Is it the blues or is it depression?

  • Posted at Oct 19, 2021
  • Written by Jessica Jarrett
Is it the blues or is it depression?

We all have moments when we are feeling a bit down, which we often refer to as depression. The low feelings of discouragement and sadness typically fade and allow us to continue our routines. However, this is not the same as clinical depression. While they may share some of the same features, depression goes past feeling melancholy and includes symptoms that last for an extended time, often interfering with daily activities. As depression progresses and becomes more serious, physical symptoms become more present.

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, can occur at any time, but is likely to first appear in the late teens to mid-20’s. There is also a high level of heritability (approximately 40%) when first-degree relatives (parents/children/siblings) have depression.

There are several forms of depression, each slightly different.

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia): A depressed mood that lasts for at least two years.
  • Postpartum depression: Women with postpartum depression have feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion after birth making it difficult to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.
  • Psychotic depression: Occurs when someone has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having delusions or hallucinations.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: Characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. Th
  • Bipolar disorder: A different from depression, someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”).

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that negatively impacts your feelings. While there are many symptoms of a depressive disorder, everyone will not experience the same ones. Symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day, and may include:

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss or weight gain
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Men with depression are more likely than women to abuse substances, display anger, and engage in risky behavior because of the disorder. Young adults and teens will often withdraw from friends and family, have more difficulty concentrating, feel guilty or worthless, and feel restless.

It is not fully understood what causes depression, but research suggests a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors trigger symptoms.

Is depression treatable?

Depression, even the most severe cases, is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Professional treatment and therapy can help people diagnosed with depression overcome symptoms and take back their lives.

At Yellowbrick, our treatment philosophy is guided by research findings that show that enduring success is facilitated by working alongside emerging adults coping with actual life experiences in “real time,” with a professional presence supporting the development of skills required to navigate the challenges of life. We combine treatment with active participation within the community to sustain and strengthen personal confidence and establish educational and vocational accomplishments that anchor the individual.  In addition to interpersonal support from peers and staff, education and skills-based approaches to facilitating recovery from depression, Yellowbrick employs multiple interventions derived from neuroscience research.

These include:

  • Medication management, guided and informed by genetic analysis
  • Deep TMS (Brainsway)
  • Neurofeedback
  • Motivational engagement
  • Cognitive enhancement
  • Yoga, mindfulness and mind-body integration (especially for depression related to trauma)

If you or your loved one is suffering from depression, contact Yellowbrick today. Our team is here and ready to help on the journey to recovery.

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