Did you know that double depression is a real mental illness? It is a serious condition that affects millions of people each year. It is a form of major depression that occurs when someone experiences two or more episodes of major depression within a 12-month period. If you are suffering from double depression, it is important to get help. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for this serious condition.
- 1 What Is Double Depression?
- 2 How Is Double Depression Different From Other Depression Types?
- 3 What Makes It Difficult To Treat?
- 4 What Causes Double Depression?
- 5 How To Treat Double Depression?
- 6 Can It Be Prevented?
- 7 Conclusion
What Is Double Depression?
Double depression is described as a major depressive episode that occurs during a period of persistent low-grade depression, or dysthymia. Double depression is relatively common, affecting about one in 33 adults in the United States.
The condition is more common among women than men and often begins in adolescence or young adulthood. Although this condition can occur at any age, it tends to be more chronic than major depression, lasting for years or even decades.
To put it simply, double depression is a “depression on top of depression.” It is a serious mental illness that can have a profound effect on your ability to function in day-to-day life. If you think you may be suffering from double depression, it’s important to seek professional help.
With treatment, you can begin to feel better and enjoy your life again. Also, you should understand that you are not alone—double depression is a very real and common mental illness.
How Is Double Depression Different From Other Depression Types?
It is believed that double depression is a more serious form of depression than other types. This is because the sufferer experiences two different types of episodes.
For example, they may experience major depressive episodes as well as periods of low-grade depression. Double depression has also been found to last longer than other forms of depression, with sufferers often experiencing symptoms for years at a time.
The primary difference is the chronic, long-term nature of double depression. Other forms of depression may come and go, but double depression can last for years. This makes it much more difficult to treat than other types of depression. In fact, double depression proceeds with the full depressive syndrome in about 30% of patients.
This mental illness can be hard to spot because the sufferer may not always appear to be depressed. For example, they may only experience symptoms during certain periods, such as after a major life event.
Moreover, this type of depression can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms may vary from person to person. This makes it important to speak to a mental health professional if you are experiencing any type of depression. If you think you might be suffering from double depression, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.
What Makes It Difficult To Treat?
Many people believe that depression is a single illness. However, there are actually two types of depression, each with its own set of symptoms and treatment methods.
The first type is a major depressive disorder or MDD. This form of depression is characterized by long periods of low mood and a lack of interest in activities. The second type is a dysthymic disorder or DD. This form of depression is characterized by chronic low mood and a lack of interest in activities.
And, double depression is often more difficult to treat due to its unique set of symptoms. Some of the symptoms of double depression include:
- Chronic low mood
- Loss of interest in activities
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes
- Problems concentrating
Difficulty treating double depression often occurs because of the overlap between the two types of depression. For example, many people with MDD also experience DD symptoms. And, vice versa. This can make it difficult to diagnose and treat this severe condition effectively.
So, if you are struggling with depression, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you identify the type of depression you’re experiencing and develop an effective treatment plan.
What Causes Double Depression?
When the condition is severe it is really hard to manage. The causes are likely a mix of genetic and environmental factors. There is also a strong link to other mental health conditions. So it can be difficult to identify what is the exact cause of double depression.
So, let’s discuss the causes in more detail. With that, you might be able to identify if you are at risk and get the help you need.
Major depressive episode
This is the first cause. A major depressive episode is when you experience a low mood for at least two weeks. This can include feeling hopeless, worthless, or having no interest in anything. If a person has had two or more major depressive episodes, they might be diagnosed with clinical depression.
Dysthymia is a long-term (chronic) form of low mood. It’s not as severe as major depression but can last for years. People with dysthymia might have symptoms like poor appetite or overeating, low self-esteem, and trouble concentrating. For example, a person might have low energy, sleep a lot, and not want to socialize.
This is another cause. People who abuse drugs or alcohol are at a higher risk of developing double depression. This is because substances can worsen the symptoms of both conditions. If you’re struggling with addiction, it’s important to get help from a professional. People often self-medicate when they’re depressed, which can make the condition worse.
It is often believed that people who live in difficult circumstances are more likely to develop double depression. This could be due to a number of factors, including poverty, trauma, and abuse. If you’re exposed to stressful situations on a regular basis, it’s important to find ways to cope.
There is also a genetic component to double depression. If you have a family member with the condition, you’re more likely to develop it yourself. This is because some of the risk factors are inherited. For example, if your parent has depression, you’re more likely to experience it yourself.
Some personality disorders and traits are also linked to double depression. This includes things like perfectionism, low self-esteem, and a need for approval. If you have any of these traits, you may be more likely to develop the condition. Also, people who are easily overwhelmed by stress are at a higher risk.
These are some common causes of double depression. If you think you might be at risk, it’s important to talk to a doctor. The sooner you get help, the better. Moreover, you should not try to self-diagnose or treat the condition. It is a serious mental illness that requires professional treatment.
How To Treat Double Depression?
The treatment for double depression is similar to the treatment for major depression. It typically includes a combination of treatment options to treat better. The most common treatment options for double depression are:
This is also known as talk therapy. It can help people with double depression learn how to deal with their negative thoughts and emotions. More often, psychotherapy is used in combination with other treatment options. There are several techniques that are commonly used in psychotherapy, including:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This is a type of therapy that helps people change their negative thinking patterns. It can help people with double depression learn how to deal with their symptoms.
Interpersonal therapy: This therapy focuses on the relationships between people and how they interact with each other. It can help people with double depression learn how to deal with their symptoms.
Dialectical behavioral therapy: It helps people deal with their emotions. It can help people with double depression learn how to cope with their symptoms.
So, the therapies are numerous and effective when it comes to treating double depression. The primary aim of therapy is to help the individual identify and change their negative thinking patterns. If you or someone you know is suffering from double depression, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
There are many different types of medication that can be used to treat double depression. Some common medications include:
Antidepressants: These medications can help to balance the chemicals in the brain.
Antipsychotics: These can help to relieve some of the symptoms of double depression.
Mood stabilizers: This type of medication is mainly believed to help to stabilize the mood swings associated with double depression.
So, there are many different types of medication that can be used to treat double depression. You should discuss with your doctor what type of medication is right for you. Also, you should understand that this condition requires medication in combination. As we have discussed how difficult it is to treat this type of depression.
It is believed that support groups can be very effective in the treatment of double depression. This is because they provide a sense of community and support. There are many different types of support groups, including:
- Online support groups
- In-person support groups
- Therapy groups
You can find a support group that is right for you. You should also understand that these groups are not a replacement for professional help. But, they can be a valuable addition to your treatment plan. With this, you will more likely to stick to your treatment plan and see better results.
In some cases, people with double depression may need to be hospitalized. This usually happens when the person is a danger to themselves or others. Hospitalization can also help to stabilize the person’s mood and get their symptoms under control.
This situation is though when the person is not responding to other treatment options. For example, if the person is not taking their medication as prescribed or if they are not attending therapy sessions.
But of course, not following other treatments will lead to hospitalization. As double depression is not something to be taken lightly, people should seek professional help as soon as possible.
Double depression is a serious and common mental illness that can be difficult to treat. If you or someone you know is suffering from double depression, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Can It Be Prevented?
Though double depression is a serious mental illness, there are things that can be done to prevent it. Some of the tips to prevent severe conditions include:
Identifying early warning signs
This is really essential if you want to prevent double depression. Some of the early warning signs include:
- feeling down for more than two weeks,
- withdrawing from activities you once enjoyed,
- having trouble concentrating or making decisions,
- sleeping too much or too little,
- eating too much or too little, and
- feeling hopeless.
If you notice any of these changes in yourself, it’s important to reach out for help. Recognizing early signs will actually help you get treatment early and prevent the condition from worsening.
Getting adequate treatment for depression
This is another effective way to prevent double depression. If you’re already suffering from depression, it’s important to get proper treatment. This may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Getting proper treatment can help reduce your symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. Because it is a condition that often requires long-term treatment, it’s important to find a treatment plan that you can stick with.
Building a support system
A support system can be incredibly helpful in preventing double depression. This may include close friends or family members with who you can talk about how you’re feeling. It’s also important to have someone to confide in who will understand and be supportive. If you don’t have anyone in your life who meets this criterion, consider reaching out to a mental health professional or joining a support group for people with depression.
Keeping up with the appointments
It is important to maintain and keep up with all medical appointments when suffering from double depression. This includes psychiatric evaluations and therapy sessions, as well as any general physician visits. It can be easy to let these slide when feeling low, but it’s crucial to keep up with them. You can take a journal for this and notice any changes in your mood or behavior to bring up with your doctor.
Living a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is a key to managing any chronic illness, and double depression is no different. You must include some basic things into your routine, such as:
- Eating a balanced and healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Getting enough sleep
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Avoiding drugs
- Spending some time in nature
- Journaling or reading books
- Making time for hobbies and relaxation
- Doing yoga and meditation
All of these things will help improve your mood and give you a better chance of managing your double depression. It’s important to find what works for you and stick with it, even on the days when you don’t feel like it. These things are really important, but they won’t work if you don’t stick with them.
So, these are some basic tips that will really helpful in managing and preventing double depression. Also, it is necessary to make these tips a part of your daily routine. And, lastly, if you feel like things are getting worse then please reach out to a mental health professional.
To conclude, double depression is a serious mental illness that should not be taken lightly. It can have a profound effect on a person’s life and well-being, and it is important to get help if you think you may be suffering from this condition. In addition, people with this illness may also be at increased risk for other mental health problems, such as anxiety and substance abuse.
If you or someone you know is struggling with double depression, there is help available. Talk to your doctor or a mental health professional about treatment options. And, as always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the condition, please contact Mantra Care for expert guidance.
Mantra Care is the leading provider of mental health services around the globe. With a team of highly qualified and experienced mental health professionals, we are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients. Mantra Care is always here to help you improve your quality of life! You can also book a therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.