Sons. Daughters. Siblings. Fathers. Mothers. Grandparents. Partners. Spouses. Aunts. Uncles. In-laws. Friends. Employees. Bosses. Co-workers. There is no one immune from depression. It can strike anyone at any age and any stage. It can be present in the 10-year-old who sits out of recess and leaves his lunch untouched most days. It can be present in the 20-something woman at the gym, who is working out frantically today but tomorrow she may not be able to get out of bed. It can be present in the 40-something man who just received a promotion but who never feels like he is doing enough. Depression affects people in every gender, every race, every religion, and every socio-economic status. It is also an illness that has treatments. Many who are suffering from depression are also reaching out for help, and a mental health therapist is guiding them toward the healing they need.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
The counselors and therapists have stood with many clients as they have lived through the horror of depression and found the treatment they needed to heal. Depression is an illness that most often requires medical supervision, and Thriveworks Counseling in Phoenix is ready to offer that care. If you think you might be the right fit for counseling, consider reaching out to our office today.
The Many Forms of Depression
Depression is a sneaky disease that can show itself in a variety of ways. There are many different diagnoses that fit under the umbrella of depression. Here are just six:
1) Major Depressive Disorder
This is what most people think of when they think of depression. When people have Major Depressive Disorder, they will display at least five of the following symptoms, experiencing them for most of the day, on more days than not, for a period of at least two continuous weeks:
- Feelings of intense hopelessness, sadness, emptiness, despair.
- Lost pleasure in everyday activities.
- Substantial weight loss or gain.
- Appetite changes.
- Disrupted sleep patterns (hypersomnia or insomnia).
- Changes in levels of activity.
- Loss of energy/fatigue.
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or self-hatred.
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking.
- Thoughts of suicide and/or death.
Left untreated, Major Depressive Disorder can last for months or even years. It can also develop into other forms of depression. Treatment often shortens the severity of the symptoms as well as Major Depressive Disorder’s duration.
2) Minor Depression
Major Depressive Disorder requires five of the listed symptoms to be diagnosed, but minor depression only requires two symptoms to be present. One of those symptoms must be either lost pleasure in everyday activities or feelings of sadness, despair, emptiness, and/or hopelessness.
3) Persistent Depressive Disorder
This form of depression is often called chronic depression or dysthymia. It has different symptoms than Major Depressive Disorder or Minor Depression, but those who experience Persistent Depressive Disorder can experience bouts of Major Depressive Disorder. Its symptoms will persist for at least two years and include:
- Mild anxiety
- Negative self-talk
- Lack of motivation
- Automatic expectation of failure
- Impaired concentration
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Loss or gain in weight of 5 percent or more within a month
- Unstable mood
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
4) Substance/Medication Induced Depressive Disorder
When alcohol or drugs are used to self-medicate, people are often seeking a way to feel better. However, self-medication often backfires and produces the opposite effect. The initial lift in mood is always followed by a low, and during that low, a particular form of depression can develop—Substance Induced Depressive Disorder. This form of depression is often interwoven with the pain and trauma that drives people to self-medicate in the first place. Twelve-step programs and psychotherapy are great options for those who struggle with Substance Induced Depressive Disorder. These help people learn how to process their pain, forgive, and connect in a meaningful way.
5) Adjustment Disorder
When people undergo extreme stress and/or changes in their circumstances, they are particularly vulnerable to a type of depression called Adjustment Disorder. Triggers include illness, divorce, unemployment, and relocation. The symptoms overlap with Major Depressive Disorder, but the anxiety, disrupted eating/sleeping patterns, and sadness will not be as severe. Adjustment Disorder comes in two forms: acute and chronic. Acute often passes as the feelings about the adjustment are processed. Chronic can persist after the stress has passed.
6) Bipolar Disorder
This form of depression is also called Manic Depression because it involves abrupt changes in a person’s mood that cycle between a depressive state and a manic state. The depressive state shares the same symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder. The manic state often involves…
- Increased self-esteem
- Decreased need for sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Easily angered
- Psychomotor agitation
- Increased goal-directed activities
- Engaging in risky, pleasurable activities
Bipolar Disorder also comes in many forms, including Bipolar 2 wherein people experience a muted form of mania.
Reaching Out for Counseling at Thriveworks Counseling in Phoenix, AZ
If you recognized any of the symptoms above, it may be time to seek professional help. A skilled mental health professional can often find the right diagnosis and treatment for what you are experiencing. When you contact Thriveworks in Phoenix to make an appointment, know that you may be able to see your therapist the following day. We also accept many forms of insurance. Call our office today for to meet with a mental health professional.