Monday, February 3, 2014

Types of Depression - Understanding Your Enemy

Understanding your enemy is an important part of any strategy whether it be during a war, a football game or when fighting a disease. You can learn how your enemy attacks and how to counter those attacks. "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle," (Sun Tzu, The Art of War).
If you have depression, gaining a deeper knowledge of the disease will help you recognize symptoms, triggers and patterns, leading to more effective coping strategies. This will also enable your loved ones to cope with symptoms you experience, helping them to have more understanding, patience and strength to fight with you and for you. Remember, they are on your team and teamwork leads to success.
A proper diagnosis from your physician or psychiatrist should be your starting point to ensure the correct treatment so always listen to the professionals. The following information from WebMD helps explain the types of depression and their symptoms. On their web site, there is a link under each type for more in-depth information (

"All depression types are not the same. Major depression, also known as clinical depression, and chronic depression, also known as dysthymia, are the most common types. But there are also other types of depression with unique signs, symptoms, and treatment."
- Major Depressive Disorder: major depressive disorder is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.
- Dysthymia (Chronic Depression): characterized by a long-term (two years or more) depressed mood. There are also symptoms present that are associated with major depression but not enough for a diagnosis of major depression. Chronic depression is less severe than major depression and typically does not disable the person.
- Atypical Depression: key symptoms of atypical depression include overeating, oversleeping, fatigue, extreme sensitivity to rejection, moods that worsen or improve in direct response to events.
- Bipolar Disorder: a complex mood disorder that alternates between periods of clinical depression and times of extreme elation or mania.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): depression that occurs each year at the same time. It usually starts in the fall or winter and ends in spring or early summer.
- Psychotic Depression: delusional thoughts or other symptoms of psychosis accompany the symptoms of depression. With psychotic depression, there's a break with reality. Patients with psychotic depression experience hallucinations and delusions.
- Postpartum Depression: diagnosed when a new mother develops a major depressive episode within one month after delivery.

Educate yourself and your loved ones. Read the information together and point out the symptoms you experience. Let them know what helps and what doesn't before you go through those symptoms again. Never give up, know your enemy and know yourself. #gameplanoffense
God bless

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