Clinical depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Symptoms of depression can be severe and can affect every facet of someone’s life – home, work, relationships. Depression can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities.

Depression may be expressed in many different ways and may require formal evaluation to recognize the differences:

Major Depressive Disorder – This disorder may be identified by feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or hopelessness that are pervasive and have been present for more days than not for two weeks or more. Often a change in appetite or sleep pattern is noted. Individuals often show a loss of interest in once enjoyable activities. Relationships can suffer. Suicidal thoughts or actions can occur. At PC&A, your therapist will help you to understand the condition, develop a treatment plan, and make appropriate referrals to physicians if added treatment is needed or warranted.

Persistent Depressive Disorder – This is a newly recognized diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association that encompasses Dysthymia and Chronic Major Depression. Persistent Depressive Disorder is characterized by a long period (2 years or more) of less severe, but still distressing depressive symptoms, with occasional episodes of Major Depression that can be debilitating. Psychotherapy for persistent depressive disorder has been proven to be quite successful in diminishing symptoms and improving the quality of life for our clients. PC&A staff frequently address these types of issues with reality and cognitive-behavioral based therapies. Any other additional intervention that may be required would be discussed and arranged with our clients and their family members as appropriate.

Perinatal Depression – This is much more serious than the ‘baby blues’. Women can demonstrate major depressive symptoms during pregnancy or following birth (postpartum depression). Symptoms can be severe enough to make it difficult to care for themselves and/or the newborn child. At PC&A, we recognize the importance of providing supportive therapy for those women who experience guilt, depression, and bonding difficulties as result of this condition.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder – This newly recognized disorder by the American Psychiatric Association is characterized by frequent temper outbursts, with typically irritable mood in between. Symptoms are noted in more than one environment, i.e. home and school. Age of onset is before 10 years old. If temper outbursts and irritability are noted in one of your loved ones it may require expert intervention. The staff at PC&A will help guide you through appropriate intervention strategies and work collaboratively with your pediatrician or family physician.