Millions of Americans suffer from depression, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. Depression that keeps coming back or gets worse may indicate the presence of bipolar disorder. Commonly misdiagnosed, these mood disorders are characterized by recurring episodes of depression, as well as anxiety, intrusive thoughts, mood swings, irritability and problems with sleep.

To learn more about treatment for depression at Lucida, Call 844-874-8503.

Causes of Depression

Depression affects 5-8 percent of adults in the U.S. each year. That’s about 25 million Americans who will experience an episode of major depression this year alone. For reasons not clearly known, depression affects women 70 percent more frequently than men. Without treatment, the frequency and severity of depression symptoms tend to increase over time.

People experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are especially prone to having depression. Alcohol and other substance abuse or dependence may also co-exist with depression. Research shows that depression and substance abuse commonly occur together.

More than 10 million Americans have bipolar disorder. Because of its irregular patterns, bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose. Although the illness can occur at any point in life, more than half of all cases begin between ages 15 to 25. Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally.

Genetics may play a role in the development of major depression, and a bigger role in bipolar disorder. There may also be genetic and neurochemical factors that have some role in the onset and course of depression and in the development of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. About half of the people with bipolar disorder have a family member with a mood disorder, such as depression. If one parent has bipolar disorder, a child has a 15 to 25 percent chance of developing it, too.

Environmental factors or stressful life events may trigger a depressive episode in a person with a genetic disposition for bipolar disorder. But altered health habits, use of alcohol or drugs, or hormonal problems, even without a genetic disposition, can trigger an episode. Substance abuse can interfere with the healing process. Alcohol or tranquilizers may bring on a more severe depressive phase.

A manic episode may be triggered by the use of illicit drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine or Ecstasy, excessive use of over-the-counter drugs such as cold medications and appetite suppressants, excessive caffeine consumption, and use of medications such as corticosteroids (prednisone) or thyroid medication. Lack of sleep can also prompt the onset of bipolar disorder, particularly if the person is vulnerable to the disorder.

Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Depression that lingers for many months
  • Inability to enjoy usual hobbies, activities and pursuits
  • Feeling distant from spouse, family and friends
  • Difficulty communicating with others
  • Isolation
  • Low energy
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Productivity problems or work difficulties
  • Inability to finish projects
  • Family history of bipolar disorder (bipolar symptoms in even a second-degree relative increase a person’s risk for the disorder)
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Preoccupation with death and dying, possible thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation

Symptoms of bipolar disorder during a manic phase include:

  • Heightened sense of self-importance
  • Poor appetite or weight loss
  • Significantly decreased need for sleep
  • Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities
  • Racing speech
  • Impulsivity
  • Poor concentration
  • Increased activity
  • Exaggerated positive outlook
  • Making poor financial choices
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Excessive irritability

Depressed phase symptoms include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness or sadness
  • Talk of suicide or death
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Having negative thoughts about the future
  • Sense of guilt
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble sleeping or waking early in the morning
  • Loss of interest in activities usually found pleasurable

Treatment for Depression

An accurate diagnosis is always the first step in making treatment decisions. At Lucida, following a comprehensive initial assessment and the creation of an individualized mental health treatment plan, we utilize the latest evidence-based treatments for depression, bipolar disorder and mood disorders. These include mood stabilization medication, as appropriate, research-tested psychotherapies, helping our clients manage their condition with exercise and lifestyle changes, and helping family and friends to understand depression and bipolar mood disorders so that they can be supportive during and following treatment.

Recovery from depression and other mood disorders is a holistic process. At Lucida, we use cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, family-focused therapy and psychoeducation for clients with depression or bipolar disorder. Psychopharmacology may also be utilized.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, helps clients restructure thinking patterns that affect mood. Psychoeducation involves learning how to manage symptoms, regulate lifestyle to prevent the worsening of symptoms, reduce frequency of mood episodes, and establish a routine of daily activities and healthy sleep habits.

Interpersonal therapy helps individuals with mood disorders improve the way they relate to people in their lives, address and solve interpersonal problems, and reduce stress in their lives, which, in turn, helps regulate moods.

Our family-focused therapy addresses communication issues, helps restore a healthy and supportive home environment, and educates family members about depression and how to cope with depression symptoms.

For men and women with depression, cognitive behavioral therapy helps to change maladaptive thinking patterns as they relate to mood and behavioral patterns, challenge thinking patterns and beliefs, and replace cognitive distortions with more effective thoughts. Another important area of emphasis is developing coping skills such as distraction, imagery, motivational self-talk or positive affirmations, and minimizing negative self-defeating thoughts and cognitive restructuring.

This is an important decision. Call 844-874-8503 today to find out if Lucida is the right choice for you or your loved one.