Depression is a mood disorder which causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and act. For many people with depression, it can be very difficult to have hope for the future, since depression makes it hard to see beyond the present moment.
People can be depressed for different reasons. Sometimes it develops on its own; some people are genetically predisposed to depression, or their bodies may be affected by factors beyond their control, such as a family history of depression, brain chemistry, medical causes, or shifts in hormones. Other times, your life circumstances can cause you to become depressed—or it may even be triggered by seemingly insignificant events. The good news is that depression is treatable and happiness is possible.
Did You Know?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression affects 1 in 15 adults every year. The association also estimates that as many as 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.
There are different forms of depression, including:
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia): characterized by a depressed mood that lasts a minimum of two years. Can be composed of major depressive episodes alongside periods of less severe symptoms.
- Postpartum/ Peripartum Depression: characterized by prolonged major depression during pregnancy and/or after childbirth. Symptoms are more severe and last longer than those associated with the “baby blues”, making it hard for mothers to care for themselves and their child.
- Psychotic Depression: characterized by depression accompanied by psychotic symptoms such as delusions and/or hallucinations.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder: characterized by periods of depression during the winter when there is less sunlight. Symptoms usually resolve themselves in the spring and summer.
- Bipolar Disorder: not a type of depression, but people with bipolar disorder experience periods of depression that meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Symptoms of depression can include:
- A persistent sad or anxious mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, or that things will never get better
- Feeling restless and irritable
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Irritability, restlessness
- Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of suicide and suicidal behavior
There is no single test to diagnose depression. Instead, depression is diagnosed after a physical exam, discussion of your medical history, a review of symptoms, and ruling out other conditions that cause similar physical symptoms (such as thyroid problems or other endocrine issues). You will likely be asked to fill out a self-assessment and/or answer specific questions so that your provider can give you an accurate diagnosis.
The American Psychiatric Association notes that as many as 80-90% of people with depression respond well to treatment and get relief from depression symptoms. In most cases, a combination of talk therapy and medication is recommended. Talk therapy can help change thoughts and behaviors contributing to depression, while medication is generally used to balance brain chemicals that affect mood and emotions.
We are here for you.
Symptoms of depression generally need to be experienced most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks to be diagnosed as depression. However, even if a diagnosis is not made, treatment can still be used to help sub-syndromal depression.
Psychiatrists can accurately diagnose depression, so if you or a loved one are showing symptoms, schedule a consultation with our physicians at Florida Family Psychiatry today.
- Chronic Illness and Mental Health: Recognizing and Treating Depression
- What is depression?
- Older Adults and Depression
- Teen Depression: More Than Just Moodiness
- Depression in Women: 5 Things You Should Know
- Perinatal Depression
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- A Family Guide: What Families Need to Know About Adolescent Depression
- Parents’ Medication Guide for Depression in Children and Adolescents.
- Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
- Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression
- Monochrome Days: A First-Hand Account of One Teenager’s Experience With Depression
- Queen Bees and Wannabes, 3rd Edition: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boys, and the New Realities of Girl World
- The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression
- Trouble in My Head: A Young Girl’s Fight with Depression
- Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface
- Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression
- Understanding Depression: 101 Essential Tips And Insights You Need To Know
Books for Parents:
Books for Youths:
These apps can be helpful tools for people with depression. They should be used alongside comprehensive assessment and treatment from a trained mental health professional.
mADAP is a video-based mobile health app based on Johns Hopkins University’s Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP). It was developed specifically to provide information about depression to adolescents. The app, which contains information about how adolescents can get help for depression, is available for free on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
CBT Tools is another app designed specifically for youth. It provides information about depression as well as templates with which users familiar with CBT can practice their CBT skills. Coping skills and safety plans and can recorded and easily accessed. This app has an associated cost and is available at Apple’s App Store.
Mood Tools is another app that provides information about depression, templates that can help people practice and use their CBT skills, as well as fields for entering preferred coping skills and safety plans. The app, which does not contain advertisements, is free and is available at both Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Developed by the California Mental Health Authority, this app allows users to easily access contact information for the three individuals who are best positioned to support them in a crisis, as well easily review and update their personal warning signs and coping strategies. The app is free and is available at both Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Some of the content of this Florida Family Psychiatry (FFP) webpage were sourced from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the National Institute of Mental Health, and their affiliates. The content on this page should be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. FFP has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the content on this website. However, the information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind.
FFP does not accept any liability or responsibility for the content, accuracy, completeness, reliability or legality of the content on this website. FFP does not endorse or recommend any products or services. Additionally, external parties may not use any information on this website for advertising or product endorsement purposes.