Signs of a Depressive Episode and How to Help Manage Them

Have you been feeling sad lately and don’t have a specific reason to be feeling this way or feel that you have no control over your sadness? You may be dealing with a depressive episode. Having a depressive episode may be an identifying factor that you may be dealing with a depressive disorder. But, people experiencing a depressive episode may also just be dealing with sadness. Identifying signs of a depressive episode can help individuals dealing with this scenario to determine whether or not they may need professional assistance.

Pointing Out the Differences Between Episodes of Sadness and Depression

Sadness is something every human experiences sometime in their life. And, while depression deals with experiencing feelings of sadness, depression and sadness are different. The main difference between episodes of sadness and depression is that people who are sad have a reason to be. However, people dealing with sadness as a result of depression may not be able to identify an exact reason to feel sad. Depressive disorders have a few different causes including genetics (being passed down from family members) and chemical imbalances of the brain. These biological factors lead to the development of depression, which is feelings of sadness and hopelessness for a number of weeks. But, people who experience episodes of sadness may not have these biological reasons for sadness. And, rather, are experiencing feelings of sadness or hopelessness for specific reasons. For example, the loss of a loved one or relationship, being fired from a job, or financial issues.

Signs of a Depressive Episode

Depressive episodes occur in people who have depressive disorders like bipolar disorders or major depressive disorder. These episodes bring about intense feelings of sadness that debilitate daily life and make a person feel apathetic to things they usually enjoy, like being with friends and families and participating in hobbies. As stated, depressive episodes that occur in people who have depressive disorders are something that is caused by physiological factors. So, they’re not brought on by outside factors.

Some symptoms and signs of depressive episodes in people who may be dealing with depressive disorders can include:

  • having high levels of anxiety and fear
  • outbursts of anger and mood swings
  • becoming obsessed and remorseful of past behaviors/actions
  • having feelings of shame or worthlessness
  • suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • taking part in risky behaviors including unprotected sex or drug use
  • not getting enough sleep/sleeping too much
  • not taking care of oneself (not eating healthy meals and poor hygiene)
  • having issues with staying focused
  • exhaustion

Being Diagnosed with a Depressive Disorder When Experiencing Signs of a Depressive Episode

If you think that you may be experiencing a depressive episode as the result of a developed depressive disorder, speaking to a psychiatrist can help determine a correct diagnosis. People who are typically diagnosed with depressive disorders experience depressive episodes that last a period of two weeks or more. During the diagnosis process, you will be asked about your family history, medical history, and any symptoms you’re experiencing. Once you have received a diagnosis, your provider will talk to you about available treatment and help you to determine the method of treatment that’s best suited for you individually.

Delray Center for Healing offers diagnosis assessment and treatment for people who think they may be dealing with a depressive disorder. Find out more about how we can help you today on our website.