Types of Depressive Disorders & Treatments
Laguna Beach Psychology Services
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people between the ages of 15 to 44, affecting more than 16.1 million adults (6.7% of the population). The list below includes a brief overview of common depressive disorders and the specific type of treatment I am able to provide for people depending on the disorder. This information is provided for informational purposes only to help you better understand depressive disorders, but is not to be used in place of a professional assessment and diagnosis.
Please note, it is common for people to suffer from multiple disorders, such as a depressive disorder and an anxiety disorder. If you feel you may be suffering from a mental health issue and are ready to get help, or even if you’re unsure if you need help and just want more information, please contact me today. If you are experiencing a psychiatric emergency, meaning likely to harm yourself or others, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder involves experiencing a depressed mood or lack of interest or enjoyment in activities. Common symptoms include changes in appetite or weight, difficulties with sleep, feeling tired or restless, feeling bad about yourself (e.g., self-critical, ashamed, etc.), having trouble concentrating, having thoughts of death or suicide, or having had a suicide attempt. CBT is considered an evidence-based treatment for major depressive disorder and involves recognizing and working on changing the thoughts and behaviors that may be keeping you stuck in your depression so you can learn to cope more effectively.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent depressive disorder, formerly known as dysthymia, occurs when people experience a consistently depressed mood for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). Symptoms are similar to major depressive disorder and may include changes in appetite or weight, difficulties with sleep, feeling tired, having poor self-esteem, feeling hopeless, or having trouble concentrating. CBT is considered an evidence-based treatment for persistent depressive disorder and involves recognizing and working on changing the thoughts and behaviors that may be keeping you stuck in your depression so you can learn to cope more effectively.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder involves a combination of depressive symptoms that occur before the onset of your menstrual cycle, improve after the onset of your cycle, and become nearly absent in the week after your cycle. Common symptoms include feeling depressed or anxious, having mood swings, feeling irritable or angry, having increased conflicts in your relationships, feeling self-critical, having a lack of interest in activities you typically enjoy, having difficulty concentrating, feeling tired, having changes in appetite or sleep, feeling easily overwhelmed or out of control, or experiencing physical symptoms (e.g., feeling bloated, etc.). CBT is considered an effective treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder and involves recognizing and working on changing the thoughts and behaviors that may be making your mood symptoms worse during your cycle so you can learn to cope better, even though there may be medical (i.e., hormonal) reasons for your symptoms. In these cases, it is often also important to seek medical advice from your medical doctor or a specialist (e.g., Ob/Gyn). With your permission, psychologists and medical doctors can collaborate regarding your care to facilitate your treatment.