Perinatal Depression

Perinatal Depression

Perinatal depression is a form of depression that is experienced during pregnancy and/or and after the birth of a child. It is common for women to experience feelings of worry or sadness a few days after giving birth. However, if these symptoms persist, they may be signs of perinatal depression.

SIgns and SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of perinatal depression are often overlooked, and viewed as just part of the pregnancy. Contrary to that belief, the symptoms of perinatal depression can be very serious and it is important to treat them as such. Common symptoms of perinatal depression include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Sleep problems, whether sleeping too much or too little
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling low on energy
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Changes in eating habits, leading to weight loss or gain 

Causes

There is no single cause of perinatal depression. Research suggests that its cause can be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Many of the hormonal changes experienced before and after birth have been linked to parts of the brain that are associated with depression. In addition, the life changes that come from welcoming a child can be very overwhelming, and may worsen symptoms.

Treatment

Treatment is important for the health of the mother and baby. With treatment, symptoms often subside. Various methods of treatment are used, and it is important to find what works best for you. Treatment vary but plans commonly include:

  • Support groups
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • Light therapy

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

The signs and symptoms of depression vary by person but for many, these symptoms interfere with day-to-day life. Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is more than just a rough patch, but rather a serious mental health condition. When left untreated, symptoms of depression can worsen and contribute to further interference.

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions. NAMI reported that in 2020, at least 8.4% of the U.S. population experienced at least one major depressive episode. 

It is important to understand the symptoms of depression so that you can recognize the signs, and get treatment if necessary.

SYMPTOMS

Depression symptoms vary by person and form of depression. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Changes in sleep
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Hopelessness
  • Change of appetite 
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts

COMMON Forms OF Depression 

  • Clinical depression
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Bipolar disorder

TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

Depression in Men

Depression in Men

Many people often overlook depression in men, as the condition (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) was once considered a “woman’s disease.” In addition, oftentimes men experience symptoms differently than women. This lack of recognition often prevents men from recognizing their symptoms and getting the help they need. 

SYmptoms

The signs and symptoms of depression vary. Common symptoms of depression in men include:

  • Anger or irritability
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in work, relationships, and/or once enjoyable activities
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Feeling anxious or on-edge
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Physical aches, pain, nausea, or discomfort
  • Suicidal thoughts

Causes and RIsk Factors

There are many causes and risk factors for depression, current studies within the United States suggest risk factors for depression include a combination of:

  • Genetics
  • Environmental stress
  • Other medical conditions

Treatment

Depression can be treated through a variety of methods. After receiving an evaluation from a healthcare provider, they can help you create a treatment suited to you. Treatment plans commonly include a combination of:

  • Medication
    • Antidepressants are the most common medication used to treat depression. However, sometimes mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications may also be prescribed, but are much less common. 
  • Psychotherapy
    • Various types of psychotherapy can be used to treat depression, and have been proven to be very beneficial for many. Commonly used types of psychotherapy used in the treatment of depression include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and family-focused therapy.
  • Self Help
    • In addition to professional help, self help can also be beneficial. Individuals can often lessen their symptoms through self help. Symptoms of depression are often decreased by exercise, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and more. 

Crisis Help

If you or a loved one is in a crisis, it is important to get help immediately. If in danger of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)

Learn More

Depression

What is Depression?

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a serious mental health condition that can cause feelings of sadness and loss of interest. The symptoms of depression can affect the way that an individual thinks, feels, and acts. 

One of the most common mental health conditions is depression. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that 280 million people worldwide have depression.

Fortunately, treatment for depression has proven effective for many. With the right treatment plan many experience relief from their symptoms. 

SYmptoms

The signs and symptoms of depression vary by person, but they commonly include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Changes in sleeping pattern
  • Lack of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Trouble thinking or concentrating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Lack of energy
  • Suicidal thoughts

Causes and RIsk Factors

There are many causes and risk factors for depression. Although there is no one clear cause for the disorder, risk factors include:

  • Trauma can cause long-term changes in the way that one thinks and make them more vulnerable to depression.
  • Genetics play a strong role in mood disorders as they tend to run in families.
  • Other medical conditions can contribute to depression. Many physical and mental health conditions can increase one’s risk for depression.

Treatment

Symptoms of depression can often be relieved through treatment. Studies show that depression is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. After proper evaluation, a health care provider can help create a treatment plan suited to you. Treatment plans may include a combination of:

  • Medication
    • Antidepressants are the most common medication used to treat depression. In some cases, mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications may also be prescribed.
  • Psychotherapy
    • Psychotherapy is commonly used to treat depression and can be very beneficial. Commonly used types of psychotherapy used in the treatment of depression include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and family-focused therapy.
  • Self Help
    • There are a variety of ways that an individual can help reduce symptoms of depression. Symptoms of depression are often decreased by exercise, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and more. 

Crisis Help

If you or a loved one is in a crisis, it is important to get help immediately. If in danger of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)

Learn More

Treating Depression

Treating Depression

There are many methods of treating depression. Treatment plans often include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. The type of treatment used largely depends on the severity and type of depression. When treating depression, the process may take some trial and error to find what works best for you.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also known as “talk-therapy,” has been shown to help the symptoms of depression for many. There are various types of psychotherapy used in the treatment of depression, and it is important to find which works best for you.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven effective in the treatment of depression by many research studies. This type of therapy focuses on understanding and learning to change negative thinking patterns associated with depression.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT) focuses on creating improvements within personal relationships and other aspects of life that may be contributing to one’s depression. IPT helps individuals learn to evaluate their interactions and improve how they relate to others.
  • Psychodynamic therapy aims to help individuals recognize negative behavior and thought patterns that are rooted from past experiences. After developing a better understanding of the roots, individuals can learn how to better resolve symptoms.

Medication

A health care provider may suggest medication to help treat one’s depression. It often takes more than one try to find a medication and dose that works best. 

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) act on the brain chemical serotonin. They are the most commonly used type of medications in treating depression. Common SSRIS include:
    •  Fluoxetine  (Prozac)
    • Citalopram  (Celexa)
    •  Sertraline  (Zoloft)
    •  Escitalopram (Lexapro)
    •  Paroxetine  (Paxil)
    •  
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are also used in the treatment of depression. These medications work by increasing serotonin and norepinephrine. Common SNRIs include:
    •  Venlafazine  (Effexor)
    •  Duloxetine  (Cymbalta)
    •  Desvenlafazine (Pristiq)
  • Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) work by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine. For some, NDRIs may cause feelings of anxiety, but others find that depression symptoms decrease with little to no side effects.

Learn More

Perinatal Depression

Perinatal Depression

Perinatal depression is a form of depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth. Many women experience the “baby blues” a few days after giving birth, which can include feeling worried or down. Although these feelings are common, significant symptoms that persist over time may be signs of postpartum depression or perinatal depression.

SIgns and SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of perinatal depression may be over looked, and viewed as just part of pregnancy. However, these symptoms can be serious, and it is important to treat them as such. The signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Sleep problems
  • Feeling low on energy
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Anxiety
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Changes in eating habits, leading to weight loss or gain 

Causes

Perinatal depression can happen as a result of hormone changes during or after pregnancy. The hormone changes are typically strongest during the weeks before and after birth. These changes are linked to parts of the brain associated with depression.

Treatment

It is important to create a plan that works for you. Treatment vary but plans commonly include:

  • Support groups
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • Light therapy

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

Men and Depression

Men and Depression

This November for Men’s Health Month, we aim to help others recognize and better understand the relationship between men and depression. Both men and women experience depression, but their symptoms can vary, and depression in men may often go unnoticed. In addition, men are less likely to talk about and seek treatment for depression. Yet depression affects millions of men each year. Together, we can help bring awareness to depression in men and provide proper support.

SIgns and SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of depression in men include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeling anxious or “on edge”
  • Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
  • Anger or irritability
  • Lack of or lowered sexual desire, and/or problems with performance
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Loss of interest in work, relationships, or pleasurable activities
  • Feeling very tired, and not being able to sleep enough or sleeping too much
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts

Causes

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders. Current research suggests that it is caused by a combination of risk factors including, but not limited to:

  • Genetic factors such as having a family history of depression
  • Environmental stress whether it is financial stress, loss of a loved one, work troubles, or anything stressful else can sometimes trigger depression
  • Illnesses can sometimes make developing depression more likely, or worsen depression symptoms

Treatment

Men often avoid talking about their depression and getting treatment. It is important that friends and family that recognize depression symptoms in their loved one encourage them to receive treatment. Treatment may vary but plans commonly include:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Various types of psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” can help treat depression. Therapy can help one teach new ways of thinking and how to create better habits. Therapy can also provide an outlet for men to discuss things that might be contributing to their depression.
  • Medication
    • Antidepressants can be helpful for many in the treatment of depression. However, medications can take time to become effective and often have risks of side effects, so it is important to learn about the medication you take before starting.

Crisis Help

If you or a loved one is in a crisis, it is important to get help immediately. If in danger of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
  • Veterans can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

 

Finding Motivation While Depressed

Finding Motivation While Depressed

Finding motivation while depressed can be difficult, but it is possible. Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common, yet very serious, mental health condition. The symptoms of depression can affect how you feel, think, and function in day-to-day life. Learning steps you can take to help find motivation while depressed can help you combat depression symptoms head on. Remember, however, everyone’s needs are different, and we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider about treatment options specific to you.

The following list includes tips to help stay motivated while depressed. Remember, it is okay to start small, as every step counts.

01

Go For a Walk

Going for a walk is a great way to get some exercise, which helps your body release endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Other forms of exercise can be just as beneficial, so you can choose an option that sounds fun and manageable to you.

02

Know Your Priorities

Identifying what is important and what can wait, can help you narrow down what tasks you need to be focusing on. It is easy to get overwhelmed by a long to-do list, so consider shortening the list by focusing on what has to be done.

03

Stick to A Routine

Creating a routine can help provide a clear outline of what you need to be doing during the day, and leave less room for the unknown. Creating routines around sleep time, meals, work, and more, can all provide structure in your life.

04

Create A Support Network

Creating a support network of positive people can be very beneficial. When feeling overwhelmed or low on motivation, it can be uplifting to have people to talk to or comfort you.

05

Get Help From A HealthCare Professional

If depression is becoming too much to handle, or if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should seek help right away. A healthcare professional can help you get the care and help that you need.

If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, call the confidential toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

 

Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern

Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern

Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern (formerly known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD) is a type of depression characterized by its recurrent seasonal pattern. The vast majority of those experiencing the disorder experience symptoms from late fall to winter, lasting about 4 to 5 months each year. It is called summer-pattern SAD for those who experience symptoms in the spring or summer months. For those struggling with this disorder, there is hope. Like other types of depression, there are treatment options that have been proven beneficial to many.

SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern are associated with those of major depressive disorder. Common symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Having low energy
  • Feeling depressed most days
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Specific symptoms for major depressive disorder with a winter seasonal pattern

  • Oversleeping
  • Overeating, and particularly craving carbohydrates
  • Social withdraw or distancing yourself from others
  • Weight gain

Specific symptoms for major depressive disorder with a summer seasonal pattern

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Poor appetite, leading to weight loss
  • Agitation

Treatment and Therapies

Treatment and therapies may vary but treatment plans commonly include:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used as it helps teach individuals how to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones.
  • Antidepressants
    • Like other forms, this type of depression is associated with disturbances in serotonin, which selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be used to treat.
  • Vitamin D
    • Many people with this disorder often have a vitamin D deficiency. Due to this, nutritional supplements of vitamin D may help improve their symptoms.
  • Light therapy
    • Light therapy has been used since the 1980s to help treat this depressive disorder. Patients of this therapy sit in front of a very bright light (10,000 lux) each morning for about 30 to 45 minutes. 

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

Treating Depression

Depressive disorder, often referred to as depression, is more than just a rough patch or period of sadness in one’s life, but rather a serious mental health condition that is also one of the most common. The symptoms of depression can vary, but tend to commonly interfere with an individual’s day to day life. For those struggling with depression, there is hope as treatment is available and has been proven to make a difference. The following list features various common types of treatment used for treating depressive disorders. 

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy or counseling, is widely recognized as an effective way to treat depression.

There are various types of psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). CBT helps change the negative thinking patterns one may have because of depression. IPT focuses on improving problems in relationships or other aspects of life that may be contributing to one’s depression.

Medications

For some people, antidepressant medications may help reduce or control depression symptoms. 

Types of antidepressants include:

    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are the most commonly used type of antidepressant and include medications such as: Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, and more.
    • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) which include: Effexor, Pristiq, and more.
    • Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) which include: Wellbutrin and more.

More information and RESOURCES

  • We recommend talking to your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have.
  • To learn more about depression and the treatment used, we suggest the following links:
    • NAMI: https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Treatment
    • NIMH: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression