For ages, people believed every disease had to do something with the physical self alone. Only a few outliers and extremes were subjected to something supernatural. Something like double depression would probably be considered normal.
But as research progressed, we understood that mental health is a product of a cognitive and emotional system. And just like any other system, the entire thing falls off if a component disrupts. This is the same case for people suffering from this psychiatric condition.
This article will explore what it is, along with causes, symptoms, prevention, treatments, and much more.
Depression, as illuminated by the recent global health survey, is a widespread and severe mood disorder. It’s more than just occasional sadness or mood swings. It’s a condition that affects approximately 17% of people at some point in their lives.
Those with depression experience persistent sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities. This pervasive feeling can significantly hamper daily functioning, leading to emotional and physical issues.
Double depression disorder, a term that may be unfamiliar to many, refers to the concurrent existence of two forms of depression: Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Imagine the burden of enduring the chronic symptoms of PDD, and then, like a storm intensifying, these double depression symptoms escalate into episodes of major depression.
It is a challenging duality to comprehend and even harder to live with.
As per our records, Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), once termed dysthymia, stands as a prolonged form of depression. It’s not as acutely severe as MDD but lasts longer.
Characterized by a continuous sense of melancholy, diminished interest in activities, and hopelessness, PDD is a shadow that stretches over the lives of those affected for extended periods.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) encapsulates episodes of profound depression, ensnaring about 7% of the population. These episodes persist for at least two weeks, plunging the individual into intense states of sadness, despair, lethargy, and, at times, thoughts bordering on self-harm or suicide.
To draw a line and identify the difference between MDD and PDD, one must grasp the presence of dual depressive states in the former.
While someone grappling with MDD endures episodes of acute depression, those suffering from this condition confront the lingering mild symptoms of PDD that occasionally amplify into severe depressive episodes.
It’s like weathering consistent drizzles with unpredictable thunderstorms now and then. In contrast, MDD without PDD is akin to sporadic but intense rainfalls without the consistent drizzle.
It combines two types: Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Think of it as two levels. The first level is the ongoing, milder PDD. The second level is the more intense bouts of MDD.
Other depressions might have just one of these levels.
People going through this mental condition exhibit several symptoms. You can consider it as a double depression quiz or checklist:
The exact cause isn’t pinned down easily, and it can be complicated to trace what exactly went wrong. However, professionals believe that it can be a mix of factors:
There can be several indicators that can be used to diagnose this condition. A doctor or therapist will:
Mild to extreme treatments are available, depending on the intensity of the illness and the victim’s condition. Some of them can be:
Double depression combines the challenges of two disorders: PDD and MDD.
While PDD is ongoing and mild, MDD is episodic and severe. Therefore, treatment must cater to the consistent underlying sadness and the acute episodes of major depression.
This makes it more difficult to treat.
Doctors and therapists refer to certain ways in which patients can cope:
Suicide isn’t the solution to any problem. But people going through the terrible ordeal this illness comes with may fall prey to the loss of hope and devastating sadness.
The condition can make them have suicidal thoughts. If not addressed tactfully and timely, these suicidal tendencies can prove to be disastrous.
Doctors and therapists recommend the following measures to prevent suicidal thoughts among patients suffering from this disease:
While there’s no surefire way to prevent this condition due to its complex nature of genetics, brain chemistry, and external factors, early intervention can make a difference.
Recognizing the signs, seeking early treatment, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle can keep it at bay.
We must be vigilant of people around us and check their mental health. If you directly are experiencing any symptoms, you need to talk to someone.
Double depression and anxiety can severely impact daily functioning.
While eligibility for disability benefits varies by country and specific criteria, if someone suffering from this mental condition cannot work due to its debilitating effects, they might be eligible for disability.
However, consulting with local regulations and healthcare providers for specific guidance is essential.
Double depression is a highly complex disease that external factors can heavily influence. Here’s how genetics and environment influence this condition:
Living with something like this psychological illness can be taxing. The symptoms can have long-term, devastating psychological effects on the patient. The constant mild depressive symptoms combined with episodic severe depression can lead to:
Mental health has been neglected for centuries, and only recently, people have started gaining awareness about the subject.
“Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo, and it needs to be faced and dealt with.”
– Adam Ant
With so many highly complicated diseases to diagnose and treat, many people wrongly generalize and stereotype these diseases. This mental condition is a reality, yet many people have misconceptions about it.
Let’s look at some of the common misconceptions people have:
Many believe it’s just a phase or regular sadness. In reality, it’s a severe and prolonged condition that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Even though it involves persistent mild symptoms, episodic severe depression can be just as debilitating. It takes you down slowly, making it more threatening because it can go undetected in most cases.
It’s not a choice. It’s a medical condition requiring treatment. You can’t just snap out of it at will. Patients need help from outside, and only proper treatment and coping mechanisms can deliver any hope of getting out of double depression.
Research is evolving, but we’re still in the dark about some of the most concerning questions regarding the causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Yet, there is hope, as the current trends suggest:
Double depression disorder manifests through signs of Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). These signs may include:
Factors that heighten the risk of developing double depression include:
Getting help is the first step toward getting out. The route for assistance comprises of:
While it is a chronic condition, with the right treatment and support, many individuals experience significant improvements.
Understanding and treating it may be complicated, but there is hope. Early detection and consistent treatment enhance the possibility of better outcomes.
It’s vital to remain patient and persistent in seeking the most effective treatment approach.
It often coexists with other mental health conditions, making diagnosing and assisting harder. It can come up with:
Double depression disorder is not something that should be taken lightly. It might not be as prominent and extreme most of the time, which makes it even more threatening.
You might realize something is wrong, but it is so hidden that it could get too late. We must pay attention to the symptoms, understand the trigger points, treat the patient, and offer them coping mechanisms that work.
Anyone going through something like this needs careful observation and help.