Depressive Disorders
Mental Health Treatment, Boise, ID

Depressive illness is a serious and common form of mental illness, because it affects all aspects of life-your body, mood, thought, and behavior. It is the result of a complex mix of social, psychological, and/or physical factors that act on a person’s nervous system, triggering sadness, hopelessness, and self-deprecating thinking and behavior.

Depressive illness comes in different forms just as do other illnesses such as heart disease. The three most prevalent types of depressive illness are dysthymic disorder, major depressive disorder, and “double depression,” a combination of major depressive disorder with superimposed dysthymic disorder.

Symptoms of dysthymic disorder include the following:

  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Loss of pleasure in usually enjoyed activities and situations
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Irritability, crankiness, or excessive anger
  • Decreased activity, effectiveness, or productivity

Symptoms of major depression include the following:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of being unwanted, unloved
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that you once enjoyed
  • Insomnia, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, “being slowed down”
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Difficulties concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Some people struggle with symptoms of dysthymia and then may have superimposed major depressive episodes throughout their life. Both dysthymia and major depression respond well to psychiatric medications and counseling/supportive therapy.