“Depression is a common mental health problem that causes people to experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Depression Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Black Dog
  • Clinical Depression
  • Depression
  • Depression the Serious Clinical Illness
  • Depressive Disorder/Episode/Illness
  • Dysthymia
  • Dysthymic Disorder
  • Major Depression
  • Major Depressive Disorder/Episode/Illness
  • Minor Depression
  • Nervous Breakdown
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
  • Unipolar Depression

Terminology

Can depression mean different things to different people?

I think the term depression can be like the terms diet, love and menopause and mean different things, to different people, at different times, in different places.

When I use the term depression what I mean may be different to what someone else means or what is meant in medicaltalk by the term clinical depression.

It can therefore be important when the term depression is used, to be clear about what is meant, so we may work out whether we are on the same page meaning the same thing or not.

Definition

What is depression?

DotS the definition of depression may vary. In Depression the (United Kingdom) Mental Health Foundation’s (MHF) definition is:

“Depression is a common mental health problem that causes people to experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration”.2

In Depression: Overview the (United States) National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) definition is:

“Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks”.3

Sadness or Depression

Is sadness the same as depression?

In Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know the NIMH note:

“Being sad is a normal reaction to difficult times in life. But usually, the sadness goes away with a little time. Depression is different—it is a medical condition that may cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities like sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is more common among women than men, likely due to certain biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women”.4

Nervous Breakdown

Is a nervous breakdown the same as depression?

In Nervous Breakdown: What Does It Mean? What Does It Mean To Have A Nervous Breakdown? the (United States) Mayo Clinic explain:

“The term “nervous breakdown” is sometimes used by people to describe a stressful situation in which they’re temporarily unable to function normally in day-to-day life. It’s commonly understood to occur when life’s demands become physically and emotionally overwhelming. The term was frequently used in the past to cover a variety of mental disorders, but it’s no longer used by mental health professionals today”.5

Bipolar Disorder

Is bipolar disorder the same as depression?

DotS bipolar disorder may be described as a type of depression, however bipolar disorder is not the same as depression the serious illness or clinical depression. In Bipolar Disorder: Overview the NIMH’s definition is:

“Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks”.6

Types

What are types of depression?

In Depression: Types And Symptoms the World Health Organization (WHO) explain:

“Depending on the number and severity of symptoms, a depressive episode can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe. A key distinction is also made between depression in people who have or do not have a history of manic episodes. Both types of depression can be chronic (i.e. over an extended period) with relapses, especially if they go untreated”.7

Symptoms

What may be symptoms of depression?

In Depression: Symptoms the MHF explain:

Depression

“Depression symptoms may vary among people but generally encompass a feeling of sadness or hopelessness. These can include:

  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • Sadness that doesn’t go away
  • Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting
  • Feeling anxious all the time
  • Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Sleeping problems – difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual
  • Very strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Finding it hard to function at work/college/school
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of sex drive and/or sexual problems
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Thinking about suicide and death
  • Self-harm
Depression symptoms can vary in severity, from mild to moderate to severe depression. If you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day – every day – for more than two weeks, you should seek help from your GP”.8

Who is a GP?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Cause

What may cause depression?

The WHO explain:

“Depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. People who have gone through adverse life events (unemployment, bereavement, psychological trauma) are more likely to develop depression. Depression can, in turn, lead to more stress and dysfunction and worsen the affected person’s life situation and depression itself. There are interrelationships between depression and physical health. For example, cardiovascular disease can lead to depression and vice versa”.9

Common or Not

How common is depression?

Globally, according to the WHO on 22 March 2018:

  • “Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression”.10

In the United States according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) in Depression: Types of Depression:

“The most commonly diagnosed form of depression is Major Depressive Disorder. In 2015, around 16.1 million adults aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year, which represented 6.7 percent of all American adults. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44”.11

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) a type of depression?

In PMDD/PMS: When PMS Symptoms Interfere With Functioning & Quality of Life – Ruling Out Other Psychiatric Illnesses the (United States) MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health [Massachusetts General Hospital] explain:

“PMDD can be distinguished from other mood disorders primarily by the cyclical nature of the mood disturbance. PMDD mood symptoms are only present for a specific period of time, during the luteal phase (the last two weeks) of the menstrual cycle. Conversely, other mood disorders are variable or constant over time. Therefore, the best way to distinguish PMDD from an underlying mood disorder is through daily charting of symptoms. In addition, PMDD mood symptoms are not present in the absence of a menstrual cycle. Thus, PMDD resolves during pregnancy and after menopause, whereas other mood disorders typically persist across all reproductive life events”.12

Anxiety

Is there an association between anxiety and depression?

In Depression: Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Not the Same the ADAA elaborate on:

“Depression and anxiety disorders are different, but people with depression often experience symptoms similar to those of an anxiety disorder, such as nervousness, irritability, and problems sleeping and concentrating. But each disorder has its own causes and its own emotional and behavioral symptoms”.13

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and depression?

On page one in Menopause and Depression: Recognizing Depressive Symptoms and Depression the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) explain:

“It is important to note that not all midlife women experience mood problems, but some women are more vulnerable than others to developing either depressive symptoms or an episode of clinical depression during the menopause transition, especially those women who have had depression previously”.14

Treatment

How can depression be treated?

In Depression: Treatment and Therapies the NIMH elaborate on:

“Depression, even the most severe cases, can be treated. The earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is. Depression is usually treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. If these treatments do not reduce symptoms, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other brain stimulation therapies may be options to explore”.15

In Depression: Treatment and Therapies the NIMH also include:

“Quick Tip: No two people are affected the same way by depression and there is no “one-size-fits-all” for treatment. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you”.16

Online Treatment Programs

Are online depression treatment programs available?

DotC (Depending on the Country) online depression treatment programs may be available. Your health care provider or local community health center may know of your country’s recommended online depression treatment programs.

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have depression?

If you think you have depression, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this urgently.

In Get Immediate Help the (United States) MentalHealth.gov elaborate on:

“People often don’t get the mental health services they need because they don’t know where to start. Talk to your primary care doctor or another health professional about mental health problems. Ask them to connect you with the right mental health services”.17

In Depression & Menopause: If Depression Is Severe the North American Menopause Society also note:

“Many primary care providers are not specifically trained in the management of mental health disorders, including clinical depression. Consultation with a mental health professional may be appropriate, and an expert opinion can be reassuring”.18

In Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know – 1. Depression Is A Real Medical Condition: Most People With Depression Need Treatment To Feel Better the NIMH explain:

“If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your health care provider. This could be your primary doctor or a health provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions (for example, a psychologist or psychiatrist). Certain medications, and some medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A health care provider can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. Your health care provider will examine you and talk to you about treatment options and next steps”.19

In Who Can Assist: What Works? the (Australian) Beyondblue note:

“Everyone’s different. Treatment needs to be tailored to your condition, circumstances, needs and preferences. Most people with anxiety or depression benefit from one or a combination of the following:

  • Lifestyle changes and social support
  • Psychological or ‘talking’ therapies
  • Medical therapies”.20

In Depression: How Health Professionals Can Help the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health remind us:

“Remember:

  • Depression is common
  • It is not a sign of weakness
  • It is nothing to be ashamed about
  • It can be treated”.21

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Depression

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Depression?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Depression. This Page Was Last Updated on 01 December 2018. Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
  2. Depression. This Page Was Last Updated on 01 December 2018. Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
  3. Depression: Overview. Last Revised: February 2018. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml#part_145398 Accessed: 15 May 2020
  4. Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women-tr-16-4779/index.shtml Accessed: 15 May 2020
  5. Nervous Breakdown: What Does It Mean? What Does It Mean To Have A Nervous Breakdown? 26 October 2016. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/nervous-breakdown/faq-20057830 Accessed: 15 May 2020
  6. Bipolar Disorder: Overview. Last Revised: January 2020. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml#part_145402 Accessed: 15 May 2020
  7. Depression: Types and Symptoms. 30 January 2020. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
  8. Depression: Symptoms. This Page Was Last Updated on 01 December 2018. Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
  9. Depression: Contributing Factors and Prevention. 30 January 2020. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
  10. Depression: Key Facts. 30 January 2020.  World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
  11. Depression: Types of Depression. Anxiety and Depression Association of America https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
  12. PMDD/PMS: When PMS Symptoms Interfere With Functioning & Quality of Life – Ruling Out Other Psychiatric Illnesses. Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd/ Accessed: 15 May 2020
  13. Depression: Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Not the Same. Anxiety and Depression Association of America https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
  14. Menopause and Depression: Depressive and Menopause Symptoms. 2018: 1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/menonote-menopause-and-depression.pdf Accessed: 15 May 2020
  15. Depression: Treatment and Therapies. Last Revised: February 2018. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml#part_145399 Accessed: 15 May 2020
  16. Depression: Treatment and Therapies. Last Revised: February 2018. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml#part_145399 Accessed: 15 May 2020
  17. Get Immediate Help. Last Updated: 17 March 2020. MentalHealth.gov https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help Accessed: 15 May 2020
  18. Depression & Menopause: If Depression Is Severe. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 15 May 2020
  19. Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know – 1. Depression Is A Real Medical Condition: Most People With Depression Need Treatment To Feel Better. Revised 2020. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml#pub1 Accessed: 15 May 2020
  20. Who Can Assist: What Works? Beyondblue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/who-can-assist Accessed: 15 May 2020
  21. Depression: How Health Professionals Can Help – Remember. Last Updated: 13 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 March 2014. Jean Hailes https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/depression Accessed: 15 May 2020
Topic Last Updated: 15 May 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 15 May 2020
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