Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Postpartum Depression

By | January 15, 2015

depression bipolar postpartum disorderDepression often feels like hopelessness and a gray fog that seems to settle in on the mind and hearts of many individuals. Most people that are depressed rarely have a good understanding of the kinds of depressions that they may be experiencing.

Being disappointed, down, or sad due to an unpleasant or difficult situation in ones life, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is depression. Depression is a significant mood disorder and it needs to be diagnosed and treated by a competent mental health professional.

If you are concerned about symptoms that you might be experiencing or symptoms that a loved one might be experiencing, you can read further and come to a greater understanding about whether or not these are significant signals that might indicate that you need to see a therapist or counselor.

Major Depression
First of all, it is important to know that there are several types of depression. Major depression is one of the most severe debilitating types of depression. If you experience a loss of interest in any of your former normal activities, if you lose entered in relationships that were once meaningful, or if you have a constant sense of hopelessness, you might suffer from major depression. Additional symptoms include difficulty sleeping, a slowdown in one’s appetite, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of suicide or significant changes in bodyweight. Research indicates 12% of the adult population suffer at least one episode of clinical depression during their lifetime.

Chronic Depression
Chronic depression or dysthymia is much milder. The symptoms are similar to those noted above but their intensity is much more diminished. This that are struggling can live and function with the condition, but their quality of living won’t be very healthy or ideal. If diagnosed, dysthymia is treatable via outpatient counseling and/or medication.

Bipolar Disorder
Manic depression or bipolar disorder, as it is referred, is characterized by dramatic swings in mood. In the depression phase, it has the same symptoms as clinical depression. In the manic phase, one might have anxiety and racing thought processes, large irrational grandiose ideas, increase in volume and speed of speech, lack of need for sleep, and really high energy levels. Medications can be very helpful in treating major depression and bipolar disorder. Often mood stabilizers are prescribed like lithium or Abilify. Receiving an professional diagnosis and engaging in counseling and medication are very important in stabilizing both thought and behavior with individuals struggling with bipolar disorder.

Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression as a condition that primarily occurs and women who have recently given birth to a child. There are significant changes in hormones after delivery, combined with all of the physical and emotional challenges and changes associated with giving birth and having a new child in the home. Get more information in my article directly about depression and pregnancy.

Although serious, this condition will heal almost entirely in most women. It’s important to note that women should not neglect the symptoms, nor should family members that observe the struggle with sadness, hopelessness, and otherwise feeling overwhelmed. Speaking to a therapist and counselor can be extremely helpful in finding answers, meaning, and hope.

Copyright: No part of this article in section or full may be reproduced without permission from the author Justin Stum, MS LMFT. The one and only exception is for educational purposes and only if the contact information below for the author is fully cited here in article.

About the Author: Justin Stum is a licensed counselor and therapist in private practice in St. George Utah. He practices as a relationship and emotional wellness expert, and has been treating individuals, teens, and couples for over a decade assisting them in creating and maintaining connected healthy relationships. You can reach him on his blog at or or follow him on Facebook at or by phone 435.574.9193

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