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DEPRESSION

Discover dormant feelings and come alive again

Everyone experiences depression now and then. Major life events happen that leave us feeling sad or burned out for a time. But you may be experiencing something that feels more persistent. Whether it's a consistent lack of interest in life, predictable loss of energy during the winter months, or mood swings that take you from the very high to the very low, you may have lost hope that things will ever get better.

MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER

Major depressive disorder refers to feeling sad, empty, and hopeless most of the day, or a loss of interest or pleasure in most activities.

You may be experiencing 5 (or more) of the following symptoms:

  • Depressed mood most of the day

  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in most activities

  • Significant weight loss, or an increase/decrease in appetite

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping a lot)

  • Psychomotor agitation (purposeless activity) or retardation (lack of activity)

  • Fatigue or loss of energy

  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt

  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking or indecisiveness

  • Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideations, or plans/attempts to complete suicide

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER

While this is no longer a specific DSM-5 diagnosis, SAD consists of depressive episodes which contain similar symptoms as major depressive disorder, but with a pattern consistent with changes in season (i.e., fall or winter).

BIPOLAR I

Bipolar I disorder refers to a prolonged period of mania, typically before or after a major depressive episode. The mood change is severe enough to cause significant impairment in daily activities, may be accompanied by psychosis, and can result in hospitalization.

 

Manic Episode

  • A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently increased goal-directed activity or energy, lasting at least 1 week.

  • During this period you experience 3 (or more) of the following symptoms:

    • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity​

    • Decreased need for sleep

    • More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking

    • Flight of ideas (jumping from topic to topic) or racing thoughts

    • Distractibility

    • Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation

    • Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences

BIPOLAR II

Bipolar II disorder refers to a prolonged period of hypomania during or after experiencing a major depressive episode. The mood change is usually not severe enough to cause significant impairment in daily activities.

Hypomanic Episode

  • A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days.

  • During this period you may experience 3 (or more) of the following symptoms:

    • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity​

    • Decreased need for sleep

    • More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking

    • Flight of ideas (jumping from topic to topic) or racing thoughts

    • Distractibility

    • Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation

    • Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences

 

 

See the services page for a detailed description of my evidence-based approach to therapy.