Major Depressive Disorder
What Is Major Depression and How Is It Treated?
Major depression (or “clinical depression”) is a mental health issue that can cause severe disruptions to a person’s overall quality of life. While everyone feels sad from time to time, a sadness that affects a person’s ability to function in their everyday life for weeks or months on end might be major depression. Suffering from major depression can be painful, but there is hope! Create Recovery Center can help you or a loved one learn to manage symptoms to get back on track to living a fulfilling and happy life.
What Does Major Depression Look Like?
Major depression differs from other forms of depression due to the duration of the symptoms. If you are experiencing the following symptoms for the majority of the day for two weeks or longer, you might have major or clinical depression. When reviewing these symptoms, remember that sometimes medical or physical issues can also cause some of these symptoms. Always be sure to rule out any medical or physical problem by consulting a family doctor or primary care physician.
This is not a comprehensive list; however, these are some of the common symptoms of major depression:
- Cognitive (thought-processing and beliefs) Symptoms:
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt, worthlessness, emptiness, sadness, or hopelessness
- Ruminating and fixating on past mistakes or regrets
- Poor concentration or an inability to focus
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Slowed thought processes
- Behavioral Symptoms:
- Outbursts of anger, irritability, or agitation
- No longer engaging in or losing interest in pleasurable activities
- Slowed speech and bodily movements
- Physical Symptoms:
- Changes in appetite leading to weight gain or loss
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Unexplained physical pain, like muscle aches with no root cause
Overall, when someone just does not “seem like themselves,” they could be going through something emotionally difficult. People can become preoccupied with riskier behaviors to distract themselves from their thoughts. While coping with depression can be different for everyone, when a person engages in self-destructive or maladaptive behaviors, they might be on a downward spiral and need help. Create Recovery Center’s clinical experts can help a person learn to identify their triggers and learn healthy ways to cope with their depression.
What Are the Triggers of Major Depression?
Feeling sad following a loss, sudden change, or tragedy is a natural emotion. We all feel this way from time to time. Sometimes, we just need time to process grief or work through our feelings. The triggers of major depression are events that would likely cause sadness for anyone. People grieve and process emotions within their own time frame, and there’s no need to rush through feelings to “get over something.” However, with major depression, the person’s usual coping mechanisms might not be working. They may be dealing with an event that they have never handled and might not have coping skills. Biological and physical health issues can also be a factor that triggers depression. Some common triggers of major depression include:
- Loss of any kind can trigger depression:
- Losing a loved one, family member, or friend when they pass away
- Loss of a pet
- A breakup, divorce, separation, or any significant disruption in a romantic relationship
- Having a “falling out” with a friend, loved one, or another important person
- Getting laid-off, fired, or retiring from a job
- Significant life changes:
- Graduating from college or high school
- Moving to a new town
- Starting a new job or position (even if this is positive, any change might be stressful during the adjustment period!)
- Biological and physical health:
- Postpartum depression can occur following pregnancy due to changes in hormones and body chemistry
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) might occur for some people during the long nights of the winter
- Chemical imbalances within the brain can make a person more susceptible to getting depression
- Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
- Traumatic experiences can trigger depression as the person struggles to cope with trauma
- PTSD can cause depression when left untreated or unacknowledged
- Maladaptive coping skills and consequences:
- Alcohol or drug usage to cope with stressors that then create more significant consequences for the person
- Other process addictions used to cope with sadness that leads to more issues can trigger depression
At Create Recovery Center, we understand that there are many triggers for major depression. Our expert clinical team is trained in a variety of modalities to meet each person exactly where they are and provide them with the best individual treatment.
If you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, our assessment may be a beneficial tool. Although the assessment can not be used as a definitive diagnosis, it can help to determine how many symptoms associated with depression a person may be facing.
We base our assessment questions on the criteria laid out by the fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Regardless to the results of the assessment, it is important to note that major depressive disorder must be diagnosed by a trained medical professional.
What Are Some Ways to Treat Major Depression?
Create Recovery Center understands that no two people experience depression in the same way. We offer a variety of treatment methods to help you find the best pathway to recovery!
Depression is commonly treated with a combination of these modalities:
- Medications can be effective in managing symptoms of depression
- Some medications can be used in the short-term as the person learns new coping skills and gradually stops using medications
- Other people benefit from the long-term use of psychiatric medications, due to chemical disruptions of the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals
- Counseling and individual therapy:
- Often referred to as “talk-therapy,” many counselors or therapists are trained in various modalities to meet your needs
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are two examples of evidence-based practices available at Create Recovery
- Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
- “Dual-Diagnosis Treatment” refers to treating both depression and addiction (substance or process) simultaneously
- At Create Recovery, we know that treating both addiction and underlying mental health issues together is the best pathway for a successful recovery