Millions of people globally are affected by depression each year, and many of them suffer the worst consequences imaginable from the symptoms and lack of care. Sadness, anxiety, and changes in eating habits are just a few of the symptoms, some of which lead to the five states of depression.
What is Depression?
Depression (clinical depression or major depressive disorder) is a widespread but serious mood ailment. It creates symptoms that affect how you think, feel, and handle daily events, like eating, sleeping, or working. Symptoms must be prevalent for two weeks before a patient can be diagnosed with depression.
Some forms of depression are different, or they can develop under distinctive circumstances, such as Persistent Depressive Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Psychotic Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder.
What Are The Different Kinds of Depression?
A person with persistent depressive disorder may also have major depression along with less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last two years.
Postpartum depression affects women before and after delivery, with feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion interfering with their ability to care for their child.
Psychotic depression happens when a person has severe depression and psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions.
Seasonal affective disorder normally appears in late summer to early fall and lasts through the following winter, with the onset of fewer daylight hours.
Bipolar disorder includes episodes of low moods that meet the criteria of major depression.
The Different Stages of Depression
The five stages of depression were co-opted from the stages of grief as described by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. They are:
- Denial and Isolation are normally short-term when related to depression. The feelings of extreme sadness can be hard to ignore. But patients still ignore the issue, often believing that if there is a problem, they will just get over it.
- When denial wears off, anger sets in because you realize you cannot overcome feelings of depression and you are even angry with the world.
- Bargaining happens when depression takes on its own life and reveals horrible things about yourself. You try to negotiate away thoughts created by depression and replace them with positivity.
- Depression creates a sensation of isolation as if you are lost in the wilderness with no direction.
The final stage is acceptance, which means you have finally made peace with the reality of your mental illness.
Warning Signs of Depression
In many cases, the symptoms of depression can be treated, with a drug once used as an anesthetic –ketamine. But which symptoms?
- Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
- Less interest in pastimes that were once enjoyable
- Constant thoughts of something terrible happening
- Preoccupation with suicide, death, or suicide attempts
- In very serious cases, psychotic symptoms like hallucinations or delusions
- Inability to care for oneself, characterized by trouble bathing, eating, or fulfilling work or family obligations
Symptoms of depression can make you feel like there is no hope but talk to your doctor about depression treatment plans. Even severe symptoms are treatable.
Are You At Risk for Depression?
Certain people may be at increased risk of depression depending on many factors, including:
- If you have a history of mental illness among blood relatives.
- If you suffer from a chronic illness or other mental disorders.
- If you experience stress or major life changes, like loss of employment or divorce.
- If you struggle with mental illness but do not have a reliable support network.
- If you suffer from perfectionism or high sensitivity to criticism.
Does Medication Work For Depression?
A doctor may prescribe antidepressants to treat symptoms of depression, but research over the last few decades has shown promise from an upstart newcomer – ketamine. Harvard Medical School says: “If a person responds to ketamine, it can rapidly reduce suicidality (life-threatening thoughts and acts) and relieve other serious symptoms of depression. Ketamine also can be effective for treating depression combined with anxiety.”
Some patients can be treated with esketamine, a nasal spray, or ketamine infusion therapy.
Treatment for Depression
The normal course of treatment follows a predictable path – physical exam with lab tests, mental evaluation, consultation with the DSM-5 – and then a doctor will prescribe treatment. In most cases, that includes psychotherapy and antidepressants, but ketamine has changed the landscape as if humans were terraforming on Mars. The drug is thought to work by positively affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, which play a big role in moods and how they can lead to depression.
The stages of depression and its symptoms are warning markers that should not be ignored. If you can recognize them, you are ready to take the first tiny step to get help. Contact us today to learn more about the clinical use of ketamine for depression treatment. There is hope. We can help.