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. With symptoms lasting about four to five months each year, the vast majority of people with this disorder experience their symptoms from late fall to winter. However, some may experience symptoms during the spring and summer, which is referred to as major depressive disorder with a summer pattern.

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:

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

Specific symptoms for major depressive disorder with a winter seasonal pattern

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

Specific symptoms for major depressive disorder with a summer seasonal pattern

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

Risk Factors

Like many mental health conditions, there is no one cause or risk-factor for the disorder. However, the National Institute of Mental Health have studied various conditions that may increase one’s risk of having major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern. These studied factors that may increase prevalence of the disorder include:

  • Younger individuals are at higher risk
  • Women are more likely than men to experience this condition
  • Prevalence increases among people living in higher/northern latitudes

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, especially those with a winter pattern, 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 the winter pattern type of 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

Types of Depression

Types of Depression

There are many different types of depression, each with their own causes and symptoms. It is important to speak with your healthcare provider if you believe you are experiencing symptoms of depression. By discovering what type of depression you are experiencing, the right treatment for you can be determined.

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.

Although the symptoms of depression may vary depending on what type you are experiencing, depression can often affect the way that an individual thinks, feels, and acts. Fortunately, treatment for depression has proven effective for many. With the right treatment plan many experience relief from their symptoms. 

The following consists of information on many, but not all, of the common types of depression. 

Types of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

  • For one to be diagnosed with MDD, their symptoms will have lasted for more than two weeks and typically cause significant interference with daily activities.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) (also referred to as dysthymia)

  • PDD often causes less severe symptoms of depression. However, the symptoms last longer, typically for at least two years.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

  • For those with seasonal affective disorder, their symptoms typically come and go with the changing of seasons. Most individuals with SAD experience symptoms of depression in the fall and winter, with symptoms subsiding during the spring and summer months. 

Perinatal Depression

  • Perinatal depression can be experienced during pregnancy, or after delivery of the baby (postpartum depression).

SYmptoms

The signs and symptoms of depression vary by person and type of depression, 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:

  • Life circumstances such as relationships, financial situations, and more can influence someone developing depression.
  • 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 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline hotline at 988

Learn More

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

There are varying signs and symptoms of depression, and 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. Treatment for depression is vital, as when left untreated, symptoms can worsen and further interfere with one’s life.

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:

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

COMMON Forms OF Depression 

  • Major depressive disorder (also known as clinical depression)
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder

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
  •  

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 988
  •  

TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

Depression in Men

Depression in Men

Oftentimes men are reluctant to discuss or seek help for mental health matters, however, depression in men is very common. Anyone can have major depressive disorder or clinical depression, but the symptoms in men may present differently. Due to the differing symptoms and lack of recognition, depression in men is often overlooked. However, with treatment many symptoms of depression can be relieved.

SYmptoms

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

  • Anger, irritability, or aggression
  • Withdrawing from friends and loved ones
  • Feeling anxious or “on edge”
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in work, relationships, and/or once enjoyable activities
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • 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 class of 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 for 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 in treating depression. Individuals can often lessen their symptoms through 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 988

Learn More

Major Depressive Disorder with a Summer Pattern

Major Depressive Disorder with a Summer Pattern

Some individuals with major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern (MDD-SP) experience depressive symptoms during the summer months. Although MDD-SP most commonly affects individuals during the winter, some people experience MDD with a summer pattern. Due to common misconceptions, MDD with a summer seasonal pattern is often overlooked. However, the disorder is serious and should be treated as such. Luckily, like with other types of depression, there are treatment options available that have been proven beneficial for many.

SYMPTOMS

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

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

There are also specific symptoms commonly experienced with major depressive disorder with a summer seasonal pattern. These include but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Feeling agitated
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness or feeling “on edge”
  • Poor appetite, often leading to weight loss

Treatment and Therapies

There are many treatment options but, treatment plans often include a combination of:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most commonly used types of psychotherapy. It can help teach individuals how to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones.
  • Antidepressants
    • Antidepressants may be used to treat MDD-SP as depression is linked to disturbances in serotonin, which selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be used to treat.
  • Self-Care
    • There are a variety of ways that people with MDD with a summer pattern can help manage their symptoms. Individuals may find that there symptoms decrease with
      • Improved sleep: many people with MDD with a summer pattern struggle to get enough quality sleep. Sleep may be improved by taking time to do relaxing activities before bed and also by making sure your bedroom is dark and comfortable.
      • Staying cool: some may find the heat of the summer to worsen their mood and mental health. By using air-conditioning and other ways to stay cool, symptoms may decrease.
      • Nutrition: as people with MDD-SP commonly experience a loss of appetite, practicing good nutrition habits is essential. For those who are having trouble eating regular meals, it is best to aim for nutrient-dense meals. In addition, it is very important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. 

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

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.

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