Depression

What Is High-Functioning Depression?

Anyone can be depressed, regardless of age or gender. It can hit when you least expect it, but the symptoms often go away on their own with no lingering effect. But when symptoms drag out and begin affecting your quality of life, you may be diagnosed with major depressive disorder or depression. Some people often forge ahead, continuing to excel in their personal and professional lives, without realizing they may have a dangerous mental illness called high-functioning depression.

How Many People Have Depression?

Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with high-functioning and other kinds of depression, making it one of its most common and costly medical conditions. According to a U.S. National Institute of Mental Health study, depression will affect nearly 21 million adults in 2020.

Globally, the numbers are much higher. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression affects 5% of all adults worldwide or more than 280 million people. Because of this, WHO officials call depression a leading source of disability.

The Cost of High-Functioning and Other Types of Depression

All kinds of mental health disorders like high-functioning depression (also called dysthymia) affect people differently at home, work, school, and socially. One of the biggest detriments of depression is the economic burden it creates. According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, the economic cost of depression is more than $200 billion each year. The American Journal of Managed Care paints an even more horrific picture, noting that treating depression accounts for nearly 46% of all healthcare dollars spent each year in the U.S.

Understanding High-Functioning Depression

According to the experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, high-functioning depression or dysthymia is a weaker but long-term kind of depression. It’s also known as persistent depressive disorder. People who have it may experience occasional episodes of major depression.

High-functioning depression is a kind of depression that blends in, chameleon-like, or flies under the radar in most people’s lives until its consequences become unmistakably dangerous. Because it progresses slowly, it’s not only hard for people to recognize, but it’s difficult to be diagnosed. This kind of fabric soon becomes woven into the fabric of someone’s life, making it hard to distinguish it from just having a bad day or being afflicted by a more serious condition.

If you have high-functioning depression, it’s hard to stay upbeat even during what should be happy moments. People unfamiliar may describe you as gloomy, a regular complainer, and someone unable to have fun. Dysthymia may not be as severe as some kinds of depression, but your moods can run the whole gamut between mild, moderate, or severe. 

Symptoms of high-functioning depression to watch for include:

  • Not being interested in daily activities
  • You’re sad, empty, or have a low mood
  • You’re driven to succeed and don’t like excuses
  • You have a sense of hopelessness
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • You have poor self-esteem, criticize yourself often, and generally feel incapable
  • Problems concentrating and making decisions
  • You’re easily irritated and show extreme anger
  • You don’t do much and are less effective and productive than you used to be
  • Social activities are a turn-off
  • You feel guilty and constantly worry about the past
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Sleep troubles

There is no apparent reason for this kind of depression. Experts think chemical imbalances may cause it in the brain (problems with faulty neurotransmitters can be treated), but other factors are believed to contribute, too. There could be environmental, psychological, biological, and genetic influencers. Chronic stress is common in people with high-functioning depression. Still, genetics are thought to play a role as dysthymia tends to run in families – even though a specific gene hasn’t been identified.

High-functioning depression is a kind of mood disorder, often grouped with major depression, bipolar disorder, and mood disorders related to a pre-existing health issue or even from substance abuse or taking certain medications. These are attended by certain risks, like having a blood relative with mental illness, high stress in your life, certain personality traits, and whether you’ve been diagnosed with another mental illness.

In most cases, diagnosis involves:

  • A physical examination to document the personal and family medical history and rule out or confirm an underlying condition that may cause your symptoms.
  • A psychiatric assessment, with symptoms being compared to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria.

Treatment options may include counseling, antidepressants or other medicine, lifestyle changes, or ketamine therapy.

Depression

What Is Persistent Depressive Disorder?

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness worldwide, but its symptoms are often misperceived as “just a bad day.” But if symptoms linger for months or years and interfere with daily life, you may be experiencing the first warning signs of something called persistent depressive disorder.

WHAT IS PERSISTENT DEPRESSIVE DISORDER?

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD), also called dysthymia, is a chronic form of depression. You can lose interest in normal daily tasks, lack productivity, feel hopeless, and have poor self-esteem and an overall sense of failure. These feelings linger for years and may substantially restrict your relationships, work, school, and daily activities. And the symptoms may lead to other related conditions, both mentally and physically worrisome, but can often be managed with treatments like ketamine.

TROUBLING STATISTICS

While PDD isn’t as serious as major depressive disorder, a diagnosis can only be made after experiencing a mix of depressive symptoms for two-plus years, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It affects a little more than one percent of the adults in the United States. Almost 50 percent of these cases are deemed “severe,” with the average age of occurrence being 31 years.

The condition can harm children and adolescents, too. Research shows that about 11.2 percent of 13 to 18-year-olds are affected by it in their lives, with girls more likely to experience depression than boys.

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS

  • Lasting anxiety, sadness, or “empty” moods.
  • Less ability to think, focus, and/or make decisions.
  • Low energy and fatigue.
  • Feeling desperate.
  • Weight and/or appetite changes caused by under- or over-eating.
  • Changes in sleep habits, leading to fitful sleep, problems sleeping, early morning wakeups, or getting too much sleep.
  • Poor self-esteem.

But symptoms are manageable. Some people believe PDD can be treated with therapies like psychotherapy, traditional antidepressants, or newer options like ketamine – and have seen improvement in their lives. The catch is being persistent.

“Persistent depressive disorder is difficult to live with and its symptoms are hard to manage — but they are manageable,” said Heather Jones, who’s suffered from depression for 25 years, beginning when she was a teenager. “If you are feeling as I was, that you have tried so many things and nothing has fully helped, keep trying. Keep advocating for yourself and stay on top of new treatments.”

 

WHAT CAUSES PDD?

According to the World Health Organization, depression and its many forms is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, but PPD – like so many others – is missing a root cause. No one knows what causes PDD. It could be linked to some changes in the brain involving a chemical called serotonin, which helps your brain make judgments and handle emotions. Other medical problems and continual life stressors may play a part.

Gender may be important, too, as women are more likely to develop PDD. Some research indicates that genetics could also play a role, passed down between blood relatives.

PDD VERSUS DEPRESSION

Persistent depressive disorder is a kind of depression. It’s less harsh than major depressive disorder — but it’s continual. Most mental healthcare professionals agree with the diagnosis requirement, that it lasts two years in adults and at least a year in children and teens. During this timeframe, symptoms can be severe and don’t subside or lessen on their own. Some forms of depression can be caused by seasonal changes, for example, but not persistent depressive disorder.

DIAGNOSIS

Depression often occurs with other illnesses, like heart disease or cancer. It can also happen with anxiety disorders or substance abuse. Often, people who suffer from PDD symptoms grow used to the mild depressive warning signs and don’t look for help. However, early diagnosis and consistent treatment is key to recovery.

A diagnosis may be made by a licensed doctor or other medical professional specializing in mental healthcare. The goal of both is to uncover a physical reason for the symptoms or discover a personal or family history of mental illness that could be considered a precursor to PDD onset.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

The traditional form of treatment for PDD is psychotherapy with the goal of altering distorted views of oneself and your environment. Psychotherapy, either in-patient or out-patient, also works to better relationship skills, and recognize and manage stressors. In the last several years, however, researchers and doctors have discovered that a treatment featuring the use of ketamine holds great promise for treating depression symptoms. In some cases, ketamine and other treatments are used as a last-resort effort.

If you or someone you love suffers from depression, you may be able to find relief with ketamine treatment.

Anxiety Chronic Pain Depression Ketamine PTSD

How Does Ketamine Infusion Therapy Work?

People who suffer from mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), along with nerve-based chronic pain conditions, know all-too-well that physical and psychological discomfort is oftentimes hard to manage. Traditional treatment options sometimes work poorly, if at all, and many people are turning to a new kind of treatment – ketamine infusions

WHAT IS KETAMINE?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects. It distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control. It is an injectable, short-acting anesthetic for use in humans and animals. It is referred to as a ‘dissociative anesthetic’ because it makes patients feel detached from their pain and environment.” Created as an anesthetic in the 1960s, ketamine became famous for successfully treating wounded U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.

HOW DOES KETAMINE WORK FOR DEPRESSION?

For people experiencing symptoms of mental illness, chronic pain, or other disorders, research has shown that a neurotransmitter in the brain called glutamate may be weakened, damaged, or not working correctly leading to depression, for instance. Neurotransmitters are responsible for sending signals between cells, influencing how pain is perceived physically and mentally. Low doses of ketamine have been shown to repair or strengthen damaged neurotransmitters, making it easier for a person to handle depression symptoms. 

HOW DOES KETAMINE INFUSION THERAPY WORK?

Ketamine has been proven effective in treating symptoms of mental illness and shows promise in reducing discomfort from arthritis and nerve-based chronic pain conditions. Since the early 1960s when it was created for pre-surgical anesthesia, ketamine has largely been administered intravenously. Today, ketamine infusion therapy works the same way – dispensed through a tube intravenously, but in lower doses than what is typically needed to sedate a person for surgery.

How does ketamine work? 

Ketamine can sometimes go to work right away to provide relief. Feeling better quickly, and improving moods is its key benefit. When administered in a controlled setting, it kicks off a series of events in your brain that rejuvenates damaged neurons.

Will I need regular ketamine therapy? 

Ketamine has a high success rate in treating symptoms of mood disorders and various pain conditions, but because it is not a cure for the conditions it treats, this is considered an ongoing treatment process where periodic infusions are still required after the initial series of infusions are completed.

Are there potential side effects? 

As with any medication, there’s a risk of negative side effects when ketamine is administered intravenously. It can result in side effects including increased blood pressure and heart rate, anxiety, dizziness, double vision, seizures, vomiting, slowed breathing, and others. These side effects are very rare with low-dose ketamine infusions and any increases in blood pressure and heart rate typically return to baseline ranges within 20 minutes of the infusion being completed.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS

Many people who suffer from mental illnesses like depression, seasonal anxiety disorder, postpartum depression, chronic pain, or sleep conditions like neck pain or insomnia, may benefit from non-traditional therapy to lessen their symptoms. There’s no magic answer when it comes to reducing pain, and the first step along the path of managing discomfort is getting diagnosed by a healthcare provider. 

Once diagnosed, your provider may recommend one or a combination of therapeutic treatments including:

  • Ketamine therapy.
  • Eliminating or reducing caffeine from your diet, particularly in the form of caffeinated soda or coffee beverages.
  • Eating healthier meals, including food rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, fish, and lean meats. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and vitamin B12 should also be part of your meal plan.
  • Light exercise including regular walks.
  • Meditation, yoga, or tai chi.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Many kinds of physical and psychological pain can be managed with psychotherapy, medicine, or holistic therapy. In some cases, physical therapy or surgery may be required. But if you’ve experienced pain that resists such treatment, ask your healthcare provider about the benefits of ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine was once used solely as an anesthetic, but it has proven effective in treating the symptoms of mental illness and other pain conditions. 

Contact us today to learn more about these innovative new treatment options.

Depression Uncategorized

Mental Health Experts on Depression

Depression is a widespread and significant medical illness that negatively influences how you feel and how you act. Depression may cause feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. While no cure exists for depression, there are several different treatment options available with ketamine infusions being a newer option which has a 70% success rate nationally.

RISING DEMAND FOR HEALTHCARE

A poll of almost 1,800 psychologists published in November 2020 indicated they were seeing a flood of patients experiencing anxiety disorders compared to pre-pandemic levels, and 60 percent were found to be treating more patients with depressive disorders. Of those psychologists, about 30 percent said they were treating more patients overall. The increased workload is becoming daunting. Two mental health professionals chimed in on their pandemic-era capacity.

Brooke Huminski, a psychotherapist and licensed independent clinical social worker in Providence, RI, who specializes in treating people with eating disorders said, “Never at any time in my practice have I had a five-person waiting list.”

Austin, Texas-based Dr. Gregory Scott Brown, the director of an outpatient psychiatry clinic, said the influx of patients seeking care has forced him to hire an additional nurse practitioner to help treat more patients. “I’m busier than ever and just don’t have room,” he said. “I’m full.”

IT’S OK TO FEEL BAD IN ROUGH TIMES

People who experience symptoms of depression and other mental health illnesses often struggle with feeling that if they’re not happy all the time, then something’s seriously wrong with them. But according to Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez, Assistant Professor, the Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development, Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, good mental health doesn’t mean you’re happy 24/7. Many everyday emotions are “integral parts to being alive,” she said. In fact, Dr. Gomez said that reacting happily following bad news, especially during a global pandemic, “would be abnormal.” She said, “If you’re struggling, there’s nothing inherently wrong with you.”

Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, agreed and stressed, “When people say, ‘it’s okay not to be okay’, I want you to really hear that.” She further noted there is no playbook for navigating such unprecedented stress levels and the human body wasn’t built for it.  

A common form of treatment for people who suffer from depression is psychotherapy, traditional medications, and now newer treatment options like ketamine. Mental healthcare professionals stress that it’s important to find a treatment you’re comfortable with and stick with it as prescribed.

DEPRESSION MEANS PRIORITIZATION

During high-stress moments in life, whether it’s the effect of a global pandemic or something else, mental healthcare professionals say it’s important to stay centered, and prioritize little things to help remain grounded. Joey Lusvardi, a psychiatric physician assistant, and Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Assad Meymandi Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reiterated that mental health is the foundation we build our lives upon, and we can’t ignore the little things – cleaning the house, maintaining personal hygiene, and reaching out to friends and loved ones with Zoom calls and other mediums.

TYPES OF MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

Many kinds of mental health care professionals can help diagnose and treat depression and other conditions. They often work in in-patient facilities like general hospitals and psychiatric facilities, and out-patient facilities, such as community mental health clinics, private practices, and schools. 

The following professionals handle assessment and therapy:

  • Psychologists, who typically hold a doctoral degree in clinical psychology or another specialty such as counseling or education. They specialize in evaluating someone’s mental health through clinical interviews, psychological assessments, and testing.
  • Counselors, clinicians, therapists, and other masters-level health care professionals are trained to gauge a person’s mental wellness and employ therapeutic techniques based on certain training programs.
  • Clinical social workers are trained to diagnose your mental health through therapeutic techniques built on certain training systems. They also have experience in advocacy services and case management.

Some healthcare professionals can issue prescriptions to treat depression symptoms, but it varies based on state laws. One innovative new treatment is ketamine infusion therapy. They include:

  • Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors with specific psychiatric training. They can identify mental health conditions, prescribe, and monitor treatment and provide therapy.
  • Psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners who provide assessment, diagnosis, and therapy for mental illness or substance use disorders.
  • Primary care physicians and pediatricians, though you may be better served by seeing someone who specializes in mental healthcare.
  • Family nurse practitioners can offer general medical services which are like those of a primary care physician, depending on each state’s laws.
  • Psychiatric pharmacists are advanced-practice pharmacists specializing in mental health care.

Exodus Health offers innovative new treatment alternatives that have been shown to rapidly improve the symptoms of depression in hours versus the weeks that antidepressants can take. If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat the symptoms of depression.

Depression

What To Do When Depressed

It is easy for us to forget that depression is more than just normal sadness. Sadness is a normal human emotion that we all need to feel from time to time as part of a normal human life. Depression is when these feelings of sadness go above and beyond and become debilitating and isolating.

Depression is not a condition that can be “cured” in the traditional manner of speaking, and it is not something a person can easily will themselves out of. That said, there is a myriad of ways a person can find relief from their symptoms.

Treating depression can be a daunting task due to the contradiction at its heart – the very things you must do to help yourself fight against your symptoms are many times the hardest things to do because of the way depression makes you feel.

Options for depression treatment range everywhere from baby steps to more overwhelming, but ultimately helpful, endeavors that can help you find relief from the symptoms of your condition.

What To Do When Depressed

Social Support

Depression tends to make a person socially withdraw, making you feel like you have to face everything completely on your own. It erodes your personal sense of objective reality and makes things seem more overwhelming than they really are. Depression puts significant strain on your personal and professional lives.

The first step in your journey to recovery is to reach out for support. This support can come in many forms: close friends, family, therapy, treatment, support groups, etc. The important part of this is learning that others can help you get better or at least support you along the way.

Do Something You Enjoy

This may sound obvious, but it’s not easy. Depression can make even your favorite hobbies and activities a chore. Your symptoms may get in the way of enjoying anything. Sometimes, the most therapeutic thing you can do is get out of your comfort zone for a little while.

If it gets too overwhelming, it’s ok to retreat to your comfort zone for a time. The goal of this is not to completely abandon your comfort zone. It’s about expanding your comfort zone until you can fit everything in the world into it.

Spending some time with hobbies and social activities can also reduce stress levels, which can strengthen your defenses against your depressive symptoms.

Support Your Physical Health

Mental health and physical health are closely linked to each other, and supporting your physical health can positively impact your mental health. You should try to get eight hours of sleep a night, eat well-balanced meals, and practice relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.

Seek Out Treatment

There should be no shame for seeking treatment for any health condition, depression among them. No one else can really see the pain of suffering you are going through, so the only person who can really judge if you deserve treatment is yourself.

Depression treatment is entering an optimistic new age thanks to traditional treatments and innovative new techniques like ketamine infusion therapy alike. With the right treatment, you can find relief from your symptoms.

Depression

Is Depression A Disease?

Is depression a disease? It’s a tricky question. The difference between disease, disorder, and illness is sometimes difficult to find. According to some, it can definitely be classified as a disease. Others who take a more purist approach might argue that the American Psychiatric Association refers to depression only as a disorder and an illness.

The standard definition of disease is “a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.” If we follow this definition, we can definitely consider depression a disease.

What Is Depression?

Depression is also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. It is a medical condition that is debilitating and greatly affects the way you feel, think, and behaves. Depression brings on intense feelings of sadness and makes you withdraw from things you used to enjoy. This can put a great strain on your personal and professional lives.

The symptoms of depression can include the following:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Depressed mood
  • Lack of interest in hobbies you used to enjoy
  • Changes in appetite (eating too little or too much)
  • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too little or too much)
  • Lack of energy
  • Fatigue
  • Slowed movement and speech
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Sadness vs. Depression

Several things in everyday life can lead a person to feel sad or melancholy. Common examples of these events include the loss of a loved one, natural disasters, or stressful changes at work.

Make no mistake, even intense sadness is normal when experienced from time to time. Per the American Psychological Association, the sadness you experience in everyday life is different from depression in several aspects:

  • If you are experiencing grief, these feelings tend to come in waves and are intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. If what you are experiencing is depression, the overall mood is decreased for a period of most of two weeks.
  • During periods of grief, self-esteem is typically maintained. However, during periods of depression, your self-esteem is brought down by feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing.

Depression Causes

Depression is like other mental health disorders – it is a complex mix of both biological and environmental factors rather than the result of a single cause. Factors like temperament, life experiences, and family history of mental health conditions can increase your likelihood of developing depression.

Some of the most common causes of depression are the following:

  • Family history
  • Early childhood trauma
  • Brain structure
  • Medical history
  • Drug abuse
  • Stressful events

Depression Treatment

Without treatment, depression may only get worse with time. There is no shame in seeking treatment for this condition, and fortunately, the future of depression treatment looks brighter now than ever before.

Traditional treatments, like antidepressants, and innovative new techniques, like ketamine infusion therapy, both present options for treatment and relief from your symptoms.

Contact us today to learn more about our innovative new treatment options available.

Depression

I’m Depressed – Does That Mean I Have A Disablility?

Mental wellness is a major problem. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance says that nearly 15 million adults in the United States suffer from depression. A study from the World Health Organization calls depression a leading cause of disability, affecting nearly 300 million people of all ages around the world.

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Everyone feels miserable or worried occasionally, but depression is more than a momentary case of “the blues.” Depression is a mood disorder resulting in a constant feeling of loss of interest and sadness. Officially called clinical depression or major depressive disorder, it alters your feelings, thoughts, and behavior and can lead to several physical and emotional problems. There is no cure for depression, but its symptoms can be treated with psychotherapy or drugs including ketamine.

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

Like other mental health illnesses, depression is characterized by many symptoms – some easy to identify, others more subtle which sometimes get taken for granted. You may only be depressed once in your life, but most people normally experience multiple episodes. During these times, symptoms happen most of the day, almost every day and can include:

  • Feelings of tearfulness, emptiness, sadness, or hopelessness
  • Being angry, irritable, or frustrated, even over trivial matters
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in nearly all normal activities, like intimate relations, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep problems like insomnia or sleeping more than normal
  • Fatigue and loss of energy, so even small chores require extra effort
  • Loss of appetite and weight or a bigger appetite (binge eating) and weight gain
  • Anxiety, restlessness, or agitation
  • Slowed thought, speech, or body movements
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or obsession with self-blame or past failures
  • You can’t think straight or concentrate
  • Trouble with remembering things and making decisions
  • Frequent or constant thoughts of death, suicide attempts, or suicidal thoughts
  • Inexplicable physical discomfort, such as headaches or back pain
  • For many people, the symptoms of depression are usually severe enough to be noticeable day-to-day, interfering with school, social activities, work, or interpersonal relationships.

WHAT IS A DISABILITY?

Even with all the pain and suffering it causes, depression isn’t considered a disability by most people. The World Health Organization defines a disability as any condition of the mind or body (“impairment”) that makes it harder for the person experiencing the condition to participate in certain activities (“activity limitation”) and intermingle with society around them (“participation restrictions”).
These “disability dimensions” are defined by the World Health Organization as follows:

  • Impairment of a person’s mental functioning like memory loss, or body structure or function such as loss of a limb, or loss of vision.
  • Activity limitation, including trouble hearing, walking, seeing, or problem-solving.
  • Participation restrictions in typical daily activities, including working, participating in recreational and social activities, and getting preventive and health care services.

I’M DEPRESSED – DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE A DISABILITY?

If you’re unable to function – to be employed, manage your day-to-day responsibilities – then you may be disabled, but it’s a slippery slope from a legal standpoint. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as any mental or physical impairment that interferes with a key life activity. Your physical disabilities are normally easier to define, but mental disabilities are more challenging. Clinical depression is listed as a disability under the ADA, but even if you suffer from it, you may not be protected. Generally, the ADA is consulted on a case-by-case basis, but if you are depressed, get it documented.

CONDITIONS RELATED TO DEPRESSION

Depression might be caused by chronic illnesses, common medical conditions affecting your body’s regulatory systems, and even surgery. Studies show that physical ailments boost the likelihood of depressive illness, including these:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic pain, fibromyalgia
  • Hormone
  • HIV
  • Postpartum depression
  • Cancer

People battling depression may also have problems with substance abuse. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America According reports that nearly 20 percent of Americans with a mental health disorder also suffer from substance abuse, and 20 percent experiencing a substance abuse disorder also suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder.
Depression symptoms can happen or be triggered by these psychiatric disorders:

  • ADHD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic and other anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder

FINAL THOUGHTS

Depression is clinically diagnosed by a mental health professional following a physical exam by a medical doctor. Once you’ve been diagnosed, your therapist or doctor will talk about treatment options that are suitable for your condition and symptoms. The recommendation could be psychotherapy or drugs, or a combination of both. Ketamine, once used solely as a pre-surgical anesthetic, is believed to treat symptoms of depression rapidly versus the typical weeks it may take a regular antidepressant to work.
If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat depression we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the innovative new treatments we offer.

Depression

Do I Have Atypical Depression?

Something doesn’t feel right. Luckily, you and your family haven’t been diagnosed with COVID-19, but you’re fatigued all the time and your appetite isn’t what it used to be. Like millions of others struggling with the global pandemic, it’s hard to function sometimes. You may be suffering from atypical depression.

WHAT IS ATYPICAL DEPRESSION?

Atypical depression — also called depression with atypical features — implies that your depressed feeling can improve with positive events. You may have other symptoms, too, like a bigger appetite, sleeping too long, feeling rejected or feeling like your limbs are heavy.
As with other kinds of depression, atypical depression carries similar markers: Changes in how you think, feel, and behave, physical and emotional problems, trouble handling regular day-to-day activities, and debating with yourself if life’s worth living.

SYMPTOMS OF ATYPICAL DEPRESSION

Did you know that many kinds of depression and mental health illnesses can be treated with traditional psychotherapy and newer treatment methods including ketamine infusion therapy?
Atypical depression is characterized by mood reactivity, but you also may experience two or more of:

  • Increased appetite resulting in noticeable weight gain
  • Sleeping too many hours
  • You’re more sensitive and have intense reactions to criticism or rejection, leading to considerable social and work impairment
  • These symptoms are distinct from what you might have with typical depression, but the mood of people suffering from typical depression usually doesn’t change, even when something positive happens.
  • Some of the other symptoms linked to atypical depression include:
  • Sadness or low mood for most of the day or nearly every day
  • You no longer enjoy activities that were once pleasurable
  • You’ve noticed big changes in your appetite or weight
  • You have sleep issues and either sleep too much or not enough
  • Other people notice you appear rundown or appear restless
  • You have low energy or fatigue nearly every day
  • Every day includes feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or excessive guilt
  • You have trouble making decisions and can’t focus
  • You’re preoccupied with notions of death and suicidal thoughts

WHAT ARE YOUR RISK FACTORS FOR DEPRESSION?

Scientific and medical research has taught us a lot about mental health disorders, and even though there isn’t a definitive cause, we’ve identified several factors which may trigger depression:

  • You suffer from extreme dependency, low self-esteem, and pessimism and are overly critical of yourself
  • You’ve experienced trauma, like physical or sexual abuse, passing of a loved one, bad relationships, or financial problems
  • Blood relatives with a history of mental health disorders, alcoholism, or suicide
  • Your sexual orientation or gender identification is not positively accepted by family, friends, or co-workers
  • You have a history of mental disorders, including an anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorder, or other mental health illnesses
  • You abuse drugs or alcohol
  • You have a serious chronic illness like cancer or heart disease
  • Use of prescription drugs for high blood pressure or sleeping disorders. Warning: Talk to your doctor before you use or stop taking any medication

CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

We don’t know what causes atypical depression or why different features of depression show up in some people. Atypical depression normally begins in the teen years, sooner than other kinds of depression, and can follow a more long-term or chronic path.
Researchers try and identify causes by looking for a combination of factors like chemical imbalances and inherited traits from blood relatives. Even though neurotransmitters are chemicals, they act as signal carriers in the brain, transmitting data to other regions of your body and brain. When they work poorly, nerve receptors and nerve systems function start to change, causing depression.

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

Diagnosis of atypical depression or any other normally involves:

  • A physical exam to eliminate or connect depression to an existing medical condition.
  • Undergoing blood tests or other procedures to see how your thyroid or other organs are functioning.
  • A questionnaire and psychiatric evaluation to discuss your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and symptoms.
  • Reviewing criteria established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
  • Following a psychological and medical evaluation, your doctor could recommend treatment if you’re clinically diagnosed with atypical depression. Therapy like self-help, hospitalization, psychotherapy, and the use of an innovative new treatment using ketamine may be discussed.
  • Ketamine is administered via infusion therapy and has been shown to be effective to help relieve common depression symptoms.

CONCLUSION

Mental health disorders like depression are treatable with psychotherapy and drugs such as ketamine, but managing the symptoms depends on recognizing them and getting medical care. If you think you’re experiencing atypical depression, get help as soon as you can. If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat the symptoms of depression we can help. Contact us today.

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