Experiencing occasional symptoms of depression is a common human experience. Experiencing prolonged and persistent symptoms may represent the presence of clinical depression, in which the symptoms actually interfere with the ability to perform daily activities. The most commonly diagnosed forms of depression are:
Major depression in which the symptoms interfere with the ability to perform basic daily functions and manage personal responsibilities such as maintain employment.
Persistent depressive disorder lasts for at least two years and may consist of symptoms of major depression. Furthermore, there are specific circumstantial forms of depression that may be diagnosed within this category of depression, such as:
- • Psychotic Depression
- • Postpartum Depression
- • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Bipolar depression, also known as manic-depressive illness, is generally characterized by experiencing extreme manic “highs” and extreme depressive lows.
Depressive disorders are believed to be caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors. In other words, depression may be found to run in a family and it may be triggered by environmental or situational experiences. Individuals diagnosed with a depressive disorder experience a variety of symptoms each with its own level of severity and duration. Although depressive disorders can be severe and debilitating, the symptoms can be managed effectively with a carefully considered medication management and psychotherapeutic treatment plan.
Medication Management for Depression
Antidepressant medication is designed to affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain that appear to regulate mood, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. The following are a variety of some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications:
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
- • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- • Sertraline (Zoloft)
- • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- • Paroxetine (Paxil)
- • Citalopram (Celexa)
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
- • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
- • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
Antidepressant Regulating Dopamine
- • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
Psychotherapy for Depression
Psychotherapy has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for symptoms of depression. In severe cases, it may be most effective in conjunction with a carefully monitored medication management plan. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that is designed to help people restructure negative thought patterns allowing them to experience a more positive and optimistic view of their environment and interaction with others.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- • Sad and tearful affect
- • Persistent feelings of sadness
- • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness
- • Loss of appetite or overeating
- • Insomnia
- • Fatigue
- • Loss of interest in daily activities
- • Aches and pains
- • Irritability
- • Suicidal thoughts
If you or a loved one is suffering from symptoms of depression, call us now at 305-467-8666.