- The symptoms listed above do not follow or accompany manic episodes (such as in bipolar disorder or other disorders).
- They impair important normal functions (such as work or personal relationships).
- They are not caused by drugs, alcohol, or other substances.
- They are not caused by normal grief. [For definition see below.]
The symptoms for dysthymia are the same, but are much less intense and last for long periods- two years or more. In atypical depression, people generally overeat, oversleep and react very strongly to rejection. Seasonal affective disorder is associated with annual depressive episodes in the fall or winter characterized by fatigue, overeating, and oversleeping (or undereating and insomnia for some people).
Treatments for Depression
There are several treatment options depending on the degree and severity of depression including medication and psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. Studies have shown that a combination of medication and therapy is particularly effective for people with chronic or major depression. According to the University of Maryland, some studies show that only 40% of people with chronic depression respond to medication alone while 60% respond to combination therapy. On the other hand, people with minor episodes of depression may respond well to counseling sessions alone.
Other treatments/management techniques that help reduce stress also help depression, such as:
- Meditation or deep breathing exercises
- Imaginative progressive relaxation techniques (using a combination of deep breathing and self-guided imagery such imagining pain in your body as a liquid that drains through your body and out through your fingers and toes.
- Making time for exercise (exercise is known to improve physical function, reduce pain, AND improve mood).
1) AnxietyConnection.com and MyDepressionConnection.com
3) University of Maryland Medical Center Patient Education articles on Stress and Depression
4) National Alliance on Mental Illness