Depression

Life Quality Resources can help you face hopelessness and despair with a renewed sense of purpose and positivity.

 

Treatment

Whether you have been struggling with this disorder for most of your life, or you see signs of depression in your child or teen, Life Quality Resources can help you in your efforts to alleviate the suffering that depression produces. With targeted, appropriate treatment, positive outcomes can be achieved. Life Quality Resources has the clinical background and experts to guide you through your own personalized treatment plan utilizing a variety of services we offer (see Services tab).

 

About Depression

Depression is a medical illness that often gets lost in the shadows. Every year, it is estimated that 15 million American adults (8% of the population) suffer from major depression, with twice as many women experiencing it as men. Approximately 80% of people suffering from major depression are not receiving treatment, despite the positive outcomes for those who do seek treatment. Over 80% of people who receive treatment for major depression report relief from their illness.

Depression comes in different forms, and symptoms vary. Age, gender, family history, and cultural background all play a role in how depression may affect you. All of these forms of depression are serious and should be treated by professionals.

Major depressive disorder is characterized by a variety of symptoms that disturb a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy activities that were once pleasurable. Major depression hinders normal functioning and can be a severely disabling disorder. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person’s lifetime or may be a recurring phenomenon that lasts a lifetime.

Dysthymic disorder is characterized by less severe symptoms that last two years or longer. This disorder may not disable a person, but can prevent one from functioning normally or feeling well. These episodes may be recurring throughout one’s lifetime.
Some forms of depression exhibit characteristics that deviate from the more general forms, or they may develop under unique circumstances.

Psychotic depression occurs when a severe depressive illness is accompanied by some form of psychosis, such as a break with reality, hallucinations, and delusions.

Postpartum depression is diagnosed if a new mother develops a major depressive episode within one month after delivery. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is characterized by the onset of a depressive illness during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer.

 

Symptoms

Although depression comes in many different forms, there is some consistency in the general symptoms that the disorder produces including:

  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite – can be a decrease or increase
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

 

Depression symptoms in children and teens

In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, hopelessness and worry.

Symptoms in adolescents and teens may include anxiety, anger and avoidance of social interaction.

Changes in thinking and sleep are common signs of depression in adolescents and adults, but are not as common in younger children.
In children and teens, depression often occurs along with behavior problems and other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or ADD/ADHD.

 

Depression symptoms in older adults

Depression can and does occur in older adults. Unfortunately it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Many adults with depression feel reluctant to seek help when they’re feeling down.

In older adults, depression may go undiagnosed because symptoms — for example, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex — may seem to be caused by other illnesses

Older adults with depression may say they feel dissatisfied with life in general, bored, helpless or worthless. They may always want to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things.

Suicidal thinking or feelings in older adults is a sign of serious depression that should never be taken lightly, especially in men. Of all people with depression, older adult men are at the highest risk of suicide.

 

Causes

Depression is not known to have a single factor that is attributed to its cause. Instead, there are several contributing factors that influence the onset and perpetuation of the disorder.

Biological differences – Abnormal developments in the HPA-axis (Hypothalamic-Pituatary-Adrenal) and the limbic system in general, as well as a significant thinning of the brain’s right cerebral cortex is prevalent in people with depression as compared to those without the disorder.

Neurotransmitters – Studies reveal that people suffering from depression have fewer serotonin and opioid receptors in the brain than people without depression. These neurotransmitters are usually liked to pleasure and positive stress response.
Hormones – Abnormal levels of hormones in the body may be involved in causing or triggering depression, especially elevated levels of cortisol

Inherited traits – Depression is more common in people who have a blood relative with the condition. Genetic research is attempting to isolate specific genes that may be associated with bipolar disorder.

Environment – Events such as the death of a loved one, traumatic events in childhood, financial problems and high stress can trigger depression in some people.