms frequently occur or become chronic enough to interfere with daily activities and living, but they are not as severe as clinical depression.
Those affected appear normal, but they are functioning on autopilot. It’s extremely common in those living with chronic health disorders that cause pain, inflammation, and other physical symptoms. To friends and family, they may seem like they’re always complaining or melancholy. Symptom intensity fluctuates and tends to come and go for months at a time.
To receive a persistent depressive disorder diagnosis, symptoms must be intermittently present for at least two years. Some people with PDD end up being diagnosed with double depression. Double depression is when PDD symptoms become so severe that they lead to major depression.
Manic Depression or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar depression is also referred to as bipolar disorder. It’s a type of manic depression that causes extreme symptoms that range from highs to lows and can be quite unpredictable. These changes influence sleep, energy, appetite, moods, cognitive function, and personal relationships. Suicidal thoughts are common and often replaced by intense happiness and excess energy to the point of not being able to sit still or fidgeting.
Bipolar symptoms vary greatly in frequency and can cause manic episodes as often as every day or as little as several times a year. In some cases, especially in children, BDD maniac behaviors can mimic other mental health concerns, such as attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADD and ADHD respectively.
For many people, depression is mild, and symptoms rarely occur so there’s little risk of long-term or health complications. But for others, symptoms are hard to ignore, persistent, unpleasant, and disruptive and are commonly associated with major depressive disorder, peripartum and postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), and other mood disorders.
Anxiety Can Make Depression Symptoms Debilitating
Anxiety is common in those living with mood disorders like depression and can make symptom management challenging. It can also intensify the negative effects of depression and increase the risk of self-harm, toxic or dangerous behaviors, etc. In some cases, anxiety symptoms can be confused with depression and become worse. One of the best ways to alleviate depression and anxiety is with treatment by a professional. The C.U.B.E. does offer professional treatment in the form of psychotherapy in Los Angeles.
Depression Therapy in Los Angeles
Currently, there is no cure for depression, but there are many treatments that can make symptoms less frequent and severe. Treatment options include prescription medications, such as antidepressants, ketamine therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy. Because everyone experiences symptoms differently, treatment plans are based on the individual’s unique needs.
Medication is helpful for some individuals. However, medications are ineffective for those with treatment-resistant or refractory type depression symptoms. In many cases, the most effective options for depression therapy in Los Angeles include a combination of CBT, psychotherapy, and medication.
Untreated, depression can affect every aspect of living, including your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and physical health. It also has a high risk of recurrence. Because different types of depression affect everyone differently, it is important for anyone experiencing symptoms to speak to their doctor or therapist about their situation.
Depression treatment is available at The C.U.B.E. We’re a judgment-free zone! Contact us today!