Often known as depression, depressive disorders are more than just feeling sad or having a “bad day or negative attitude.” Depression causes severe symptoms that can affect how you feel both emotionally and physically, how you interpret events (i.e., your thoughts), and how you go about everyday activities. Depressive disorders can be experienced or expressed differently by people in variant ways. For example, some people may experience a depressive episode once in their life perhaps brought on by a triggering experience, while for others their depression may reoccur several times over their lifetime. In addition, the way an individual may express these painful emotions and the duration or intensity can also vary.
When left untreated, depression can significantly affect the person suffering from it and the people who are around them. Additionally, when left untreated, depressive episodes have the potential to last months to years. With early intervention and diagnosis, treatment plans can be integrated into a person's life, such as, therapy, medication and healthy lifestyle changes.
Types of depressive disorders include:
Depression symptoms can be different for all people; however, most people experience a struggle in day-to-day activities. A person who is experiencing depressive symptoms may gain or lose a significant amount of weight, have insomnia or sleep more than usual, and feel fatigued (low energy) more often than not. A person with a depressive disorder may seem slowed down, easily agitated or have an overwhelming feeling of guilt. When intensified a person may experience suicidal ideation:
If you are experiencing self-harm urges, suicidal ideation, a psychiatric emergency, or are in imminent danger please call 911, go to an emergency department of a local hospital, or call local or national crisis hotlines:
Local: Maricopa County Crisis Line 1-602-222-9444 or 1-800-631-1314
Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Trevor Project: (2SLGBTQIA+Youth aged 13-24): 1-866-488-7386
National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-RUNAWAY-1-800-786-2929
Other symptoms include:
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms in the last two weeks, you may be suffering from a depressive episode or disorder.
Although the causes of depressive disorders are varied per individual and not fully known for each unique person, depression can be triggered by a crisis or a physical illness.
Additionally, some research has pointed to:
There is no way to prevent major depression, however, detecting it early can help reduce symptoms, duration of the episode, and can help a person to learn how to cope or regulate depressive mood symptoms.
Treatments for depressive disorders are effective after proper diagnoses, most people feel a reduction in symptoms. Safety planning is also important for those who encounter suicidal thoughts or attempts. Common therapies include:
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