Major Depressive Disorder is defined as:
Major depressive disorder has three different levels of severity and each one can look and feel differently. Minor symptoms often look like someone who is down or blue and it feels yucky, slow and sad.
Moderate depression starts to get more serious and not only does it include the minor symptoms but it has more of them and the feelings of hopelessness, despair, sadness and other, are stronger and more constant. Often times moderate depression can include thoughts and feelings of guilt, shame or that you are to blame for something or to blame for the way that you feel.
Severe depression, much like moderate depression, is a growth in the severity of the symptoms from the previous level. Severe depression is debilitating in that the person can feel so miserable, worthless, hopeless, guilty, ugly, or like a failure that they lack the desire to do anything productive or anything that feels good. Severe depression is often accompanied by thoughts of death, and sometimes of suicide. It can also include delusions, or hallucinations.
There are two types of categories when discussing causes of depression
Situational depression is by far the most common type of depression. In my years as a clinical psychotherapist I have only seen a handful of cases that were solely chemical in nature.
Situational depression is caused by an inconsistency between our core beliefs and our conscious mind. The specifics on what might be causing your own depression are unique to you.
In short, depression happens when our subconscious mind doesn't agree with our conscious mind. When these inconsistencies happen, our minds use tactics, such as feeling depressed, to help keep the two parts of our mind in balance. Often times these tools are in the form of guilt or shame. The idea is that if we hurt ourselves bad enough, our minds believe that we won't make the same mistakes again – or that if we hurt ourselves bad enough we won't forget a mistake, or even that if we hurt bad enough it will motivate us to improve or change. However, if our minds use these tools too much or too often, the results can backfire.
It is important to involve your primary care physician in your decisions about depression. Whatever choice you make about your treatment, our recommendation for depression is always a combination of medication and guided help from one of our guides, or a local therapist. Studies have shown over and over that combining these two forms of treatment outperforms either one of them done individually.
It is also important for you to know that while many people choose medication as their only form of treatment for depression – medication has been shown to have a higher rate of your depression returning, in addition to many side effects that are not present with some form of talk therapy.
Mild Depression Treatment Options include:
Moderate Depression Treatment Options include:
Severe Depression Treatment Options include: