DEPRESSION & MOOD DISORDERS
Much more than just “the blues”, mood disorders like depression reach millions of Americans, with as many as 15 million reporting a major episode of depression in a 12-month period. In a given month, at least one-fifth of the US population reports a symptom of depression. At Reconnect, we recognize the severity of this frequency.
Often induced by trauma, mood disorders are an illness category including: Bipolar disorder, SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, major and persistent depressive disorders, and Cyclothymia. Depression of all types affects people from all walks of life, no matter the gender, race, age, or socioeconomic status. However, women are 50% more likely to experience an episode of depression during their lifetime.
There are many factors that can lead to a mood disorder, ranging from biochemical, family history/genetics, illness or trauma, or even substance abuse. Depending on the cause and the individual, the results may vary in intensity.
CATEGORIES OF MOOD DISORDERS:
Often referred to as chronic or persistent depression, dysthymia affects nearly 2% of the U.S. population. To diagnose, fewer symptoms are required but they must have been present for 2 or more years.
Dysthymia, due to its chronic nature, may reside undiagnosed for years. Individuals may begin to identify with it, believing it part of their nature.
If you feel these symptoms may describe what you feel, keep in mind the following risk factors such as having relatives with depression, history of traumatic events, personality traits or a history of negativity, low energy, or even other mental health disorders. If these also pertain to you, please call us to speak with someone.
- Low interest in daily activities
- Sleep changes
- Low self-esteem
- Little appetite
- Poor concentration
- Avoidance of social activities
Cyclothymia, similar to bipolar disorder, involves cycles of highs and lows though often milder than bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is how it sounds, the uncontrolled experience of two poles of emotions: mania and depression.
Manic episodes include three or more of the following symptoms:
- Abnormally upbeat, jumpy
- Racing thoughts
- Increased energy and agitation
- Unusually talkative
- Poor decision-making ability
The opposite, depression, can include:
- Fatigue or energy loss
- Insomnia (OR sleeping too much)
- Slowed behavior or restlessness
- Feeling worthless
- Thoughts of suicide
- Depressed mood
- No interest in activities
- Lack of concentration
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Though often temporary and mild, seasonal affective disorder impacts millions of Americans each year. Often occurring during the winter months, summer episodes may also present themselves.
The official cause of seasonal affective disorder is unknown, but the primary theory is that variations in weather (typically decreased sunlight) can affect an individual’s biochemistry, namely serotonin levels.
In mild cases, light therapy may prove effective. However, severe cases do necessitate treatment. If you or a loved one is suffering from any of the above disorders, to not hesitate to call us.