Depression is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people, including children worldwide. Depression is a term that can be used broadly to refer to a range of mental health conditions that involve persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or loss of interest in activities.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a specific type of depression that is characterized by persistent and severe symptoms that interfere with daily life. The main difference between depression and MDD is the severity and duration of symptoms. To be diagnosed with MDD, a person must experience at least five of the following symptoms for two weeks or longer:
If a person experiences these symptoms to a lesser degree, or for a shorter period of time, they may be diagnosed with another type of depression. While some people may be able to manage their symptoms with self-care and support from loved ones, others may require professional help to manage their depression.
Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight. It is estimated that SAD affects around 5% of adults in the United States each year, but it’s more common in states like South Dakota that experience long, dark winters with limited sunlight.
The exact cause of SAD is not known, but it is thought to be related to the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) and the production of the hormone melatonin, which is regulated by exposure to light. During the fall and winter months, when there is less daylight, the body may produce more melatonin than usual, leading to symptoms of depression.
Northeastern Mental Health Center provides vital support for individuals, young and old, struggling with depression. Our services include counseling, medication management, and other forms of treatment. Seeking help from a mental health professional is a critical step in managing depression and improving overall well-being. NEMHC can help, regardless of ability to pay, method of payment or any other reason (race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age or sexual orientation).
It’s important to note that seeking help for mental health concerns is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is a treatable condition, and there are many effective treatments available. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, reaching out for help can be a powerful first step towards healing and recovery.