Treatment Plan for Depression: Understanding Symptoms and Types

Treatment Plan for Depression: Understanding Symptoms and Types

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Everyone feels down from time to time. But if you're feeling persistently sad, losing interest in the things you once loved, and experiencing changes in your self-esteem, appetite, and sleep patterns, you may be suffering from depression. Don't feel bad though, you're not alone.

Depression is becoming more prevalent in young adults. In a study conducted by the Census Bureau's Household Pulse, 50% of adults aged 18-24 years old cited feeling depressed and anxious. A greater focus on improving mental health through a treatment plan for depression is vital.

You also need to understand the different types of depression and their symptoms. This is essential to form a proper treatment plan for depression.

Depression can interfere with your daily life and make you feel like nothing you do matters. But treatment for depression is possible. To learn more about the types of depression and depression symptoms, keep reading below for further information.

What Are the Different Types of Depression?

Depression is often used as a blanket term for a general feeling of sadness and a loss of self-esteem. However, depression is a multifaceted mental health disorder. It may result from certain situations you face in your life or it can be the result of a genetic link in your family.

It may surprise you to know that there are actually 5 common types of depression. Each one has its own unique set of depression symptoms as well. The 5 types of depression are:

  • Clinical Depression
  • Manic Depression
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Seasonal Depression
  • Situational Depression

Despite its prevalence, the stigma involved with depression may make it difficult for individuals to seek treatment for depression. Nearly 60% of depression sufferers don't pursue medical treatments for depression.

That is why it is so important to learn more about each depression type, its symptoms, and what is the most helpful treatment plan for depression. Let's dive more into each type of depression and here.

Clinical Depression

Clinical depression is one of the most common types of depression. It is in the moderate to severe range. Clinical Depression is also referred to as Major Depression or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

Those with Clinical Depression experience symptoms of depression for two weeks or longer. Common depression symptoms associated with Clinical Depression often include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Lack of energy, sleeping too much or too little
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Agitation, restlessness, and anxiety
  • Irritability, anger, frustration
  • Frequent outbursts
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual hobbies and activities
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Reduced or increased appetite with extreme weight loss or gain
  • Fixation on failures, reduced self-esteem, and hyper-focused on the past

Individuals with Clinical Depression may also experience frequent areas of bodily pain such as backaches and headaches. They may also battle intrusive thoughts of suicide and attempt to take their own life, believing they are better off dead. It is crucial to seek treatment immediately if you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal ideation.

Those with severe depression may also try to engage in unsafe behaviors like excessive drinking and drug abuse to cope. This is a dangerous pattern that can lead to drug dependency and alcoholism.

Treatment Plan for Depression- Clinical Depression

The best treatment plan for depression like Clinical Depression often involves therapy or anti-depressant medication. For many, a combination of both can be effective at helping treat many of these depression symptoms.

Medication may take anywhere from 2-4 weeks, on average, to start working. It may also be necessary to adjust dosages and titrate to get the desired effects. Regular psychiatric and psychological therapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help address the heavy thoughts and feelings that come with Clinical Depression.

It is also important to seek help for alcohol addiction as alcohol is a depressant that makes Clinical Depression worse. With Clinical Depression, it is crucial to maintain a healthy diet, as well as a regular exercise and sleep schedule.

Individuals may benefit from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy as well. In rare and extreme cases, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is also an option.

Manic Depression

Manic depression is one part of a mood disorder called Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar is classified as a person who experiences very high highs in their mood, followed by inevitable crashing lows. Both the highs and the lows may last for weeks or months on end.

Persons with Bipolar may not want to seek treatment because they like the thrill of the rush they get when they are in a manic cycle. But the depression that comes with the low side of Bipolar can be as equally as intense.

Manic depression symptoms include:

  • Risk-taking behaviors (manic)
  • Excessive desire (manic)
  • Reduced sleep patterns (manic)
  • Feelings of euphoria (manic)
  • Lack of impulse control (manic)
  • Suicidal thoughts (depression)
  • Hopelessness (depression)
  • Excessive sleep (depression)
  • Little to no desire (depression)
  • Lack of energy (depression)

Bipolar is thought to come from a family history of the disorder. Genetics account for as much as 80% of Bipolar causes. Stressful life events and seasonal factors can also contribute to Bipolar episodes occurring.

Once again, individuals with Bipolar may try to self-medicate in harmful ways. They will consume alcohol and take street drugs in excess. However, drug abuse and alcoholism can also trigger and intensify these Manic Depression symptoms.

Treatment Plan for Depression- Manic Depression

For Manic Depression, it is important to recognize and understand the triggers which can cause manic and depressive cycles. For example, drug addiction like cocaine can amplify the already rushing highs of the mania experienced by Manic Depression sufferers. This drug abuse can go hand in hand with Bipolar Disorder and result in a dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment involves identifying a mental health issue like Bipolar that is coupled with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The treatment plan for depression and mania that comes with Bipolar and substance abuse requires addressing both of these issues together.

For the Bipolar aspect, patients can see a licensed psychiatrist for medications. These may include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety meds to control the manic and depressive symptoms.

With drug or alcohol dependency, patients can undergo supervised and medication-assisted detox programs. They can also receive individual and group therapy sessions to get to the root of the cause of their addictions.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression is one of the most common types of depression affecting women after childbirth. According to CDC research, as many as 1 out of every 8 women who experienced a live birth within the past year also had symptoms of Postpartum. Women with Postpartum Depression experience much more than just the standard "baby blues" that come with welcoming a new baby.

Postpartum Depression may be caused by a sudden drop in hormones in a woman's body after a baby is born. Women with Postpartum Depression experience depression symptoms such as:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Crying spells
  • Anxiety

A new mother with Postpartum Depression may believe themself to be a failure as a mother to their child. They feel helpless and unable to give the baby what it needs. They worry excessively that they are doing everything wrong.

Mothers with ongoing Postpartum Depression symptoms need to seek out help as soon as possible. It is important for their loved ones to notice the symptoms of depression in new moms. These symptoms can also impact their ability to bond with their new baby.

Treatment Plan for Depression- Postpartum Depression

As with other types, the treatment plan for depression involving Postpartum will require psychiatric and psychological care with meds and therapy. Psychological therapy allows the mother to talk about her fears and anxieties in a safe environment. Psychiatric care may involve the use of medications for managing anxiety and sleep, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants.

If friends or family members offer help, the new mother should take this help to lighten the load of her responsibilities. This can allow her to get the sleep and proper nutrition she needs to better handle her depression symptoms. Having access to a new moms group can also offer support and advice to the struggling mother with Postpartum.

Seasonal Depression

Seasonal Depression refers to a type of depression that occurs during a certain time of year. It is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Seasonal Depression usually starts in the late Fall to Winter months and lasts until the Spring.

Those with Seasonal Depression may suffer due to the shorter hours of daylight paired with less sunlight and colder temperatures. Sunlight contains Vitamin D, a natural vitamin that can help combat depression. There is also evidence that the body produces more of a natural sleep hormone called Melatonin when it's darker outside.

SAD affects women more often than men. It is also more common in those 20 years and older. Some Seasonal Depression symptoms include:

  • Increased daytime sleepiness
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • An increase in the consumption of sugar and carbs
  • Frequent headaches
  • An inability to focus
  • Intensified fatigue

Although a common occurrence in Fall and Winter months, there is also a variation known as "Summer Depression" that may affect individuals in the warm Summer months as well.

Treatment Plan for Depression- Seasonal Depression

For Seasonal Depression, antidepressants, specifically those known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) can help combat the symptoms of depression. It is also recommended that the individual undergoes talk therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is especially effective when used in combination with medication.

Another form of treatment for depression is light therapy. Light therapy involves sitting in front of a light box for at least 30 minutes each day. It has been shown to help simulate the missing time spent in sunlight and can reduce the Melatonin levels your body produces.

A healthy diet combined with exercise and a good sleep schedule can also do wonders to combat Seasonal Depression.

Situational Depression

Situational Depression applies to depression resulting from a person experiencing a trauma or stressful time in their life. This could be anything from experiencing a death of a loved one or being in an accident. It may also result from losing one's job or home or going through a bad breakup.

Situational Depression may also be a more short-term variation of depression. It does not last as long as other types of depression like Clinical Depression. However, that does not make it any less serious.

Like other types of depression, the symptoms can interfere with your daily life. Some symptoms of depression associated with Situational Depression include:

  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of interest
  • Overwhelming sadness and grief
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Persistent fear, worry, and anxiety

While Situational Depression may go away on its own, if it lasts for longer than a few weeks, it is important to seek out help. Situational Depression that goes left untreated can turn into Clinical Depression.

Treatment Plan for Depression- Situational Depression

With Situational Depression, it is imperative that you address the issue that is causing the depression in the first place. Failure to do so may result in coping in other unhealthy ways like through the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. Situational Depression may lead you to believe that things will never get better.

Talking about the trauma or stress that triggered your Situational Depression can allow you to work through any grief or trauma you may still be experiencing. A trained therapist can give you advice and proper coping skills to counteract your overwhelming thoughts and feelings.

You may also need to join a peer group where individuals facing similar problems offer support and community. This will help you feel less alone in your struggles.

As with other treatments for depression, taking SSRIs like Zoloft can alleviate the symptoms of depression. You should also focus on a healthier diet, sleep schedule, and regular exercise routine.

Find the Depression Help You Need Today at Embark Recovery

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Having the right treatment plan for depression can help you get your life back on track. Help is available but you have to take the first step and reach out.

Embark Recovery, located in Prescott, AZ is here for you. We offer tailored recovery and support programs for individuals suffering from mental health issues like depression as well as drug and alcohol addiction. Don't wait any longer to get the recovery help you need and deserve.

Contact us today to start your journey to a healthier and happier you.

Begin your road to recovery