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Signs of Depression | Depression Treatment | At SunCloud Health

Losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, and other difficult situations can lead a person to feel sad, lonely and scared. These feelings are normal reactions to life’s stressors.

Most people feel low and sad at times. However, in the case of individuals who are diagnosed with depression, the manifestations of the low mood are much more severe, and they tend to persist.

Depression is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Here are six fundamental depression symptoms that mustn’t be ignored.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

How can you quickly identify depression, as opposed to sadness or a passing feeling of the blues? To help you recognize depression that warrants concern, whether in yourself or a loved one, here are important signs of depression — some of which you might even find surprising — that you shouldn’t ignore:

Trouble Sleeping

Despite being slower in demeanor and motivation, depressed people often lie awake at night, unable to sleep, may find it difficult to get out of bed and may sleep for long periods during the day.

Overly Sensitive

In some, depression manifests as more irritability and impatience than feeling down. Tolerance for mild irritations becomes diminished. 

Loss of Interest in Activities One Used to Enjoy

Some people turn to hobbies they enjoy when they feel blue, but people with major depression tend to avoid them.

Suicidal Thoughts

Depression can be a fatal disease. Recurrent thoughts of death, especially suicide, plague about 60 percent of depressed people, and approximately 15 percent commit suicide. Women attempt suicide more often than men, but men succeed nearly twice as often.

Ironically, when depressed people have made a decision to do something drastic, such as killing themselves, they may go from lackadaisical and slowed to more energetic. That’s because they feel a sense of relief in having come to a resolution. If you notice a drastic switch like this, you should be concerned.

An Emerging Dark Side

A severely depressed person may become preoccupied with death and other morose topics, may also become more likely to take uncalculated risk or exhibit a regardless regard for their safety and wellbeing.

Change in Appetite

Some people overeat when they’re depressed or anxious, but in people with severe depression, the opposite is usually true. A depressed person may stop eating because he or she is no longer concerned with physical well-being.

Types of Depression

There are different types of depressive disorders, and while there are many similarities among them, each depressive disorder has its own unique set of symptoms.

The most commonly diagnosed form of depression is Major Depressive Disorder. In 2015, around 16.1 million adults aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year, which represented 6.7 percent of all American adults. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15 and 44.

Major depression is characterized by at least five of the diagnostic symptoms of which at least one of the symptoms is either an overwhelming feeling of sadness or a loss of interest and pleasure in most usual activities. The other symptoms that are associated with major depression include decrease or increase in appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, constant fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or excessive and inappropriate guilt, recurrent thoughts of death and suicidal ideation with or without specific plans for committing suicide, and cognitive difficulties, such as, diminished ability to think, concentrate and take decisions. The symptoms persist for two weeks or longer and represent a significant change from previous functioning. Social, occupational, educational, or other important functioning is also impacted. For instance, the person may start missing work or school, or stop going to classes or their usual social activities.

Some medical conditions can trigger depressive symptoms in individuals. This is called depressive disorder due to another medical condition. Endocrine and reproductive system disorders are commonly associated with depressive symptoms. For example, people with low levels of the thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) often experience fatigue, weight gain, irritability, memory loss, and low mood. When the hypothyroidism is treated it usually reduces the depression. Cushing’s syndrome is another hormonal disorder caused by high levels of the hormone cortisol which can also cause depressive symptoms. Other conditions that have been found to cause depression include conditions such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, strokes, Parkinson’s disease etc.

Another type of depression is related to changes in the length of days or seasonality. This type of depression is commonly referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). People with SAD experience similar symptoms but only during a specific time of year, usually winter. This appears to be related to the shorter days of winter and the lack of sunlight in many parts of the country. Phototherapy, or Light Boxes, have been found to be extremely helpful during these months.

Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Not the Same

Depression and anxiety disorders are different, but people with depression often experience symptoms like those of an anxiety disorder, such as nervousness, irritability, and problems sleeping and concentrating. But each disorder has its own causes and its own emotional and behavioral symptoms.

Many people who develop depression have a history of an anxiety disorder earlier in life. There is no evidence one disorder causes the other, but there is clear evidence that many people suffer from both disorders.

Struggling with depression? We will help you rebuild your life.

Depression can turn one’s life upside down as the disorder takes over, often leading to feelings of worthlessness and despair. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you or someone you care about is struggling with depression, SunCloud Health is here to help.

Dr. Kim Dennis and her expert team at SunCloud Health have treated thousands of people with mood disorders.  Our care team recognizes that no two individuals will need the same things. We develop a customized care plan designed to meet your unique needs. We have the tools and extensive experience needed to treat mood disorders with co-occurring issues.  Most outpatient facilities aren’t prepared to provide this level of care. But thanks to the expertise of our team and the thoughtful design of our private care centers in Northbrook and Chicago, Illinois, we are ready to help you or your loved one take the first steps toward wellness.

We understand that you want an abundant life. Until now, this fulfilling life may have seemed far out of reach, stolen from you by the effects of your mood disorder. With proper care and time, that can change! We’ve seen it happen for thousands of others and we’re convinced it can happen for you.

What You Can Expect from Us

After you are admitted to one of SunCloud’s outpatient programs, we surround you with a team to manage your comprehensive, individualized treatment plan.

Your team may include:

  • A psychiatrist to oversee medications
  • A primary treatment coordinator, often a licensed therapist
  • A registered dietician
  • A registered nurse practitioner
  • A skilled family therapist
  • A certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC), if appropriate
Evidenced-based Techniques for the Treatment of Depression

You can expect to take part in individual and group therapy as part of your treatment plan. As you progress, your care team will work closely with you to determine what’s working, what’s not working and make adjustments to foster your progress.

The SunCloud Health team provides patients with:

  • Expressive and experiential therapy
  • Skills-based therapy such as DBT, ACT and CBT
  • 12-step recovery programs and facilitation
  • Education about the disease, its effects on you, your mind, your soul and your body
  • Group sessions to teach and practice healthy interpersonal and relationship management
  • Meal support and regular consultation with dietary staff as needed
  • Regular psychiatric consultations
  • Family therapy, including family participation if appropriate
  • Yoga and body image therapy, when appropriate
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), if appropriate

Get Help Now

Thinking about seeking help or know someone who does? Click below to have one of our professional team members contact you.

Treatment at SCH is really different.  I have been to several so I know… Most treatment centers are focused on normalizing eating behaviors, weight restoration (or loss) and that is pretty much it.  At SunCloud  this stuff all matters but treatment is much deeper and so much more!  I have been encouraged to look at what drive me to the disordered eating behaviors in the first place.  I have looked at early childhood trauma, I have looked at dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships in my family, I have learned skills to help me respond differently to my thoughts and feelings and most importantly I have learned that I am not alone in my journey.  Dr. Kim and her team genuinely care.  This place is special.  Thank you TK for suggesting I seek treatment at SunCloud!!!!

~ SCH patient