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Depression - The Basics

Depression - The Basics

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Published by sheldonmcphe923
Depression: Defined

Depression is often confused with sadness. Everyone feels sad or "down in the dumps" at times in their lives. Sadness is a natural reaction to something upsetting or painful. It is also a transient feeling that typically passes when someone comes to term with his troubles. Depression, on the other hand, can linger for weeks, months or even years. It is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, or lack of pleasure interfere with everyday life for an extended period of time. In addition to either extreme sadness and/or loss of interest or pleasure for two weeks or more, people who experience a depressive episode also experience 5 or more of the following symptoms nearly every day (as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV):

(1) depressed mood most of the day
(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in activities
(3) significant weight loss when not dieting, or weight gain
(4) insomnia or hypersomnia
(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation
(6) fatigue or loss of energy
(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

Source: American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

Depression: Causes

There are many factors that can contribute to depression. The diathesis-stress model of illness is a helpful way to understand depression. Someone might have a predisposition to depression (the "diathesis" component) because of temperament, hormones, or genetic factors. For example, there might be a family history of a mood disorder such as unipolar depression or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression). It is not inevitable that a person with this familial history will develop depression. However, if there is a stressor in his/her life (e.g., a divorce), the strain might exacerbate the potential for depression.

Not everyone who has a predisposition to depression will develop depression. And many people without this predisposition will have a depressive episode, perhaps brought about by a loss, identity crisis, major life change or interpersonal situation. Depressive episodes can be triggered not only by "negative" life changes or stressors but by positive ones as well. For example, an upward career move or getting married can also trigger a depression.

Depression: Types

There are many types of mood disorders, from recurrent depressions, to a single depressive episode, to a cluster of depressive symptoms, to dysthymia (which is a lower level of depression that can last for longer periods of time such as a year or more), to bipolar depression, (which includes periods of elevated or extremely happy mood, often described as feeling "on top of the world" or feeling very agitated or irritable). To learn more about the various subtypes of mood disorders, you can visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov (National Institute of Mental Health).

Depression: Treatment

Depression can be treated through therapy and/or medication. Therapy modalities range from cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps individuals change their negative thoughts and behaviors to more realistic thoughts and actions, to psychodynamic therapy, which helps individuals identify and reverse their long-standing unhealthy repetitive patterns that can lead to depression and other psychological symptoms. When therapy alone is not sufficient, medication is often used to aid in the treatment of depression. There is a wide range of medications that can alleviate depression, from SSRI's to atypical antidepressants. You should consult a psychiatrist to find out which, if any, medication would be most helpful for you
Research studies have found group ther
Depression: Defined

Depression is often confused with sadness. Everyone feels sad or "down in the dumps" at times in their lives. Sadness is a natural reaction to something upsetting or painful. It is also a transient feeling that typically passes when someone comes to term with his troubles. Depression, on the other hand, can linger for weeks, months or even years. It is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, or lack of pleasure interfere with everyday life for an extended period of time. In addition to either extreme sadness and/or loss of interest or pleasure for two weeks or more, people who experience a depressive episode also experience 5 or more of the following symptoms nearly every day (as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV):

(1) depressed mood most of the day
(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in activities
(3) significant weight loss when not dieting, or weight gain
(4) insomnia or hypersomnia
(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation
(6) fatigue or loss of energy
(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

Source: American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

Depression: Causes

There are many factors that can contribute to depression. The diathesis-stress model of illness is a helpful way to understand depression. Someone might have a predisposition to depression (the "diathesis" component) because of temperament, hormones, or genetic factors. For example, there might be a family history of a mood disorder such as unipolar depression or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression). It is not inevitable that a person with this familial history will develop depression. However, if there is a stressor in his/her life (e.g., a divorce), the strain might exacerbate the potential for depression.

Not everyone who has a predisposition to depression will develop depression. And many people without this predisposition will have a depressive episode, perhaps brought about by a loss, identity crisis, major life change or interpersonal situation. Depressive episodes can be triggered not only by "negative" life changes or stressors but by positive ones as well. For example, an upward career move or getting married can also trigger a depression.

Depression: Types

There are many types of mood disorders, from recurrent depressions, to a single depressive episode, to a cluster of depressive symptoms, to dysthymia (which is a lower level of depression that can last for longer periods of time such as a year or more), to bipolar depression, (which includes periods of elevated or extremely happy mood, often described as feeling "on top of the world" or feeling very agitated or irritable). To learn more about the various subtypes of mood disorders, you can visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov (National Institute of Mental Health).

Depression: Treatment

Depression can be treated through therapy and/or medication. Therapy modalities range from cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps individuals change their negative thoughts and behaviors to more realistic thoughts and actions, to psychodynamic therapy, which helps individuals identify and reverse their long-standing unhealthy repetitive patterns that can lead to depression and other psychological symptoms. When therapy alone is not sufficient, medication is often used to aid in the treatment of depression. There is a wide range of medications that can alleviate depression, from SSRI's to atypical antidepressants. You should consult a psychiatrist to find out which, if any, medication would be most helpful for you
Research studies have found group ther

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Published by: sheldonmcphe923 on Dec 15, 2011
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Depression - The Basics
Depression: DefinedDepression is often confused with sadness. Everyone feels sad or "down in thedumps" at times in their lives. Sadness is a natural reaction to something upsettingor painful. It is also a transient feeling that typically passes when someone comesto term with his troubles. Depression, on the other hand, can linger for weeks,months or even years. It is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, or lack of  pleasure interfere with everyday life for an extended period of time. In addition toeither extreme sadness and/or loss of interest or pleasure for two weeks or more, people who experience a depressive episode also experience 5 or more of thefollowing symptoms nearly every day (as defined by the Diagnostic and StatisticalManual of Mental Disorders IV):
 beverly hills psychologist(1) depressed mood most of the day(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in activities(3) significant weight loss when not dieting, or weight gain(4) insomnia or hypersomnia(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation(6) fatigue or loss of energy(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideationwithout a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committingsuicide.
Source: American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association,1994.
 
Depression: CausesThere are many factors that can contribute to depression. The diathesis-stressmodel of illness is a helpful way to understand depression. Someone might have a predisposition to depression (the "diathesis" component) because of temperament,hormones, or genetic factors. For example, there might be a family history of amood disorder such as unipolar depression or bipolar disorder (also known asmanic depression). It is not inevitable that a person with this familial history willdevelop depression. However, if there is a stressor in his/her life (e.g., a divorce),the strain might exacerbate the potential for depression. Not everyone who has a predisposition to depression will develop depression. Andmany people without this predisposition will have a depressive episode, perhaps brought about by a loss, identity crisis, major life change or interpersonal situation.Depressive episodes can be triggered not only by "negative" life changes or stressors but by positive ones as well. For example, an upward career move or getting married can also trigger a depression.Depression: TypesThere are many types of mood disorders, from recurrent depressions, to a singledepressive episode, to a cluster of depressive symptoms, to dysthymia (which is alower level of depression that can last for longer periods of time such as a year or more), to bipolar depression, (which includes periods of elevated or extremelyhappy mood, often described as feeling "on top of the world" or feeling veryagitated or irritable). To learn more about the various subtypes of mood disorders,you can visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov (National Institute of Mental Health).Depression: TreatmentDepression can be treated through therapy and/or medication. Therapy modalitiesrange from cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps individuals change their negative thoughts and behaviors to more realistic thoughts and actions, to psychodynamic therapy, which helps individuals identify and reverse their long-standing unhealthy repetitive patterns that can lead to depression and other  psychological symptoms. When therapy alone is not sufficient, medication is oftenused to aid in the treatment of depression. There is a wide range of medicationsthat can alleviate depression, from SSRI's to atypical antidepressants. You should

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