Depressive Disorder

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Depressive Disorder symptoms can range from feeling, long-term, that life is just a dreary plod to the abyss – to absolute despair that can lead to destructive and self- destructive behavior. The risk of suicide in people with depression is much higher than in the general population. Depression comes in many forms including major depression (aka clinical depression), atypical depression, persistent depressive disorder, and seasonal depressive disorder. According to CDC data depression often affects our ability to function at work, home, and other social interactions.

What do I do now?

Many people feel overwhelmed when depression hits but there are real solutions out there other than medication. Now, I’m not saying that medication is never necessary – However, given the expense, side effects and medical risks of medication, there are better solutions out there for most people. My job is to point the way to nonprescription effective options that can provide long term solutions for most depressions.

Some of those solutions can be found in James Gordon’s “Destroy Depression”. Click the image below for more information.

The most dangerous depressive disorder symptoms are those associated with suicide. NEVER ignore these symptoms!

From an NIMH (National Institute Mental Health) article:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC), in 2015:

    • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 44,000 people.
  • Suicide was the third leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 14, and the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 15 and 34.

There were more than twice as many suicides (44,193) in the United States as there were homicides (17,793).

If you or a loved one are thinking a lot about suicide over any period of time, some sort of professional counseling is definitely called for. This can present a number of challenges. Our current mental health system is overloaded, it can take months to get into a good therapist and finding one you can work with may involve a number of false starts with therapists that just aren’t a fit. In many parts of the country resources are scarce and offer limited options which can be both very inconvenient and expensive.

Online Therapy could be the answer, it certainly checks all the boxes for me. This program is based on the most common type of therapy CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Online Therapy provides you with access to a number of highly qualified therapists at a much lower cost than the average therapist and they are available NOW (no long waiting list). These therapists use tried and true approaches AND their doors are open ANYTIME during business hours (M-F). Affordable, accessible, convenient. Why stay miserable? There’s no time like the present for Online Therapy

Suicide Rates

Suicide Warning Signs

Talking about suicide or wanting to die, particularly as a solution to difficulties.

Talking about, or looking into, ways to commit suicide.

Losing hope – seeing no solution, a sense of loss of self-worth or purpose.

Seeing no way out, intense pain – emotional or physical.

Believing they are just a dead weight, contributing nothing.

Treating alcohol or drugs as a solution.

Being fearful, edgy or taking extreme risks.

Sleeping too little or too much

Avoiding social interaction, voluntarily or as a result of circumstances – i.e. hospitalization or incarceration.

Out of control anger or thirst for vengeance

Swinging back and forth between unreasonable expectations or euphoria, and hopelessness and despair.

If you suspect that you or a friend/family member has serious depression the Beck Depression Inventory is an excellent tool.

Some other depressive disorder symptoms are listed below:

Major Depression

Also known as Clinical Depression, may be marked by:

  1. Feelings of sadness,  emptiness, hopelessness or being teary-eyed.
  2. Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters.
  3. Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  4. Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  5. Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  6. Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain.
  7. Anxiety, agitation or restlessness.
  8. Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements.
  9. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame.
  10. Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things.
  11. Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide.
  12. Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.


Atypical Depression

  1. Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
  2. Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
  3. Weight change of more than 5% either up or down, a significant change in appetite.
  4. Difficulties with sleep, too much or too little.
  5. Others notice that you seem restless or run down.
  6. Daily fatigue or low energy.
  7. Excessive guilt, hopelessness, or lack of worth.
  8. A difficulty with concentration and/or decision-making.
  9. Recurring thoughts of suicide. Planning a suicide. Attempting a suicide.


According to the CDC (Center For Disease Control) :

Depression in the U.S. Household Population, 2009-2012

Nearly 90% of persons with severe depressive symptoms reported difficulty with work, home, or social activities related to their symptoms.

  • Rates of any difficulty with work, home, or social activities related to depressive symptoms increased as the severity of those symptoms increased, from 45.7% among persons with mild depressive symptoms to 88.0% among those with severe depressive symptoms (Figure 4).

  • Rates of serious difficulty with work, home, or social activities related to depressive symptoms also increased as symptom severity increased, from 3.9% among persons with mild depressive symptoms to 15.8% among persons with moderate symptoms, and 42.8% among those with severe symptoms.


Persistent depressive disorder 

  1. Losing interest in daily activities.
  2. Persistence of sadness, emptiness, feeling down.
  3. Hopelessness
  4. Lack of energy or sleepiness.
  5. A difficulty with concentration and decision-making
  6. Excessive anger or irritability
  7. A decline in activity, performance or productive output.
  8. Voluntary social isolation.
  9. Excessive guilt or worry
  10. Eating too much or too little.
  11. Sleep difficulties
  12. Post Partum Depression


Seasonal Affective Disorder

A mood disorder that appears to be linked to changes in the seasons.

Some symptoms of winter onset are

  1. Sluggishness
  2. loss of concentration
  3. Grogginess
  4. Feeling hungry more often
  5. Staying away from people, even people they like.
  6. Needing more sleep
  7. Putting on weight.

Summer-onset may be indicated by:

  1. Not feeling hungry
  2. Trouble sleeping
  3. Losing weight

Nutritional option: Magnesium


  1. Chandra

    Hi Sheila, your website is full of helpful resources for people who struggle with stress, depression, or mental illness. I especially like the techniques you provided for stress management: Breathing, Exercising & Meditation.
    Exercise not only helps the body to physically handle stress, but it also helps a person to mentally be in control and able to handle stress better. One of my favorite meditation techniques is the “Breathing Meditation,” because it sends oxygen throughout your body and rejuvenates you.

    1. admin

      Thank-you for your kind words. I do intend to expand on this considerably.

  2. Brendon

    I just finished reading your article on Depressive Disorder Symptoms.
    While I do not suffer from depression very often, it does seem to run in my family.
    My mom and my sister seem to battle with depression quite often to e honest.
    Your article has helped to clear it up a bit for me.
    can you suggest other article I can read to gain a better understanding of what they are dealing with?.

    1. admin

      There are many different varieties of depression disorders. If you could be a bit more precise, I can probably direct your search better. Maybe you could have them look at the page and see which profile best describes their situation.


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