depression intro

Introduction to depression

Different types of depressive disorders

There are many types of depression. While all are marked by intense low moods, there are important differences.

Major depressive disorder is also known as major depression and is treated at JPO psychologist’s psychotherapy clinic in Melbourne. Low mood and loss interest in activities once thought to be pleasurable are the most common symptoms. These symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe and can interfere with your daily life as well as relationships. Low mood can last for up to 2 weeks and be felt on almost all days. There are sub-types for major depression:

Melancholic depression is a severe form if depression that can include both emotional and physical symptoms.

Psychotic depression can include hallucinations, such as hearing or seeing people or other things that aren’t there; delusions false beliefs that other people don’t share or agree with; or paranoia feeling suspicious of others or that everyone is against them.

Bipolar disorder can be described as extreme mood swings that disrupt everyday life. Manic episodes can manifest as agitation, high levels of energy and speech activity, and reduced sleep need.

Depressive episodes can have symptoms similar to major depression. Bipolar disorder sufferers can experience psychosis, paranoia, and hallucinations.

Cyclothymic disorder can sometimes be described as milder bipolar disorder also treatable via a psychotherapist. For at least two years, the person may experience mood swings. Hypomania is a mild-to moderate level of manic symptoms. They might also experience brief periods of even moods with less than two months between. They are less likely to experience severe symptoms and last for a shorter time than major depression or bipolar disorder.

Dysthymic disorders are similar to major depression, but have fewer severe symptoms and last at least two years.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) This is a disorder that affects moods (either depression, mania), and has a seasonal pattern. The winter months are when depression symptoms usually appear and then fade in the spring. This type of depression can be difficult to diagnose. SAD is believed to be caused by changes in light exposure in winter. It is more common in countries with shorter days and longer periods of darkness such as the Northern Hemisphere. SAD is extremely rare in Australia.

Perinatal and Postnatal Depression can occur during pregnancy and after birth and should been looked at by a skilled Melbourne psychotherapist practitioner. It affects approximately 1 in 5 Australian women. It can be caused by the demands and changes in hormones as well as the challenges of parenthood. Men can be affected by changes in routines or roles. Although tiredness and irritability are normal during pregnancy, and after birth, it is important to discuss perinatal depression with your GP if your partner experiences low mood for longer than two weeks.

There are many ways to treat depression. The sooner you seek help, the better. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you. You won’t regret that.

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