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Depression Types and Treatment

answered 08:40 PM EST, Wed September 21, 2011
Are there different kinds of depression? Is medication necessary to treat depression?

Dr. Karl Benzio Says...

What a great question. Depression is just like a cough. On the surface, most coughs sound similar, but if you listen carefully, they really have some subtle and sometimes blatant differences. They also have many different causes. 

We have several medical categories for depression:

  1. Major Depression - this is clinical or deep depression lasting for more than 2 weeks
  2. Bipolar Depression - depression in a person who also has manic episodes
  3. Dysthymia - often low grade depression lasting more than 2 years with more than 50% of the time feeling down. 
  4. Depression caused by medical conditions - like parkinsons, low thyroid, anemia, heart disease
  5. Depression caused by medications - heart meds, steroids, certain antibiotics
  6. Depression from Drugs or Alcohol - all the drugs
  7. Adjustment Disorder with depressed mood - depression secondary to a difficult situation, like losing a job, divorce, car accident, etc - usually temporary for a couple days
  8. Complicated Bereavement - grief after losing someone
  9. Depressions from spiritual issues - problems with sense of purpose, value, connection to others and God, not feeling loved of cared for, etc
Medication is never a cure, but it does help a lot with the symptoms of depression. Meds area usually very helpful, and often necessary to bring relief while the person works on spiritual, psychological, relational, and emotional skills. These skills are the lasting remedy for most of the depressions people struggle with. i can emphasize enough the power of a spiritual awakening and understanding how our Creator designed us to function and then following His instructions to help us function better, enjoy life, and achieve our God-given potential.
thanks for your question and may God bless you!
by HIS grace,
Karl Benzio, MD


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Page last updated Sep 22, 2011

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