Depressive disorders encompass various conditions, including disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, substance/medication-induced depressive disorder, depressive disorder due to another medical condition, other specified depressive disorder, and unspecified depressive disorder.
These disorders share a common feature of experiencing a sad, empty, or irritable mood accompanied by somatic and cognitive changes that significantly impact an individual’s functioning.
Major depressive disorder is characterised by pervasive low mood, diminished self-esteem, and loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, lasting for at least two weeks.
Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, is diagnosed when mood disturbances persist for at least two years in adults or one year in children.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a more severe variant called Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which causes physical and psychological symptoms one to two weeks before menstruation. PMS symptoms include bloating, headaches, and breast discomfort, while PMDD can lead to excessive irritability, anxiety, or sadness. These symptoms typically subside within a few days after the start of menstruation but can sometimes significantly impact daily life.
The causes of depression are multifaceted and involve a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. While the exact cause of depression is not fully understood, here are some common factors that contribute to its development:
It’s important to note that depression is a complex condition, and the interplay of these factors varies from person to person. Additionally, individuals with a family history of depression or personal experience with previous episodes of depression may be more susceptible to future episodes.
The treatment for depressive disorders typically involves a combination of therapeutic interventions, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, medication. The goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms, improve functioning, and prevent relapse. Here are some common approaches to treating depressive disorders :
It’s essential to work closely with healthcare professionals, therapists, or psychiatrists to develop an individualised treatment plan that suits your specific needs. Treatment effectiveness may vary from person to person, and it may take time to find the right combination of therapies and interventions that work best for you. Remember, seeking help and support is a sign of strength, and recovery is possible with the right treatment and support system in place.