• heather&dr.ron

Depression is a Liar - Introduction

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

The information in this post is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to be diagnostic. If you recognize the signs or symptoms of depression in yourself or a loved one, please seek professional help.

Ron and I discussed the basics of depression in a recent video which was the introductory episode in what will be a series of videos on this topic. We discussed the clinical definition of depression and the classic symptoms associated with it. Here I wanted to give you a quick overview of what we discussed as a reference, but please be sure to watch our video.

Symptoms of Depression

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual -5 (DSM-5) in order to diagnose a person with depression, they must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure. The other symptoms may include the following:

  • The subjective feeling of sadness which is usually observed by others

  • Diminished interest in pleasure

  • Inactivity in interests that would bring pleasure

  • Significant weight loss or weight gain when not trying to gain or lose weight

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleep)

  • Feeling like muscles "weigh a ton" or feeling physically agitated

  • Fatigue or loss of energy

  • Feelings of worthlessness

  • Excessive feelings of inappropriate guilt or shame

  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness

  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate

  • Indecisiveness

  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

It is important to note that a disorder causes SUBSTANTIAL functional impairment to a person's life; whether in their job, their schooling, or their relationships. We all, at times, will experience sadness and go through "slumps" and hard times in our lives. Although these are not to be diminished, to reach the level of clinical depression, they have to cause substantial impairment to our lives in some form or another. In this series on depression, both in our videos and in these written posts, we will offer practical advice and tips - these can be used whether you're experiencing clinical depression or are just "down in the dumps". Don't skip over this series feeling that it doesn't apply to you. The tips and exercises we will share with you are likely to help get you out of those slumps as well.

Types of Depression

In the video discussion, Ron touched on three types of depression which we will discuss in more detail further on in our series. Those three types of depression are:

  • Exogenous Depression is situationally induced depression. For example, depression that comes on after an event such as the loss of a loved one.

  • Endogenous Depression will often manifest with biological symptoms (in addition to other depression symptoms). For example, this type of depression would be characterized by changes in sleeping patterns, energy levels, and appetite.

  • Masochistic Depression where a person is seeking nurturance through their depressed behaviors. This type of depression has to be treated much differently than other types of depression.

Treatment Focus

When treating depression, there are typically three goals that therapists focus on, however, Ron adds a fourth goal. Throughout this series we will delve deeper into each of these goals:

  1. Biological

  2. Psychological

  3. Social

  4. Spiritual

This is just a quick overview to give you a taste of what we will be covering in this series and to define some terms. I hope that you will stay tuned for more information on this topic. As you read the information in this and any upcoming posts or watch videos in this series if you recognize the signs or symptoms of depression in yourself or a loved one, please seek professional help.

For further information on these topics, you can check out Depression Definition and DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria on psycom.net. and An Overview of Endogenous and Exogenous Depression on verywellmind.com

- Heather

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