Do You Have Depression?

The best way to tell if you have depression that is interfering with your life is—have you felt this way for 2 or more weeks? If you have, you have clinical depression. I’ve had depression for years–probably from the age of 5– but didn’t accept it. Because I’ve probably always had it, I thought these feelings of uselessness and/or worthlessness were normal.

Please be honest with yourself when you take the depression test. Take the test at depressedtest. com site. No one except you will know that you took the test. And no one but you will know your score.

To read about the types of depression—I’ve chosen a few that are easy to read. In the beginning, if you have depression, all the types will seem to fit. But there will be one category that has more of your symptoms than the others. I am lucky, I have dysthymia which comes and goes.

9 Types of Depressive Disorder:

• Major depression
• Dysthymia
• Manic-Depression
• Cyclothymia
• Post-partum depression
• Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
• Existential depression
• Mood disorders due to a medical condition
• Medication-induced depression
• Substance-induced mood disorder

Depression types adds some, such as PTSD

From Healthy Place, types of depression. There is also a depression community at this site.

Depression Help For You has an easy to use drop down menu of the depression types.

What to do if you believe you need help–

The above information is only for you to decide if you need to see a professional. If you have health insurance, going to a psychiatrist is the best place to start. Only psychiatrist and/or medical doctors can prescribe medication. Psychologists can talk to you but they can’t prescribe medication. I always believe in starting with medication. Talking about your life and/or your problems will be much more effective once you have the mood swings in check.

Be prepared to be patient. The medication may take 3-4 weeks to begin helping you. Plus it may not be the right medication. No one can look at you or talk to you and automatically determine what you need. You have to try out the medications and they each take time to be effective in your body.

From  Depression Help for You: “How does medication for depression help?”:

“To answer this question, you need to know something about what happens in your brain and nervous system when you become depressed.

Your brain and nervous system are made up of millions of cells. Each of these cells is separate from all of the other cells–that is, they are not connected. Messages are passed from one cell to the next by chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.

These neurotransmitters are released from one cell, travel through a space called a synapse to another cell. When enough neurotransmitters have landed on the second cell, it responds and the message has been transmitted.

When a person becomes depressed, the cells which are receiving the neurotransmitters are not operating properly. These post-synaptic cells have slowed down their rate of responding. This keeps the messages from being passed from one cell to the next through the brain and nervous system. The neurotransmitters are unable to do their job.

The reduction in messages being passed along is one of the processes involved in depression.

Some of the neurotransmitters which are involved in a person becoming depressed are serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine.

Another substance that seems to be involved in depression is an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. Monoamine oxidase is found in many cells. It is involved in the oxidation of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin. Oxidation is a process through which cells lose oxygen. In part, it is through oxidation that neurotransmitters are broken down.

All of the medications for depression affect one or more neurotransmitters to help them do a better job passing messages through the brain and nervous system.

Some medications for depression, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), keep serotonin from being reabsorbed once it has been released into the synapse. SSRIs include Celexa, Lexa-Pro, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft.

Others, called serotonin-2 antagonist/reuptake inhibitors (SARIs), oppose or block serotonin at the receptor site. Serzone and Desyrel are SARIs.

Effexor is a medication for depression which works by blocking both serotonin and norepinephrine from being reabsorbed from the synapse. It is called a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).

A couple of medications for depression are called atypicals. It is uncertain how the first atypical medication for depression, Wellbutrin, works. It may effect dopamine or norepinephrine. Remeron is another atypical medication for depression. Remeron works by blocking or opposing serotonin reception and by enhancing both serotonin and norepinephrine.

Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate are monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). They inhibit monoamine oxidase slowing down the loss of oxygen from epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Thus, these neurotransmitters stay active longer.

Tricyclic antidepressants, like the MAOIs, have been around for many years. They include Elavil, Asendin, Anafranil, Norpramin, Sinequan, Tofranil, Pamelor, Aventyl, Ludiomil, Vivactil, and Surmontil. Each of these medications for depression work by inhibiting the reabsorption of one or more of the neurotransmitters.

The final group of medications for depression are called mood stabilizers. They are most often used to treat bipolar disorder or manic depressive illness. Nevertheless, they are also used with unipolar
depressions– clinical depressive disorders which don’t involve extreme highs or manic episodes.

Mood stabilizers include Tegretol, Lamictal, Eskalith, Lithobid, and Depakote. These medications work by changing how easy it is for a cell to receive a message transmitted by the neurotransmitter.”

The above information may be dated some and you may find better references with your own search. This post was designed to get you started.

My favorite Facebook group for depression (May 2017) is Group Beyond Blue.

Photo Credit.