Depression and Treatment

Depression is a serious and painful condition. Left untreated, depression typically grows more severe.

Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are characteristic of depression. Generally, most people who have had one major episode will have several more throughout the course of their lifetimes.

Getting Help For Depression

Depression Symptoms and Treatment

Turning Point Psychotherapy Can Help

Talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with depression involve learning about the mechanisms that keep depression in place.

Recognizing the signs symptoms is fundamental to recovery. They can be easy to miss. If you think you or someone you know may be in a depression, it is important to reach out for professional help.

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What are the types and symptoms of depression?

Clinical Depression symptoms are officially defined by the Diagnostic  and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders IV or DSM IV as symptoms that meet the criteria for a depressive disorder.

Clinical depression usually refers to a mood that is depressive but, not a  temporary, normal response to difficult life events or grieving.

Major Depression

In   order to have a diagnosis of Major Depression, a person must have five or more of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks:

  • a feeling sadness for no apparent reason
  • a lack of energy, feeling unable to do the simplest task
  • an inability to enjoy the things that used to bring pleasure
  • a lack of desire to be with friends or family members
  • irritability, anger, or anxiety
  • an inability to concentrate
  • a marked weight gain or loss (or failure to gain weight as expected), and little or too much interest in eating
  • a significant change in sleep habits, such as trouble falling asleep or getting up
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • aches and pains even though nothing is physically wrong
  • indifference about the future
  • frequent thoughts about death or suicide

Although major depression can be treated effectively, individuals who suffer from it feel as though they are falling into an ever widening black hole with no way out. In an agitated depression, both mania and depression happen at the same time. This is also called a mixed state.


For  a diagnosis of dysthymia, a  person must have at least two of the   following symptoms almost all the time for at least 1 year:

  • feelings of hopelessness
  • low self-esteem
  • sleeping too much or being unable to sleep – extreme fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • lack of appetite or overeating

Clinical depression symptoms can indicate Mild, Severe or Chronic forms of depression.

Mild Depression Symptoms

The first stage of depressive illness where only a few symptoms are noticed. This stage may be overcome with self-help tips.

Severe Depression Symptoms

Severe depression happens when a depressed mood is intense enough to impair   functioning in relationships, performance at work, school or with daily tasks at home, or even leisure.

Chronic Depression Symptoms

Chronic Depression is longstanding depression. The longer it goes untreated, the more difficult it may be to resolve.

Seasonal Depression Symptoms

Seasonal depression or winter depression may be mild types of depression. If   clinical depression symptoms that are seasonal are severe enough to   cause problems in relationships, or performance at work, home or school,   or in recreational activities, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may be   an appropriate diagnosis.

The lack of sunlight during   winter months can contribute to feelings of depression. Exposure to   bright light – phototherapy – and cognitive therapy can help in these cases.

December is designated as Seasonal Depression Awareness Month. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is offering information and resources about SAD among the special monthly features on the National Mental Health Information Center web site.

Psychotic Depression

One of the   most severe forms of mental illness, psychotic depression, is a chronic   condition. A person may have general depressive periods with nothing   major happening and then periods when severe psychotic features present themselves.

People who demonstrate   clinical depression symptoms with psychosis are the most likely of   anyone with a depressive disorder to be suicidal. A psychotic episode   can be triggered by stress and substance abuse and can present very much   like other types of depression including Bipolar Disorder.

Common symptoms of Psychotic Depression

Depression Symptoms

Don’t Let Depression Symptoms Can Go Unnoticed

  • agitation
  • psycho-motor problems
  • unreasonable feelings of guilt
  • suicidal gestures and thinking
  • audio and or visual hallucination
  • a feeling of general malaise
  • aggressiveness
  • frustration
  • hopelessness

Atypical Depression happens when mood improves mood improves in response to a   positive event but they are still in a major depression. Clinical symptoms of atypical depression are overeating and excessive sleeping. Even  though it’s called “atypical” it’s actually the most common subtype of  depression; up to 40% of the depressed population may be classified as having atypical depression.

Exogenous depression means “from the environment”, and is also known as situational depression or reactive depression. Causes of situational or reactive depression.

  • loss such as the loss of a loved one
  • moving from one house to another (especially with children)
  • disillusionment about one’s career prospects
  • Domestic disputes
  • Financial difficulties
  • living in an uncaring environment
  • holiday depression

The types of clinical depression symptoms headlined on this page are essentially endogenous forms of depression. Endogenous depression happens when there are no apparent environmental causes but instead come from a person’s biochemistry.Endogenous means originating or produced within an organism, tissue, or cell.

It’s important to know the difference so that we can treat the cause of the depression rather than the symptom

 More Depression Facts

15% of the population of most developed countries demonstrate clinical depression symptoms.

About 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year will be affected by a depression disorder. This includes major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Everyone, will at some time in their life be affected by some type or level of depression — their own or someone elses, according to Australian Government statistics. (Depression   statistics in Australia are comparable to those of the US and UK.)


NIMH. “The Numbers Count: Mental Illness in America,” Science on Our Minds Fact Sheet Series.

Lapalme M, Hodgins S,   LaRouch C. Children of parents with bipolar disorder; a meta-analysis of   risk for mental disorders. Can J Psychiatry 1997;42:623-31.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1998. “National Health   Priority Areas Mental Health: A Report Focusing on Depression.”  Depression statistics in Australia are comparable to those of the US and UK

NIMH. “The Numbers Count: Mental Illness in America,” Science on Our Minds Fact Sheet Series.