Depressive Disorders

Depression is also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. It is a common mood disorder. Depression is a serious mental illness that effects the way people feel, think and handle daily activities. Eating, and working seem too daunting to do and sleeping patterns are also affected. To be diagnosed the symptoms should be present for 2 weeks. 

Depression can manifest in many different ways: a feeling of “emptiness”, feeling sad or anxious. It is a continuous feeling of helplessness or feeling worthless,  persistent feelings of guilt. Low energy levels, difficulty in making decisions and concentrating, thoughts of death, suicide or suicide attempts. Someone suffering from depression might not experience all of the symptoms, buy if you suspect a loved one is depressed or you are depressed, treatment should be sought immediately. There are many medications and treatments that could ensure that the patient lives a healthy, fulfilled life. 

General Symptoms & Treatment

Symptoms (5 or more of these)

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Noticed diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities every day, such as no interest in hobbies, sports, or other things the person used to enjoy doing.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain and an increase or decrease in appetite.
  • Insomnia (inability to get to sleep or difficulty staying asleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
  • Psychomotor agitation (e.g., restlessness, inability to sit still, pacing) or retardation (e.g., slowed speech, movements, quiet talking)
  • Fatigue, tiredness, or loss of energy (e.g., even the smallest tasks, like dressing or washing, seem difficult to do and take longer than usual).
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt (e.g., ruminating over minor past failings).
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness (e.g. appears easily distracted, complains of memory difficulties).
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideas with or without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt.

Common treatment

  • Hospitalisation
  • Medication (Adjusted according to how one reacts to them)
  • Psychotherapy
Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent depressive disorder can be defined as symptoms of depression that lasts for at least 2 years. A person diagnosed with this form of depression may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms.


Situational depression

Situational depression is a short-term from of depression or a stress-related type of depression; and occurs when individuals experience traumatic events which lead to drastic changes in their normal lives.  It is also called the adjustment disorder. Situational depression can develop into clinical depression if it is not treated. The major causes for situational depression are stressful events and traumatic experiences such the death of a loved one, relationships problems and negative financial situations. Past experiences and biological factors can also increase the risk of developing situational depression. Individuals who have gone through traumatic childhood experiences, individuals with existing mental health problems and individuals that have come across difficult life circumstances are also at high risk of developing situational depression.

The most common symptoms of situational depression are similar to those of clinical depression. The individuals usually feel sad, hopeless, cry regular, and have constant and other symptoms which are not included on this list. It is imperative that you consult your doctor or mental health expert if you believe that you might be living with situational depression.


Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMMD) is a condition that causes severe depression symptoms in women before their monthly menstrual cycle. The condition is very similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) but the symptoms are more debilitating. The women with this condition experience a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. The cause of premenstrual dysphoric disorder is still unclear but it is believed that underlying depression and anxiety are triggered by the hormone changes during the menstrual cycle. This leads to the severe debilitating symptoms that experience by women living with PMDD.  The most common symptoms are sadness or hopelessness, anxiety or tension, extreme moodiness, and irritability or anger.

There are various treatments for premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The treatments include taking antidepressants, birth control pills, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, and lifestyle changes. But it is very important that you consult your doctor before taking any medications and self-diagnosing yourself.


a type of depression that causes a low mood over a prolonged period — about a year or more. This depression usually responds better to psychotherapy than medication, some studies suggest that a combination of medication and therapy may lead to greater improvement.

Postpartum Depression

feelings of extreme sadness, fatigue, loneliness, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, fears about hurting the baby, and feelings of disconnect from the child. It can arise anytime from weeks to months after childbirth.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

feelings of anxiety, increased irritability, daytime fatigue, and weight gain. This typically occurs in winter-like environments

Aytypical Deppression

senses of heaviness in the arms and legs, like some kind of paralysis. However, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that oversleeping and overeating are the two most important symptoms for diagnosing atypical depression.


MentalWealth® ZA does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.