A Brief Introduction to Clinical Depression
Some depression is experienced as a low hum, hovering around you, enigmatic, dampening your outlook, and effecting your interactions. Some depression is overwhelming, so visceral in its delivery that you feel like you are being usurped by it, as if a weighted blanket is covering you and effecting your every thought. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, all clinical depression includes feelings of sadness, impacts your cognitions, and subsequently affects your relationships and your ability to function.
What Are the Different Types of Clinical Depression?
The different depression diagnoses are determined by the symptoms you are experiencing, how long they last, and how frequently they occur. Every form of clinical depression includes the experience of a sad, empty, or irritable mood, as well as somatic and cognitive changes. Your history, exact symptoms as well as the duration and severity of your symptoms will determine a specific diagnosis.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, details seven types of clinical depression:
- Major Depressive Disorder
- The classic condition of the depressive disorders that lasts at least two weeks with the feeling of depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure pervasive nearly every day, for most of the day, during that two-week period. This type of depression is usually experienced more than once and generally lasts longer than two weeks.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
- Is experienced with less acuity than MDD, however, with a longer duration. This type of depression is diagnosed when symptoms persist for more than two years.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
- Depression in women that appears during the week before menstruation and end within a few days after a woman’s period starts.
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
- A diagnosis reserved for children between 6 and 18 characterized by extreme irritability, anger, and frequent, intense temper outbursts.
- Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder
- A depressed mood or decrease in interest or pleasure during or after intoxication or withdrawal.
- Other Specified Depressive Disorder
- Unspecified Depressive Disorder
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder?
When a person has Major Depressive Disorder, five of the following symptoms must be observable or subjectively reported for at least two weeks: (One of the symptoms must be depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.)
- Depressed mood, i.e., feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness, most of the day, nearly every day
- Reduced interest or pleasure in regular activities most of the day, nearly every day
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleeping or prolonged nighttime sleeping) nearly every day
- Psychomotor agitation (e.g., excessive physical actions like pacing, hand-wringing, or toe tapping); or psychomotor retardation (e.g., slowed speech, increased pauses in speech, or slowed body movements) nearly every day
- Reduction in energy, i.e., fatigue, nearly every day
- Feeling worthless and excessively guilty nearly every day
- Interference with the ability to concentrate or make decisions nearly every day
- Weight loss or gain (independent of dieting) or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
- Thoughts of death; or, thoughts or plans for suicide
Additional Facts About Major Depressive Disorder
- There is not a singular etiology for the onset of Major Depressive Disorder, however, evidence points to environmental, psychological, and physiological factors, as well as reaction to other mental disorders and medical conditions. Environmental factors include stressful life events and adverse childhood experiences. Physiological and genetic factors include an increased risk for depression based on hereditary. Psychological factors include an increase in depression in individuals with a neurotic temperament. Finally, risk for depression increases in individuals with substance use, anxiety, borderline personality, and chronic and disabling medical conditions.
- Major Depressive Disorder affects women in higher numbers than men (1.5-3x as many women are affected as men) and 18-29 year olds are affected 3x as much as people over age 60. The peak age for the onset of Major Depressive Disorder is in the 20’s, however, having the first episode occur in mid-life is common. Major Depressive Disorder is associated with a high mortality rate because of the increased incident of suicide.
- Major Depressive Disorder can lift spontaneously, especially for individuals who have endured symptoms for a short amount of time and some individuals will experience years of intermittent remittance. For others, depression rarely lifts for more than two consecutive months. Recovery is also negatively impacted for individuals whose depression is co-occurring with anxiety, psychosis, a personality disorder, and severe symptoms.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Persistent Depressive Disorder?
When an individual has Persistent Depressive Disorder, they must exhibit or report a depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, for at least two years; as well, they must have two of the other six potential symptoms listed:
- A subjective or observable depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, for at least two years.
- Two or more of the following symptoms:
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Reduction in energy, i.e., fatigue
- Reduced self-esteem
- Interference with the ability to concentrate or make decisions
- Feeling hopeless
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder?
Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder is different than a dual diagnosis of Substance Use Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder or Substance Use Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder. With a dual diagnosis, a person is diagnosed with two disorders, whereas the primary symptom of Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder is the depressed mood or decrease in interest or pleasure during or after intoxication or withdrawal; or, after use of a medication.
Depression Treatment at Silicon Beach Treatment Center
At Silicon Beach Treatment Center, we treat Clinical Depression. Our task when treating any area of client suffering is to identify the nature of your experience with it, explore the underlying causes, and work together to usher in resiliency, foster a more hopeful outlook, and restore equilibrium. Our caring, trained professionals will work diligently to bring you the support, interventions, and treatment you need.
Please note, the information on this page is based on the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, however, it is in no way exhaustive on the subject of each disorder discussed. This text is not intended to be the basis of self-diagnosis of any disorder. Only a trained mental health provider can provide you with an accurate diagnosis based on a myriad of factors and details specific to your particular case.