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What is Depression?

November 17, 2019

 

 

Depression-related disorders are often misunderstood and are sometimes even misdiagnosed.  Depression can occur for a variety of reasons or for no reason at all.  Some people experience a normal range of sadness and depression after a major life event, such as: the loss of a job, the death of a family member or friend, chronic illness, etc.  However, depression is considered to be a clinical issue once the symptoms have persisted beyond two weeks and is impacting multiple areas of functioning.  If you are experiencing a significant number of symptoms and it is negatively impacting areas of your life,  then it is recommend that you contact a mental health professional to get evaluated and potentially diagnosed.  

 

What is depression?  Depression in of itself is not an official diagnosis.  There are different official diagnoses used to categorize what kind of depression that you may be experiencing.

Here are the specific types of depression (and their symptoms)  that you can be diagnosed with:

  • Major Depressive Disorder

    • Depressed mood

    • Changes in weight + or –

    • Sleep issues (too much or too little)

    • Fatigue and low energy

    • Low interest in activities that you used to enjoy

    • Brain fog or concentration issues

    • Thoughts of death or suicide

    • Feeling hopeless, worthless, excessive feelings of guilt

    • Irritability and anger

 

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (dysthymia)

    • Symptoms have been present for at least 2 years

    • Feelings of sadness

    • Loss of interest and pleasure

    • Difficulty thinking or concentrating

    • Changes in appetite

    • Sleep issues (too much or too little)

    • Fatigue and low energy

    • Low self-esteem

    • Anger and irritability

 

  • Post-partum Depression

    • Depressed mood, low mood

    • Severe mood swings

    • Social withdrawal

    • Difficulty bonding with baby

    • Fatigue and low energy

    • Low interest in activities that you used to enjoy

    • Brain fog or concentration issues

    • Thoughts of death or suicide, or hurting the baby (thoughts of hurting the baby are different than wanting to hurt the baby)

    • Feeling hopeless, worthless, excessive feelings of guilt

    • Irritability and anger

    • Anxiety

 

  • Bipolar I or II Disorder (must also have a Manic or hypomanic episode)

    • Psychomotor agitation

    • Indecision and disorganization

    • Depressed mood

    • Sleep issues (too much or too little)

    • Fatigue and low energy

    • Low interest in activities that you used to enjoy

    • Brain fog or concentration issues

    • Thoughts of death or suicide (15 times greater with a bipolar diagnosis)

    • Feeling hopeless, worthless, excessive feelings of guilt

    • Irritability and anger

 

  • Cyclothymia( similar to Bipolar, but symptoms are less severe than hypomania)

 

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

    • Extreme fatigue

    • Mood swings and excessive crying

    • Sleep issues (too much or too little)

    • Severe feeling of stress and anxiety

    • Feeling hopeless and sad

    • Irritability and anger

 

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder

    • Depressed mood

    • Changes in weight + or –

    • Sleep issues (too much or too little)

    • Fatigue and low energy

    • Low interest in activities that you used to enjoy

    • Brain fog or concentration issues

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

Kylie Chaffin M.A., LMHC

 

Authors note: 

Challenges in life often leave us feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and lonely. You don't have to do it alone. I provide a safe and supportive environment to discuss your concerns, discover your inner strengths and resources, and develop goals that focus on what matters most to you. I believe that counseling is a collaborative relationship built on trust, authenticity, and compassion. I provide services for a variety of issues, including: depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, abuse, stress, and postpartum depression. As a companion on your journey, I will assist you in the utilization and fine-tuning of your innate strengths and abilities. I have a Master's degree in Counseling and I am an EMDRIA approved EMDR therapist.  

 

I am a licensed counselor in the state of Washington and I provide counseling at my office in Spokane

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