Double Depression: What It Is and What to Do If You Have It

Double depression is when two specific sorts of depression overlap. It’s a significant condition which will become life threatening if not treated.

In medical terms, it’s the coexistence of persistent clinical depression (PDD) and major clinical depression (MDD).

We explore the similarities and differences between PDD and MDD, and what happens once they occur together.

What is double depression?

Double depression is once you have PDD and develop MDD.

These two sorts of depression have many symptoms in common. generally , MDD may be a severe sort of depression while PDD may be a lower-grade, chronic depression.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is that the handbook that healthcare professionals use to diagnose psychological state disorders. the present version, DSM-5, includes criteria for diagnoses of PDD and MDD.

While researchers et al. call it double depression, the DSM-5 doesn’t list it as a politician diagnosis.

If you’ve got “double depression,” your doctor will diagnose coexisting PDD and MDD, but you’ll still call it double depression.

What are the parts of double depression?

Persistent depressive disorder

PDD may be a fairly new diagnosis. It wont to be called dysthymia or chronic major depression.

This is the standards for diagnosing PDD:

  • adults: depressed mood for a minimum of 2 years
  • children and teens: depressed or irritated mood for a minimum of 1 year
  • symptoms haven’t lull for quite 2 months at a time

In addition, you want to have a minimum of two of those symptoms:

  • poor appetite or eating an excessive amount of
  • insomnia or sleeping an excessive amount of
  • fatigue or low energy
  • low self-esteem
  • poor concentration and deciding
  • sense of hopelessness

Because PDD may be a long-term condition, it’s going to not be apparent to you immediately that it’s possible to feel the other way. you would possibly even chalk it up to your personality — but it’s not you. It’s not your fault. It’s the disorder, and it’s treatable.

Coexisting disorders are common and should include:

  • anxiety
  • major depression
  • personality disorders
  • substance use disorders

Major depressive disorder

MDD may be a mood disorder that brings intense, persistent feelings of sadness and a general loss of interest. it’s a profound effect on how you are feeling and behave. it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to hold on as was common .

Criteria for diagnosis include a minimum of five of the symptoms listed below, occurring within a 2-week period. one among these must be loss of interest, loss of delight , or depressed mood.

  • depressed mood (or irritability in children and teens)
  • diminished interest or loss of delight in most things
  • changes in appetite or weight
  • insomnia or oversleeping
  • altered or slowed body movements
  • lack of energy and fatigue
  • sense of worthlessness or guilt
  • slowed thinking, or difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • recurring thoughts of death or suicide, having an idea for suicide, or attempting suicide

To qualify for a diagnosis of MDD, these symptoms must not be ready to be explained by the consequences of any substance or another medical condition.

It’s not uncommon for somebody who had a serious depressive episode to possess another within their lifetime.

Major depression may be a serious disorder, but it are often treated.

What are the symptoms of double depression?

PDD is chronic. It doesn’t usually involve clear-cut episodes of depression. Symptoms of major depression are powerful. once they hit, you’ll likely recognize them as being outside your normal baseline.

If that went on to you, you’re not alone. most of the people with PDD have a minimum of one episode of major depression in their lifetime.

Symptoms of double depression may vary from person to person. Your PDD symptoms may increase in intensity, especially in a depressed mood. Getting through your normal routine with PDD may become even more of a challenge.

You might also have:

  • severe emptiness, guilt, or worthlessness
  • unexplained physical aches and pains or a general feeling of illness
  • slowed body movements
  • thoughts of self-harm
  • recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • planning for suicide

How is double depression diagnosed?

If you’ve got symptoms of depression, see your medical care physician or psychological state provider as soon as possible.

Your visit may include lab tests to rule out some medical conditions with similar symptoms. There’s no specific lab test to diagnose double depression.

If you have already got a diagnosis of PDD, your doctor may recognize the signs of major depression fairly quickly.

Your medical care doctor may make the diagnosis or refer you to a psychological state professional for evaluation. The diagnosis involves answering a series of questions designed to ascertain if you meet diagnostic criteria for PDD, MDD, or both. It’s important to be completely open about all of your symptoms.

If you are doing fit the standards for both conditions, you’ve got double depression.

What’s the treatment for double depression?

Treatment for PDD and MDD are similar. This usually involves medication, psychotherapy, or a mixture of the 2. It’s not an equivalent for everyone , though. Your doctor must be tailor treatment to your specific needs.

Some medications for depression are:

  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • atypical antidepressants
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

It’s important that you simply take these medications exactly as prescribed. It also requires a touch of patience. If you don’t feel the consequences directly , don’t hand over . It can take a couple of weeks for these drugs to start out working.

It also can take some trial and error to seek out the right medication and dosage. Your doctor will make adjustments as required until you begin to feel better.

If you think that your medication isn’t working or are experiencing unpleasant side effects, it’s important to debate this together with your doctor.

Don’t stop taking the medication abruptly unless advised by your prescribing physician to try to to so, because it can cause withdrawal symptoms or worsening depression. Your doctor may prescribe an alternate drug or assist you taper off safely.

In addition to drug therapy, you’ll enjoy psychotherapy. this will include talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). you’ll do that one-on-one together with your therapist or during a group setting.

In the event that you simply can’t lookout of yourself or are in danger of harming yourself, you’ll got to stay during a hospital until the danger passes.

When severe depression doesn’t answer these therapies, others include:

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): this is often a procedure during which electric currents are wont to stimulate the brain into having a seizure. It causes changes to brain chemistry which will relieve depression.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): This involves use of magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells within the brain that are related to mood regulation and depression.
    Your doctor may make diet, exercise, and other lifestyle recommendations to enrich your treatment.

You might also find some benefit in joining a support group for people living with depression. Ask your doctor for a referral to local resources.

What causes double depression?

The causes of depression aren’t always clear. instead of one cause, it might be a mixture of things such as:

  • brain changes
  • brain chemistry
  • environment
  • genetics
  • hormones

Things which will increase your risk of depression include:

  • low self-esteem
  • traumatic events like abuse, loss of a beloved , and financial or relationship difficulties
  • other mental disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or eating disorders
  • drugs and alcohol
  • serious chronic illness
  • The takeaway

Double depression is when someone with persistent clinical depression develops major depression. Researchers don’t know exactly what causes double depression, but assistance is available.

Both PDD and MDD are often treated and effectively managed.

Take the primary step. See your doctor as soon as possible so you’ll get on the road to recovery and begin enjoying a far better quality of life.

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