Depressive Disorder in Adults
What is Major Depressive Disorder?
Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as depression, is characterized by overwhelming or persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness and a loss of interest or pleasure in day-to-day activities. The symptoms last anywhere from a few weeks to a several months or longer and may occur only once or several times during a person’s life.
Additional symptoms of depression vary depending on the individual but can include:
- Changes in activity level
- Insomnia or sleeping more than usual
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Concentration issues and slowed thinking
- Suicidal thoughts
- Memory issues
- Headaches and other physical issues
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal Affective Disorder, sometimes referred to as SAD, is a form of depression with a seasonal component that begins and ends during a specific season. Mood is negatively affected by decreased light in the fall and winter months leading to symptoms similar to depression. This is more than “winter blues” or “cabin fever.” Symptoms include depressed mood, lack of interest in activities, usually sleeping too much, weight gain, and fatigue. Treatment your psychiatric provider may consider include ordering lab tests, prescribing medications, using light therapy, and individual therapy.
What is Dysthymia?
What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder causes serious depression, irritability and tension prior to menstruation in women. The symptoms in premenstrual dysphoric disorder start one to two weeks before the menstrual cycle and may include mood swings, increased irritability, feelings of hopelessness, increased tension, and loss of interest in usual activities.
Sometimes premenstrual dysphoric disorder may be confused with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but the symptoms in PMDD are more pronounced than those of PMS. The exact cause of this disorder is unknown, but it is likely that falling hormone levels after ovulation are a contributing factor. Changing serotonin levels are also thought to contribute to PMDD in some women. Symptoms typically stop a few days after a woman’s period begins.