Major Depressive Disorder


: Help for Depressive Disorders
: More About Depressive Disorders
: Major Depression
: Persistent Depressive Disorder
: Postpartum Depression
: Seasonal Affective Disorder
: Getting Depression Treatment


When someone is experiencing the symptoms of depression, it can be helpful to seek medical advice to alleviate symptoms and restore quality of life. For some, depression is brief and self-resolving. However, depression can become persistent, chronic, and severe for others, leading to dysfunction and even suicidal thinking.

Depressive disorders are a common problem, affecting over 7% of adults and 9% of adolescents in the U.S. every year. For around two-thirds of those affected by a depressive disorder, the associated symptoms cause significant impairment.

One measurement commonly used to distinguish a depressive episode from simply feeling “low” is the duration and severity of symptoms. In a major depressive episode, individuals experience persistent depression and hopelessness for two weeks or longer. Other symptoms, such as: often accompany this severe depression

  • Sleeplessness or increased sleep
  • Change in appetite
  • Decreased energy
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Low self-esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts

The symptoms of depressive disorders can cause severe impairment and difficulty functioning in day-to-day life. Routine activities like school, work, socializing, exercise, and regularly enjoyed pastimes become difficult or impossible. If you or somebody you care about is suffering from a depressive disorder, seek help sooner rather than later. Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues, and most people with a depressive disorder respond positively to professional treatment.

At ASANTE, our caring professionals specialize in helping people recover from depression and return to emotional balance. The first step is a comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessment by a mental health professional.

Treatment often includes a combination of appropriate medication, therapy, and lifestyle modifications that can help alleviate contributing stressors.


Depression can wreak havoc on every aspect of your life, including your physical health, relationships with family and friends, and your ability to work, attend school, and enjoy life. Some of the more common forms of depression are listed below.

MAJOR DEPRESSION: Major depression is an acute feeling of despair and hopelessness which impairs the person’s ability to function. Someone who is suffering from significant depression may lose interest in life, and routine activities previously enjoyed. Symptoms often include persistently low mood or irritability, changes in sleep and appetite, feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, lack of energy, and lack of enjoyment in previously meaningful activities. An individual suffering from depression may also have suicidal thoughts.

PERSISTENT DEPRESSIVE DISORDER: Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) is a persistently low mood that lasts two years or longer. While most people with this type of depression can still function, they struggle with a chronic, mildly low mood. Other symptoms can include changes in appetite and sleeping habits, low self-esteem, lack of energy, and a feeling of hopelessness.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: Postpartum depression affects women who have recently given birth. The onset of depression can occur anytime during pregnancy to a year after the baby is born. New fathers can also suffer from postpartum depression. While many women report brief periods of depression from a few days to a few weeks after giving birth, symptoms of Postpartum Depression are more intense and persistent. These symptoms can include:

  • Depression or mood swings
  • Crying excessively
  • Feeling distanced from your baby, family, and friends
  • Changes in appetite and sleeping patterns
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, worthlessness, or inadequacy
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

When left untreated, postpartum depression can seriously impair functioning and the maternal-child bond. Studies show that around half the parents who suffer from postpartum depression do not seek professional help. It is critical to seek help quickly for postpartum depression. The first step is often consulting one’s obstetrician, primary care doctor, psychiatrist, or pediatrician.

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression triggered by seasonal changes. Onset usually occurs during late fall, with symptoms intensifying as the weather changes and persisting throughout the winter. However, some people experience the opposite, where symptoms appear in early spring and worsen throughout the summer. Symptoms can include:

  • Changes in sleep patterns (oversleeping or insomnia)
  • Changes in appetite (significant weight gain or Loss)
  • Persistent feeling of sadness or depression
  • Low energy level
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt feelings of low self-worth
  • Suicidal thoughts

A person suffering from seasonal affective disorder can lose the ability to enjoy life and function usually. If the changing season causes you to suffer a prolonged and worsening depression, you should seek professional help. With the help of experienced & caring professionals, you can retain emotional stability and live a complete, joyful, and balanced life year-round.

The above are just a few of the most common depressive disorders and are not all-inclusive. If you or someone you love is suffering from a depressive disorder, we are here to help. ASANTE Can Help You Recover and Live Fully

A healthy emotional life includes experiencing the full spectrum of feelings regularly. Life is an adventure, and we want to experience the joys and frustrations of everyday life. When a negative emotional state takes over, we can lose our way, and every aspect of our life can be affected. Depression can damage our relationships, our career, and our ability to enjoy life and thrive.

Treatment at ASANTE begins with a comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessment by a licensed clinician. After the evaluation, your clinicians will develop an individualized treatment plan specific to your diagnosis and symptoms, your circumstances, and the causes of your depression.

We will tailor your treatment to your individual needs. Treatment can include a referral for medication support, individual, group, and family therapy, and integrative treatment modalities such as:

  • Mindfulness and meditation practices
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Journaling
  • Art therapy

We believe that helping somebody overcome severe depression includes more than symptom reduction. Our goal is to support you in regaining your motivation, interest in life, and ability to achieve your goals and experience joy.

For more information about how we can help you, call ASANTE at 909.886.3322