The majority of individuals who live with a major depressive disorder do nothing to obtain relief from their symptoms for various reasons. One factor may be that they are not aware of or have access to quality treatment in their area. Another factor could be that they have limited or no support from friends and family, or they could be unaware that their symptoms are pointing to something more than a passing sadness.
Data complied by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2016 showed an average of 16.2 million adults in the U.S. who dealt with major depressive disorder. That number makes up around 6.7% of all adults in America.
However, only about 44% received care from visiting a healthcare professional or by taking prescription medication. Treatment with medication alone was even less common at only 7%. Overall, an estimated 37% didn’t receive the right amount of support and/or the treatment they needed to feel better.
What is Major Depressive Disorder?
Major depression is one of the most common forms of mental health disorders affecting the United States. For some who live with the disorder day to day, it can interfere with their everyday lives and cause limitations in their abilities to carry out the most basic activities.
Major Depressive Disorder is described as a two-week period or longer where there is a loss of interest in the things a person once enjoyed. The individual will also remain in a depressed mood for this period and have at least four of the following symptoms.
- Sleep problems
- Loss of appetite or other eating issues
- Lack of energy
- Loss of concentration
- Problems with self-image or confidence
- Ongoing thoughts of death or suicide
While having only one or two of these symptoms on their own may not be a cause for alarm, if you or someone you know suffers from four or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, you should consider professional assistance.
The Different Types of Depression
Many people are unaware that there is more than one type of depression. There are actually two different categories that depression can fall into two different categories which are major depressive disorder and dysthymia.
Dysthymia is a grouping of several different types of depression as well as disorders including symptoms of depression. Because there are so many forms of depression, it’s very important that you speak with a professional about your symptoms to determine the most accurate type of treatment needed.
Here are a few more details on some of the different types of depression.
Bipolar I and II Disorders
Bipolar I and II Disorders can cause individuals to suffer from mood swings ranging from hypomania or mania (high) to major depression (low). It can be difficult even for professionals to tell the difference between bipolar depression and major depressive disorder since most people do not visit their doctors when they are experiencing a hypomanic mood. They often only seek treatment when they are dealing with a depressed mood.
This disorder can be very similar to bipolar I and II, but it involves much milder high and low moods.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Also known as dysthymia, persistent depressive disorder is a type of depression that occurs long-term and is often less severe than others. This mild case of depression, however, may become chronic if you continue to experience symptoms without getting the right amount of treatment.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
This is a form of depression that can be triggered by the hormonal changes that occur in females between three to seven days before their menstrual period begins. After their period has passed, the depression usually goes away also.
It’s important to keep in mind that feelings of depression can also be caused by the side effects of some prescription medication, underlying medical conditions, and the use of recreational drugs.
Five Warning Signs of Depression Everyone Should Know About
If you believe that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, there are a few signs that can help validate your claims. Here are five warning signs that you should look for.
1. Unexplained Pain
Depression does not simply affect your mental health, but it can also have a negative impact on your physical well-being. Unexplained aches and pains are often a sign of depression.
A recent study showed that 69% of people who met all the criteria for a depression diagnosis visited their doctor for unexplained aches and pains. The most common include joint pain, bloating, and backaches.
2. Inability to Concentrate
It may be normal to suffer from brain fog or forgetfulness. But those who live with depression day to day often have a lack of focus that is so bad they are unable to perform their everyday duties at work or at home. There may be periods where they make more mistakes than usual or have trouble making decisions.
3. Too Much or Too Little Sleep
Another primary symptom of depression is not getting enough sleep or getting too much. Sleep disorders such as insomnia do not cause depression to occur, but they can play a big role in mood fluctuations and instability.
4. Change in Appetite
Depression can have a major impact on your appetite. For some people, it can cause them to eat more while others may notice a significant decrease in their appetite. Regardless of how depression affects your appetite, this is one symptom that can have a negative impact on your physical well-being. Even if someone manages to lose weight during a period of depression, this isn’t considered a healthy way to lose a few pounds.
5. Moodiness and Irritability
Just because someone has a snappy attitude doesn’t mean they are depressed. But heightened or unexplained irritability is another sign of depression. If little things are setting you off and you notice that you get agitated more often than usual, it could be a sign of depression.
The anger could become so bad that could lead to thoughts of self-harm or the desire to cause harm to another person. If you are experiencing any of these feelings, then you should get immediate help as quickly as possible.
Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital Helps Those Living with Depression
At Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, we specialize in providing professional treatment for all types of depression and other mood disorders. We provide care and support to everyone who is ready to turn their life around and get relief from the symptoms of mental illness that drag them down every day.