Depression interferes with the ability to work, study, eat, sleep and enjoy life, making it different than normal sadness. The symptoms of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and often unrelenting. The first step to effective treatment is to assess the type of depression a client is experiencing and then develop a treatment plan to focus on the client’s specific needs.

The following are different types of depression with unique symptoms, causes, and effects:

  • Post-partum Depression – triggered in part by hormonal changes associated with childbirth.  It is long-lasting and serious and can occur up to 6 months after birth.
  • Major Depression – either a one-time episode or reoccurring, lasting up to 6 months.
  • Dysthymia – chronic low-grade depression, mild to moderate, but lasting at least two years.
  • Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression) – cycling mood changes between depression and manic episodes (impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, rapid speech, little sleep). Very specific medical care is suggested.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder – depression triggered by limited exposure to daylight, usually experienced in the fall or winter.

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