Some form of depressive symptoms, on and off, for 2 years or more.
Triggered by a terrifying event-either experiencing it or witnessing it.
What Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may look like? PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types:
Dysthymia feels identical to major depressive disorder and can vary depending on the severity of your symptoms.
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. Our subconscious minds try live our lives by the rules outlined in our core beliefs but our conscious minds try to live lives by what we experience and learn. When one side of our minds is unwilling to budge and unwilling to learn or change (usually the subconscious) and the other side is constantly changing and learning (consciousness) – there are many opportunities for the two to disagree. We call these “inconsistencies”.
When these inconsistencies happen, our minds use tactics 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 wont 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. The negative and hurtful tools end up sending us into a depression, and very little improvement actually happens.
Lets take for example, we have someone who has two rules by which they must live life (subconscious).
Now lets say that we run into someone in our life that is hurting us. What do we do? If we tell them they are hurting us, we are going against the rule “I can never hurt anyone” - and if we don't say anything then we are going against the rule “I must protect myself at all times”. No matter what choice we make, our subconscious and conscious minds are not going to disagree; and when they don't agree they will use tools to try and get us to change. The results of our minds trying to “change” are depression symptoms.
Chemical Depression occurs when we have a chemical imbalance in our brains, and is NOT due to a change in cognitive thinking or an inconsistency between our conscious and subconscious minds. Chemical depression can be caused by many things but includes:
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: