Varieties of Depression

Depression generally takes one of two major forms. Unipolar depression is what most people mean when they talk about depression: an unremitting state of sadness, apathy, or hopelessness, and loss of energy. It is sometimes called major depression. Bipolar depression, or bipolar disorder, is a condition marked by periods of depression and periods of high-energy mania; people swing between the two poles of mood states, sometimes over the course of days, sometimes over years, often with stable periods in between. 

The birth of a baby can trigger mood swings or crying spells in the following days or weeks, the so-called baby blues. When the reaction is more severe and prolonged, it is considered postpartum depression, a condition requiring treatment because it can interfere with the ability to care for the newborn. Depression can also occur seasonally, primarily in the winter months when sunlight is in short supply. Known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, it is often ameliorated by daily exposure to specific types of artifical light.

Sometimes depression manifests as a persistent low mood, a condition known as dysthymia. It is usually marked by years-long periods of low energy, low self-esteem, and little ability to experience pleasure.

Suicidal thoughts often coincide with depressive episodes, which is why it's important to be aware of the signs if you or a loved one experiences any prolonged mood disturbance.

Recent posts on Depression

The Chronic Pain of Contraception

By Mark Borigini M.D. on September 29, 2016 in Overcoming Pain
It is of concern that adolescents in this research seemed more vulnerable to this risk than women 20 to 34 years old; this is a population often more at risk.
 123rf/Katarzyna Białasiewicz

9 Ways Motherhood Can Break Your Spirit

Longing for previous, worry-free days where spontaneity and carefree enjoyment was plentiful feels utterly incompatible with how your life feels right now.

Bad Moms: Social Stigmas and Postpartum Mental Illness

By Jean Kim M.D. on September 29, 2016 in Culture Shrink
We need to examine how the biological symptoms of postpartum mental illnesses intersect with the high societal expectations regarding the "perfect mother."

Coping Guidelines for All of Us

In the last few months our nation has witnessed a surge in violent acts of intolerance. Are we suffering from secondary PTSD?

The Golden Years...Not So Golden.

By Ana Nogales on September 28, 2016 in Family Secrets
Think of the last day of your life. How will you feel to reflect on your journey?

The Bacteria That Mold Your Brain

By Jordan Gaines Lewis, Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Brain Babble
New research shows that the microbiome plays a huge role in our behavior. Can changing our diet become a new health treatment?

5 Ways Pole Dancing Can Improve Your Life

By Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST on September 27, 2016 in Modern Sex
Pole dancing can help you celebrate your body just as you are right now. Give your inner critic a day off!

Recovery Is Not Immune From the Effects of Trauma

My work as a clinical psychologist has led me to understand that trauma may account for the lions’ share of recoverable substance abuse and behavioral health disorders.

Are We Inherently Playful?

By Bernard L. De Koven on September 27, 2016 in On Having Fun
Depression is what happens when we want to play, but can't.

12 Tips to Remedy Seasonal Depression

By Judy Carter on September 26, 2016 in Stress Is a Laughing Matter
As fall comes, so do the fall blues. Maybe that's why they picked September as National Suicide Prevention Month. Here are 12 tips on how to ward off seasonal depression.

Protesting Against Big Pharma Is One Thing

The new drugs, on the whole, have been a blessing, and it is unnerving to see the whole psychopharmacological enterprise now trashed in an indiscriminate manner.

Help Your College Student Combat a Major Danger: Depression

By Marcia Morris M.D. on September 25, 2016 in College Wellness
With the right treatment plan, your child can develop the tools to fight her way out of the darkness of depression and into the light of recovery.
gratisography.com/pexels.com

You Must Use Drugs!

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on September 24, 2016 in The Power of Rest
These days, health insurance companies are pushing the use of drugs.

Suicide in Children — What Every Parent Must Know

Only about one-third of children or young adolescents who died from suicide told anyone that they intended to kill themselves. Do you know the risk factors?

Darkness in the Morning, Depression in the Afternoon

It is a warmer than usual autumn, but nevertheless the diminished light of winter will soon arrive. Here are some ideas to stay ahead of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"Daddy, Can I Die and Make the Pain Stop?"

By Kevin D. Arnold Ph.D., ABPP on September 22, 2016 in The Older Dad
Some young children think about suicide, but adults often never hear the cry for help.

Why Doctors See Antidepressant Effects That Researchers Miss

By Peter D Kramer on September 22, 2016 in In Practice
Trust drug trials and mistrust clinical observation? Sometimes doctors know best—while researchers are blind to factors that help depressed patients recover.

Can a Dog Really Suffer From Depression?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on September 21, 2016 in Canine Corner
One of the breakthroughs in veterinary medicine has been the recognition that dogs and humans may have similar psychological problems and can be treated the same way.
Public Domain, PIxabay

Infertility and Miscarriage: Emerging From the Shadows

By Monica N. Starkman M.D. on September 21, 2016 in On Call
Open, compassionate discussion of reproductive failure is necessary in order to combat the social stigma that surrounds it.

When Social Media Sparks Depression

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Media Spotlight
A new study highlights the psychological risks associated with the online harassment that can often occur on social medial sites such as Facebook.
mipan at bigstock.com

Overcoming Excuses for Not Taking Care of Your Brain

By Susan Noonan MD on September 20, 2016 in View From the Mist
Sometimes it’s easier to believe the faulty logic of these thoughts – don’t!

Why You Can’t Walk Away From Him

By Linda Esposito LCSW on September 19, 2016 in From Anxiety to Zen
Do you control, nurture, and protect your partner? Maybe it's time to let go.

Diversity and Inclusiveness Is Good For Your Well-being

Being intolerant of people who are different to you may be bad for your well-being; results for 8 different aspects of well-being.
ID 56063305 © Sergey Khakimullin | Dreamstime.com

Here’s Why Your Brain Makes Quitting Drugs/Alcohol So Hard

By Richard Taite on September 16, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
There’s little more tempting than a quick and easy solution to our problems.

5 Things We Can All Do to Help Stop Suicide

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on September 15, 2016 in Compassion Matters
The suicidal state is almost always transient and temporary. If we intervene and get people the help they need, we can help save lives. To do this, we must educate ourselves.

When Does the Bullying Stop?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 15, 2016 in Media Spotlight
What are the long-term consequences of being bullied as a child? being a victim can be more far-reaching than you might think.

Fascinating Evidence Shows How Melatonin Can Help With GERD

By Lucy O'Donnell on September 15, 2016 in Cancer Is a Teacher
Are you suffering from a multitude of gastrointestinal problems. Look at the findings that suggest melatonin, aside from its other benefits, may greatly help.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

By Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D. on September 15, 2016 in Brain and Behavior
There are many misconceptions about bipolar disorder, a lifelong disorder characterized by episodes of often persistent, highs, and often persistent, lows.

Why Is It So Hard to Lose Weight After Antidepressants?

You needed the help of medication. You gained weight. You don't need the medication anymore, so why are you still chubby?
pexels

Perinatal Psychiatry, Birth Trauma & Perinatal PTSD, Part 3

By Shaili Jain M.D. on September 14, 2016 in The Aftermath of Trauma
I recently spoke with Dr. Rebecca Moore to understand more about Birth Trauma and PTSD.