As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) created by the American Psychology Association, depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently low moods and loss of interest that causes significant impairment in daily functioning abilities. Those diagnosed with major depression report the most prominent symptom being profound sadness and a sense of despair that interferes with daily activities and functioning. To be diagnosed with major depression, one must be experiencing symptoms for at least two weeks. Still, usually, the symptoms of depression continue even longer, sometimes lasting even months or years. While depression is the most common mental health issue that Americans face, it is highly treatable. With the right support like that provided at Heather Fisher Recovery Services, individuals can heal and return to good mental health.
Depression can affect men and women of all ages and stages of life. Depression can affect children, teenagers, and the elderly population as well, but will often go undiagnosed in these communities. Research shows that twice as many women are diagnosed with depression as men. The increased risk factors for women can be due to hormonal changes, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, and menopause. Often men struggle to seek out help for depressive symptoms due to social shame.
Adapted from PHQ-9
Responses should be based on behavior over the past 90 days
Disclaimer: This screening is not designed to make a diagnosis or take the place of a professional diagnosis
consultation. Use this brief screening tool to help determine if further action is recommended.
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Depression is a mental illness that is not caused by any one thing. There are various factors, events, and possible predisposed genetics and biology that may contribute to a diagnosis.
Any number of occurrences can cause depression to arise. Some common causes of depression can include:
All of these situations put individuals under a high amount of stress and strain, which when persistent, allows depression to take hold.
There are different types of depression diagnoses and depressive symptoms. Everyone’s battle and symptoms may present differently, making it hard to tell that someone is depressed. Below are three common diagnosable types of depressive disorder, each having unique characteristics:
Anxious Distress: Depression with constant restlessness and worry about lack of control over events. May experience panic attacks.
Mixed Features: Depression combined with manic features, including an elevated sense of self, increased energy, and rapid speech.
Atypical Features: depression that includes temporary relief and the ability to be cheered up, increased appetite, excessive need for sleep, and heaviness in arms and legs.
Symptoms of depression will vary from person to person. However, there are some common symptoms that frequently appear together. If any of these symptoms appear together and/or persist for more than a week, it’s likely depression is at play:
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, seeking help could improve their quality of life tenfold. Too often, individuals succumb to their symptomology and feel like they must face these struggles independently. Other times a person may be in denial that they are struggling and nothing quite like themselves anymore. No matter what is going on, everybody deserves relief and resources to combat depression.
Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, a modality where you engage in conversation and solutions about your condition and related mental health issues.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: DBT is a type of behavioral therapy that combines approaches of mindfulness, acceptance, and emotional regulation to identify and change negative thinking patterns.
Medications: There are antidepressant medications available to help reduce the adverse side effects of depression. Consulting help from a psychiatrist will help you know what medication might work for you.