In today’s world of hustle and bustle it may be that Depression is the common cold of mental disorders. There may be many circumstances that make us have the blues and how do we separate out the blues from clinical depression?

A mini quiz can help you track symptoms and give one a sense of how you rate along some of the symptoms of depression (please note that information on this website is not a substitute for seeking professional help).

http://psychcentral.com/depquiz.htm

Symptoms of Depression (from the Psych Central Website)

A major depressive episode is not a disorder in itself, but rather is a description of part of a disorder, most often major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.

A person who suffers from a major depressive episode must either have a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities consistently for at least a 2 week period. This mood must represent a change from the person’s normal mood; social, occupational, educational or other important functioning must also be negatively impaired by the change in mood. A major depressive episode is also characterized by the presence of 5 or more of these symptoms:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feeling sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). (In children and adolescents, this may be characterized as an irritable mood.)
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Insomnia (inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping too much) nearly every day
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
  • Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

A major depressive episode also is generally not diagnosed when the same symptoms could be attributed to Bereavement(normal feelings of sadness after the loss of a loved one). Feelings of sadness can persist for a long time and should not be confused as depression.

Treatment for Depression

At HW our approach to the treatment of depression is multi-factorial in that we truly want to understand the various factors that came together to trigger depression. The biological, hormonal, genetic, socio-cultural, emotional, relational issues and spiritual issues are explored deeply so we can fully understand the underlying causes. An initial thorough assessment helps us help the person and the triggers better. Our approach is very collaborative in that we work together towards a solution. Since our clinic has a very holistic perspective we want to explore all the places where we have the imbalance. Our experience is that a combination of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and understanding family of origin issues from a Psychodynamic perspective tend to help get to the core beliefs and issues so we can have a permanent lasting reprieve from depression. Since we are working with the total BEING, we want to explore the lifestyle issues and make sure that we optimizing recovery to prevent relapse. We work closely with complementary treatments such as Acupuncture, Naturopathic Doctors, Massage Therapists, Neurofeedback, Alpha Stim and Nutritionists. We have had tremendous success with out patients with Depression.

The following links will help you clarify if you or a loved one is experiencing depression that is warranting treatment with a mental health provider:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/an-introduction-to-depression/

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/11/13/what-not-to-say-to-a-depressed-person/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mid-life-what-crisis/201305/mourning-and-reinvention-in-mid-life

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/domestic-intelligence/201305/depression-and-women

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201305/untreated-depression-linked-telomeres-aging-and-disease