Depression

How do you manage the symptoms of depression? Recognizing and managing symptoms of depression over the long haul – nine or more months without recurrence – offers the best chance of you living with the condition, but not being controlled by it.

QUOTES ABOUT DEPRESSION

Check out these nuggets about depression:

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

Maya Angelou

“The hardest thing about depression is that it is addictive. It begins to feel uncomfortable not to be depressed. You feel guilty for feeling happy.”

Pete Wentz

IS THERE A SINGLE CAUSE OF DEPRESSION?

According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service and other sources, the answer is a resounding “No.” It’s a mental health disorder that can happen for many reasons and following many triggers. Death of a loved one, divorce, loss of employment, biology, and personality types can cause depression. But the trigger that lights the fire can be equally complex. You could be ill for days, and then something traumatic happens to set it in motion.

IS DEPRESSION CURABLE?

Being sad or anxious doesn’t last forever in most people, but bad feelings which persist can lead to worse physical and mental health illnesses. The question of depression’s curability has been debated for decades, and there’s no easy answer. Some experts believe it takes nine months of continuous treatment, with no signs of recurrence, before they can say depression has been cured in a patient. One possible solution is ketamine to manage its worst symptoms.

WHAT’S THE DSM-5?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a book by the American Psychiatric Association that was first published in 1968. It’s now available in its fifth edition. It’s the gold standard against which mental health disorders are judged and is an indispensable tool in properly diagnosing symptoms of depression.

WHAT ARE THE A-1 DEPRESSION CRITERIA?

The DSM-5 has nine “A” criteria used for diagnosing depressive disorders. If you suffer from symptoms of depression, you need to meet five of the nine to be diagnosed:

  • A1 Depressed mood — revealed by subjective observation by others or report (in children and adolescents, can be irritable feeling).
  • A2 Loss of pleasure or interest in nearly all activities — shown by observation by others or subjective report.
  • A3 Significant (more than five percent in a month) unintended weight gain/loss or decrease/increase in hunger (in children, failure to attain expected weight gains).
  • A4 Sleep disturbance (hypersomnia or insomnia).
  • A5 Psychomotor variations (retardation or agitation) serious enough to be detectable by others.
  • A6 Tiredness, low energy, or fatigue, or reduced efficiency by which routine tasks are finished.
  • A7 A sense of worthlessness or inappropriate, excessive, or delusional guilt (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).
  • A8 Impaired ability to concentrate, think, or decision-making — shown by independent report or observation by others.
  • A9 Recurrent thoughts of death (not merely fear of dying), suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts.

THE SIX KINDS OF DEPRESSION

Kinds of depression:

  • Major depression. The archetypal depression type, major depression is a situation where a dark mood is all-encompassing and one you lose interest in hobbies, even ones that were once enjoyable.
  • Persistent depressive disorder. Once called “dysthymia,” this kind of depression speaks to a low mood that has persisted for at least two years but might not reach the strength of major depression.
  • Bipolar disorder. Someone experiencing bipolar disorder — once called manic-depressive disease — has incidents of depression. But they also endure periods of extraordinarily high activity or energy.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is a kind of depression that surfaces when days grow shorter in the fall and winter.
  • Perinatal depression. This kind of depression comprises minor and major depressive episodes that happen during pregnancy or within the first 12 months after childbirth (also called postpartum depression).
  • PMDD. This kind of depression is a serious kind of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS.

DIAGNOSING DEPRESSION

Any mental health professional should be able to diagnose your depression after a physical and mental health exam. Once finished, your healthcare provider will confirm the diagnosis with the DSM-5 and then talk about treatment options.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The science is out as to whether depression is fully curable, but what we do know is that many of its worst symptoms can be managed with therapy and medicine like ketamine. Sticking to your treatment and taking medicine as prescribed are just two of the ways to minimize depression.

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 to learn more.

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