As the name suggests, double depression involves episodes of two types of depression. It refers to the occurrence of episodes of Major depression along with Dysthymia.
A patient with double depression has dysthymia and he/she further experiences an episode of major depression. The diagnosis of dysthymia is done followed by the major depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Double Depression
A double depression differs from a major depression in a way that it exhibits effect of the underlying dysthymia.
The signs and symptoms of double depression involve severely depressed mood along with following symptoms.
- Loss of interest in things those were once pleasurable
- Thoughts of suicide or death
- Low energy or agitation
- Thoughts of worthlessness or guilt
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Poor concentration
- Low self-esteem
Treatment of Double Depression
The goal of treatment therapy of double depression involves treatment of both Major Depression and Dysthymia.
- Medications like antidepressants
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy/ Psychotherapy
- Physical exercise
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Vagus nerve stimulation
- Tran cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
- Light therapy
- Lifestyle and home remedies
- Alternative medicine including Herbal remedies and supplements
Depression without any reason? Yeah, this special depression does not have any apparent reason.
Although patients show all the symptoms of depression, however there is no apparent cause for it. As it seems to originate from within, it is called as endogenous depression (coming from within).
As per the researchers, Endogenous depression may results from biochemical changes within the body.
Symptoms of Endogenous Depression
The symptoms of endogenous depression range from mild to severe in nature.
- Lack of concentration
- Inability to make spontaneous decisions
- Little to no sex drive
- Disinterest in work and routine activities
- Feel tired all day
- Lack of motivation
- Prolonged fatigue
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Experience bodily aches
Endogenous depression is supposed to be caused by brain changes and imbalances of serotonin or other neurotransmitters. It runs in the families.
Treatment may involve the combination of various therapies.
- Anti-depressant medications that maintain or improve serotonin level
- Diet, herbs, and amino acids for raising serotonin levels
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT
- Food items and natural supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B compounds, and folic acid
A Dysthymia is also called as Chronic Depression where symptoms of depression last for long-term (two years or more). It is less severe than Major depression.
Patients affected from Dysthymia are able to function adequately however they are consistently sad or unhappy.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Depression
The symptoms of Chronic Depression are similar to that of Major Depression however they lack in their severity and intensity.
Common symptoms of Chronic Depression
- Depressed mood
- Lack of interest in activities that were once pleasurable
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Excessive movement or slowing down
- Feeling of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
- Suicidal thoughts
- Changes in appetite
- Mental and physical sluggishness
- Persistent aches or pains
- Headaches, cramps
- Digestive problems
- Suicidal Tendency
Treatment of Chronic Depression
Although dysthymia is a serious disease, it can be treated. The early diagnosis and medical treatment effectively reduces the intensity and duration of depression symptoms.
Your psychiatrist may use various treatment therapies for treating dysthymia including Anti-Depressants medications, Psychotherapy, light therapy, ECT (Electroconvulsant therapy (ECT), etc.