Depressive disorders are one of the most misunderstood types of emotional illness. In fact, many people suffering from a depressive illness never seek depression counseling or any type of depression treatment.
This is unfortunate based on research that shows that most people with depression get better with treatment.
There are a quite a few forms of depressive disorders, the most common being the following:
- Major depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Psychotic depression
Causes of Depressive Disorders
According to years of research on depression, the risk of developing a depressive illness appears to associated with genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
Depressive disorders are illnesses that occur in the brain. Research using brain-imaging technologies have revealed that people suffering with depressive disorders have distinct variations from people who do not have depression. Not surprisingly, the areas of the brain that are different are all associated with symptoms of depression, such as mood, thinking, appetite, and sleep.
Although some types of depressive disorders occur more frequently in families, individuals whose families do not have a history of depression also develop the illness. Often, people experience significant situational depression due to life factors, such as loss of a job, divorce or separation, a traumatic event, or some other type of stressful situation.
Symptoms of Depressive Disorders
People suffering from depression have a wide variety of symptoms. The duration, persistence, and severity depend on a number of factors. For example, one person with depression may experience a loss in appetite and may have difficulty sleeping while another may find themselves binge-eating and sleeping 12 hours a day. Some of the most usual signs and symptoms include the following:
- Feeling sad more frequently than normal
- Unexpected crying spells
- Loss of sleep and appetite
- Increase in sleep and appetite
- Significant weight loss or gain (roughly 10 percent o your body weight)
- Irritability or angering easily
- Difficulty focusing and concentrating
- Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy
Why Depression Treatment is Important
The good news is that even the most severe cases of depression can be effectively treated. However, research has found that the sooner depression treatment starts, the more effective it tends to be. This may be partially due to the fact that persistent depression significantly alters the brain.
The first step to getting appropriate depression treatment is to meet with a depression treatment specialist. They may have you meet with your doctor as well to rule out medical causes. A therapist will discuss with you any family history of depression or other psychiatric disorder, discuss your symptoms, a develop a depression treatment plan.