Orange County Therapist – The Different Types Of Depression

Information On Different Types Of Depression

One of the most common illnesses is depression. It is suffered by every individual one or more times in their lives. It is an often misunderstood sickness; it is mostly confused with stress. However, there is a difference.

Stress is the result of the things that happen to you while depression is your inability to deal with the stress and makes you unable to function normally.

Another study points out the difference:

Clinically, depression is an advanced state of melancholia, despair or sadness that disrupts an individual’s activities of daily living and/or social functioning. On the other hand, stress is the result of a broad range of both psychological and physiological strong external stimuli that can cause the general adaptation syndrome, a physiological response, which was first described by Hans Selye in the journal “Nature” in 1936.

According to Dr. Ken Duckworth, a member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School and a private practicing psychiatrist, the difference between stress and depression is that stress can be defined as anxiety before exam, which actually has a positive, motivational benefit while depression reduces ability to sleep, appetite and concentration.

Seeking professional help is the way depression can be easily treated. In America it affects one in eight teenagers and about 9 million adults. Depression needs to be treated on ASAP basis because it can lead the patient to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

Medical treatment of depression is an ongoing process in which doctor monitors and adjusts the medication as per their effectiveness.

Depression Signs and Symptoms

Depression brings pain not only for the affected individual but also for the individual’s family. A depressed person usually shuts himself off from any kind of communication with family members and friends. He/she prefers to spend time alone leaving family members and friends confused by his/her actions and making them wonder what can they possible do about it.

Luckily, there are some signs and symptoms associated with depression that help in identifying someone depressed in the family members and friends circle. Some of the signs and symptoms of depression can be easily noticed while others can be very difficult to spot.

Depression signs and symptoms that are difficult to notice are because of the affected individual’s being assertive and freely mixing with people. Since such depressed person is outgoing around people, it gets very difficult to know that he/she feels disinterested in life. Depression symptoms of such person can be seen in his/her eyes. It is a fact that when a person smiles, his eyes shows whether he is genuinely smiling. So, when you are in doubt about anyone, analyze his/her eyes when he/she smiles. If his/her smile does not reach his/her eyes, you can believe that the person is depressed.

Other signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling worthless
  • Regularly talking about death
  • Not being able to hold a job down
  • Not being able to concentrate

Chatting with a depressed person for a little while may help you understand whether the person you are chatting with is depressed. In Southern California, a trained, accredited Orange County therapist is able to use different treatment types to address depression.

What Are The Causes Of Depression?

The following three factors are considered to be the causes of depression:

  1. environmental
  2. biological
  3. genetic

A combination of these three factors can result in clinical depression, a severe depression disorder that can completely disrupt a person’s life.

Environment Factor:

Environmental factor includes, but are not limited to:

  • Death of any loved one
  • Loss of Job
  • Business failure
  • A nasty divorce
  • Lack of quality social time
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Lack of sleep

People suffering from depression due to any environmental factor are able to do the basic tasks in life. Depression caused by this factor usually lasts a determined time.

Biological Factor:

A change in the brain chemistry i.e. changes in important hormones are considered to be the biological factor that causes depression. An example of biological factor can be developing of postpartum depression by young mothers and pregnant women. Cortisol, a hormone that is produced in situations of fear, anxiety, or stress within the body is one hormone that is changed. However, researchers don’t have any scientific proof yet that it is the chemical imbalance in the brain that causes the depression. There is a possibility that the depression causes the imbalance.

Genetic Factor:

Genetic factor implies family history of depression. If any one of the parents has had a depression history, odds are high that the child will also suffer from depression at some time in his life. If both parents have had a history, chances are much higher.

Other factors that can cause depression include:

  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Alcoholism
  • Abuse of prescription medication
  • A physical injury due to an accident
  • Long-term diseases such as cancer
  • Pessimism

Some Information On Bipolar Depression

Any of the following manifestations can be bipolar depression:

  • Recurring thoughts of suicide
  • Guilt
  • Isolation
  • Hopelessness
  • Problems concentrating
  • Persistent feeling of sadness
  • Chronic pain without a known cause
  • Anxiety
  • Disturbance in sleep
  • Disturbance in appetite
  • Anger
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in daily activities

A study was conducted on bipolar depression in 2003 by Robert Hirschfeld, M.D. of the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. In the study bipolar patients were found to be fared worse in their depressions than uniploar patients (major depression). In terms of potential for suicide, disability, and lost years of productivity, bipolar depression is now recognized as the most dangerous aspect of depression leaving unipolar depression behind.

A patient of severe depression such as bipolar and unipolar depressions may show the symptoms of psychosis. Symptoms of psychosis include:

Delusions which can be defined as false personal beliefs that are not subject to reason and are not explained an individual’s cultural thoughts.

Hallucinations that are defined as seeing, hearing or otherwise sensing the existence of stimuli that doesn’t exist.

Besides the above two symptoms, sufferers of bipolar depression can also suffer from paranoid thoughts. Such thoughts can be persecution or monitoring of the patient himself/herself by some powerful entity such as a hostile force or government. These paranoid thoughts can also make the patients believe that the people close to him/her will leave and abandon him/her.

In patients of bipolar depression, unusual and intense religious beliefs such as their strong belief that God has given them a role to play in the world or they have supernatural powers.

What Is Postpartum Depression?

Also known as postnatal depression, postpartum depression (PPD) is a kind of major depression that affects women after childbirth. It also affects men, but comparatively in less number.

It is considered as treatable in most parts of the globe. Studies show that the prevalence rate is from 5% to 25%. However those studies were methodologically different and hence the actual occurrence rate is unclear.

Maternity blues is a condition that is suffered by 70 to 80 per cent of women after childbirth. This condition often gets misunderstood as postpartum depression due to its symptoms that are somewhat similar to PPD. However, maternity blues are just a mild and transitory form of moodiness.

Causes of Postpartum Depression

Not all causes of PPD is known. However, several of them have been identified. They are:

  • Unplanned/unwanted pregnancy
  • Childcare stress
  • Single parent
  • History of previous depression
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Low self esteem
  • Low social support
  • Prenatal depression during pregnancy
  • Infant temperament problems
  • Prenatal anxiety
  • Maternity blues
  • Poor marital relationship
  • Life stress

Diagnosis of Postpartum Depression:

Except it’s distinguishing from the maternity blues, postpartum depression is diagnosed on the same criterion as major depression. To differentiate PPD from the baby (or maternity) blues, it is observed whether the symptoms are present one month postpartum. If they are, postpartum is identified.

Treatment of Postpartum Depression:

Treatment methods for postpartum depression are almost the same as the treatment methods for general clinical depression. They include:

  • Medication
  • Dietary supplements
  • Augmentor drugs
  • Psychotherapy
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Vagus nerve stimulation
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Light therapy
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Archaic methods
  • Deep brain stimulation

If the cause of PPD gets identified, doctors aim the treatment at it.

What Is Clinical Depression?

Also known as major depressive disorder or severe depressive disorder, clinical depression causes melancholia, intense sadness, or hopelessness that has exaggerated to the level where an individual’s activities of daily living and/or social functioning gets disturbed. As a state of dejection or low mood that does not cause dysfunction is referred to as depression, what also separates clinical depression from the everyday meaning of being depressed is its being diagnosed through clinical tests.

It is often identified as having no motivation to do anything, being blue or feeling sad for no reason.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), clinical depression is very likely to become the second leading cause of disability in the world by the year 2020. It is already a leading cause of disability in North America and other countries.

Causes of Clinical Depression

There are no identified causes of clinical depression. However, a variety of factors are considered to cause it. They are:

  • Heredity
  • Physiology
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Psychological factors
  • Early experiences of sadness
  • Poor medical conditions
  • Poor diet
  • Postpartum depression
  • Living with a depressed person


One of the following two elements must be present for a period of at least two weeks according to the DSM-IV-TR criterion for diagnosing a major depressive disorder such as clinical depression:

  1. Anhedonia
  2. Depressed mood

If either of these symptoms are accompanied with five of the following other symptoms for the same time period, clinical depression is usually confirmed.

  • Fear and/or feeling of being abandoned by close ones
  • Decreased pleasure or interest in almost all of the daily activities
  • A specific plan for committing suicide, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, a suicide attempt, desire to just lay down and die, or recurrent ideas of death
  • Loss of energy
  • Physical or mental fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Disturbed sleeping habits
  • Emptiness
  • Feeling of intense fear and/or sadness
  • Feelings of overwhelming anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, hopelessness, loneliness, and/or helplessness
  • Weight gain or loss

Treatment: Consult your doctor if you are having symptoms of clinical depression on ASAP basis. If needed, a person who is depressed and also abusing alcohol or drugs, checking into an Orange County Detox Center may be indicated.

What Is Teenage Depression?

It is common for a teenager to suffer short periods of down feeling and occasional bad moods and melancholy. However, many teenagers suffer from major depression as well that disrupts their everyday functioning. Inability to feel happiness or pleasure or more accurately satisfied for a comprehensive period of time, persistent irritability, sad mood, or feelings of despair are the signs if a teenager is suffering from a major depression.

Potential Triggers of Teenage Depression

They include, but are not limited to:

Genetics: If depression is a family history, odds are the teenager will suffer from it too.

Medical Conditions that affect mood and hormonal balance like hypothyroidism. Furthermore, chronic physical illness can also cause depression in a teenager.

Earlier Traumatic Experiences like incest or abuse.

Nutritional Deficiencies due to lack of vitamins or amino acid imbalance.

Significant Events that may include breaking up with girlfriend or boyfriend, parents’ divorce, prolonged or occasional negligence from someone who is source of nurturing, death of a loved one, etc.

Probable Effects of Teenage Depression

They can be several, but the most common are:

  • Suicidal thoughts or attempt
  • Eating disorders
  • Acting out
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Self injury
  • Low self esteem

Treatment of Teenage Depression

No one has the bigger role to play in the treatment of teenage depression than either or both of the parents. These are parents who can greatly help their kids in coming out of the depression. However, if their methods don’t work, clinical treatment of teenage depression can be pursued. Clinical treatment of teenage depression includes:

Dysthimia Depression:

This is the type of depression that is mostly less severe. However, it must be treated immediately.

Cyclothemia Depression:

It is often confused with bipolar depression because the two are very much similar. Severe changes in mood and mental illness are suffered by the person with cyclothemia depression. Mood of the person may change as the seasonal change takes place. It has been observed that more and more people fall into a channel during the winter and fall season.

Atypical Depression:

A variation in the depression that is a little bit different from major depression forms atypical depression. Sometimes moments of happiness make the sufferer happy. Symptoms associated with atypical depression are:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Overeating
  • Oversleeping

This type of depression can last for months or for lifetime.

Psychotic Depression:

Psychotic depression sufferers begin to see and hear imaginary things like visuals, sounds, and voices that only exist in their heads. This condition is known as hallucinations and is more commonly suffered by people with schizophrenia. For a sufferer of manic depression, hallucinations are considered positive, but they are not for someone with psychotic depression.

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