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How Long Do Depressive Episodes Last

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How Is Depression Treated

What a Bipolar Depressive Episode Feels Like Response

Depression is a treatable illness, and the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it is, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Maintenance therapy is also useful in helping to prevent relapse in individuals living with recurrent depression.

Treatment may not look the same for everyone. Treatments should take individual characteristics, symptoms, and situations into consideration.

A combination of treatments is often the most effective, but each person is different.

Treatments include medication, psychotherapy, hospitalization, or electroconvulsive therapy.

What Are Your Treatment Options

Treatment will depend on which type of bipolar disorder you have, and what your symptoms are. Most of the time, youll need medication to manage your symptoms, along with therapy. Medications that may be used include:

Antidepressants Antipsychotics Mood stabilizers Anti-anxiety medications

Sometimes traditional medication therapy isnt enough. At Boston MindCare, our doctors offer a unique treatment option when nothing else has worked. Ketamine infusion therapy can help the symptoms of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. It works by inhibiting glutamate in your brain to stabilize your mood.

Like many of the other medications used to treat this disorder, ketamine comes with some side effects, so its important to talk to our doctors to see if this treatment is right for you.

You dont need to deal with bipolar disorder on your own. If youre looking for help, call our office at 701-207-9841 or book an appointment online today.

Change In Eating Appetite Or Weight

In a major depressive episode, appetite is most often decreased, although a small percentage of people experience an increase in appetite. A person experiencing a depressive episode may have a marked loss or gain of weight . A decrease in appetite may result in weight loss that is unintentional or when a person is not dieting. Some people experience an increase in appetite and may gain significant amounts of weight. They may crave certain types of food, such as sweets or carbohydrates. In children, failure to make expected weight gains may be counted towards this criteria. Overeating is often associated with atypical depression.

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Blowout Arguments With Partners Coworkers Or Friends

Broken relationships are too often the result of untreated bipolar disorder.

But getting into a spat with a loved one could also be a red flag: Your argument could be due to the irritability that often occurs during a manic or depressive episode, or could itself cause stress that becomes a contributing factor for a recurrent episode.

Any type of relationship conflict whether its with your partner, coworker, family member, or friend can trigger stress and send you over the edge. In a study published in May 2015 in the Journal of Affective Disorders, people with bipolar disorder said negative social experiences were among the events that triggered suicidal thinking for them.

Diagnosis Of A Depressive Episode

How long do manic and depressive episodes last ?

After taking the affected personââ¬â¢s medical history and performing a physical examination, a doctor or the mental health specialist to which the person is referred to, can diagnose a depressive episode based on the criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition .

A major depressive episode is characterized by five or more of the following symptoms being present every day, or almost every day, for a minimum of two weeks:

  • Depressed mood for most of the day
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in all or most activities
  • Significant unexplained weight loss or gain, or appetite changes
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Restlessness or sluggishness
  • Tiredness or lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide ââ¬â there may be suicide plans or suicide attempts

These symptoms should indicate a marked difference from the affected personââ¬â¢s previous functioning. For the diagnosis to be made, at least one of the symptoms needs to be depressed mood or loss of interest in most activities. It is also necessary for the symptoms to cause significant distress or impairment in social and job functioning.

If the symptoms are attributed to another mental health condition, the diagnosis and treatment may be different to that detailed here for a depressive episode.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression

At least five of the following symptoms must have been present during the same two-week period and at least one of the symptoms must be diminished interest/pleasure or a depressed mood.

  • Depressed mood: For children and adolescents, this can also be irritability
  • Significant weight change or appetite disturbance: Failure to gain weight in children and weight gain in adults
  • Anhedonia

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Depression is a serious mood disorder characterized by a low mood . Those affected by depression may wonder, how long depression lasts. Every case is different, but on average, a depressive episode can last several months. For some people, an episode may be shorter or much longer. If left untreated, depression can become long-lasting or chronic. It is important for individuals with depression to seek treatment as soon as possible.

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Understand And Accept Depression

Learning more about depression can help people deal with the condition. Depression is a widespread and genuine mental health disorder. It is not a sign of weakness or a personal shortcoming.

Accepting that a depressive episode may occur from time to time might help people deal with it when it does. Remember, it is possible to manage symptoms with treatments, such as lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy.

Bipolar Disorder Mixed Episode

How Long Does Depression Last?

Diagnostic criteria for both bipolar disorder I and bipolar disorder II are complex and have several sets of differing requirements. Both disorders can be characterized with specifiers or episodes that may occur as part of the disorder Bipolar disorder I usually requires that a person meet criteria for having had a manic episode. Although major depressive episodes are common in bipolar I disorder, they arent required for a diagnosis. Hypomanic episodes may also occur in bipolar I disorder but arent required for diagnosis. Bipolar disorder II, requires meeting criteria for hypomanic and major depressive episodes both.

A specifier of mixed episode indicates that either a manic or hypomanic episode is occurring with features of a depressive episode present, or that a depressive episode is occurring with features of a hypomanic or manic episode.

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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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How Is Persistent Depressive Disorder Treated

The most effective treatment for PDD combines medications and talk therapy, or counseling.

Antidepressants are prescription drugs that can relieve depression. There are many different kinds of medications for the treatment of depression. The most commonly used fall into two broad categories:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors .
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors .

You may need to take medication for a month or longer before you feel a difference. Make sure to continue taking the medication exactly as your healthcare provider prescribed. Even if you have side effects or feel much better, dont stop without talking to your healthcare provider first.

Counseling can also help manage PDD. One type of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy , is often helpful for depression. A therapist or psychologist will help you examine your thoughts and emotions and how they affect your actions. CBT can help you unlearn negative thoughts and develop more positive thinking.

How To Cope With A Depressive Episode

How long do episodes of major depression last ?

At the onset of a major depressive episode, it can feel hopeless, as if there is nothing that can be done. An individual facing this may feel like there is no point in trying to do anything to lessen the severity of the episode or turn it around. There are things that can be done, though. It is important to take these steps to cope with a depressive episode, because they can limit the symptoms and even reduce the duration of the episode:

Major depressive episodes are most often part of a recurring, chronic mental illness. Some people may only ever experience one episode in their lives, but most people have multiple episodes. Understanding what it feels like to go through one of these episodes, as well as what may trigger one, is important. Being more aware allows an individual to take steps to check back in with a therapist, seek out support from family, and to engage in proper self-care to mitigate the severity of an episode.

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What Are The Long

Bipolar disorder is a life-long and often recurring illness. You may need long term support to help manage your condition.

What medication options are there?

Your doctor will look at what medication worked for you during episodes of mania or depression. They should ask you whether you want to continue this treatment or if you want to change to lithium.

Lithium usually works better than other types of medication for long-term treatment. Your doctor should give you information about how to take lithium safely. If lithium doesn’t work well enough or causes you problems, you may be offered:

  • Valproate,
  • Olanzapine, or
  • Quetiapine.

Your doctor should monitor your health. Physical health checks should be done at least once a year. These checks will include:

  • measuring your weight,
  • checking your liver and heart, and
  • checking your pulse and blood pressure.

What psychological treatments are recommended?

You should be offered a psychological therapy that is specially designed for bipolar disorder. You could have individual or group therapy.

The aim of your therapy is to stop you from becoming unwell again. This is known as relapse. Your therapy should help you to:

If you live with your family or are in close contact with them, you should also be offered family intervention.

Family intervention is where you and your family work with mental health professionals to help to manage relationships. This should be offered to people who you live with or who you are in close contact with.

How Long Does Depression Last With Treatment

  • 1
  • Depression affects an estimated 350 million people around the world, most of which do not seek treatment. However, treatment is one of the most effective ways to rid sadness. When considering your options, many wonder how long depressions lasts with treatment, and when they can expect to feel better. This depends on several factors: the type of depression, the patients previous experience with depression, the type of treatment, and response to treatment.

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    Mental Health Helplines And Resources

    If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, contact the hotlines below to seek for help and emotional support.



    Befrienders is a not-for-profit organisation providing emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to people who are lonely, in distress, in despair, and having suicidal thoughts without charge.

    SOLS Health


    SOLS Health is a behavioural health centre that connects clients to accessible individual, family and community mental health and nutritional services with an emphasis on combating the stigma of mental health in Malaysia.

    Clients with a monthly household income below a certain threshold will qualify for subsidized rates.

    Life Line Association Malaysia

    WAO Hotline: +603 7956 3488

    WAO SMS/WhatsApp line, TINA : +6018 988 8058

    General Enquiries: 03 7957 5636 / 0636


    WAO provides free and confidential services to survivors of domestic violence, rape, and other forms of violence.

    Malaysian Mental Health Association

    Contact Number:

    Breathe Deeply And Relax The Muscles

    How long do episodes of depression last ? | BEST Health Channel & Answers

    Deep breathing techniques are an effective way to calm anxiety and soothe the bodys response. Slowly inhaling and exhaling has physical and psychological benefits, especially when done on a daily basis.

    Anyone can practice deep breathing, whether in the car, at work, or in the grocery store. Plenty of smartphone apps offer guided deep breathing activities, and many are free to download.

    Progressive muscle relaxation is another helpful tool for those experiencing depression and anxiety. It involves tensing and relaxing the muscles in the body to reduce stress. Again, many smartphone apps offer guided progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

    We have reviewed some meditation apps that can help with depression and anxiety.

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    How Long Can Depression Last

    Depression doesnt have an exact amount of time that it will last for. Depending on the severity of each circumstance, depressive episodes can last anywhere from a few days to months at a time. Those suffering from major depressive disorder can even experience a depressive episode spanning from three to 10 months. In order to meet the criterion for a clinical diagnosis of depression, however, the episode must last for at least two weeks. This doesnt mean that an individual cannot suffer from depression if it lasts for less time, though, and each individuals experience with depression will differ.

    It is also possible that individuals may experience varying lengths of their own depressive episodes, due to a number of different factors. For example, the winter months often prove more difficult for those suffering from depression, especially when considering things like Seasonal Affective Disorder , which can create even more feelings of depression. While there is no set timeframe in which everyone experiences depression, keeping track of the length of ones own depressive episodes, as well as any episodes that do not cleanly fit into any established or known patterns, can help create a more informed plan on the various factors at play in ones depression.

    Symptoms That Lead To A Diagnosis

    If youre suffering from any kind of mental health disorder, its important that you identify and understand your symptoms in order for our doctors to correctly diagnose you. Bipolar disorder consists of both manic and depressive episodes that create an unstable mood.

    Mania can be extreme changes in mood, or you can have hypomania which is typically less severe. Symptoms of mania include:

    Difficulty sleeping Extreme energy Increased self-esteem Difficulty concentrating Racing thoughts

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, depression can change your emotional highs to hopeless lows. If you have bipolar disorder with depression, symptoms you may experience include:

    Fatigue Sadness Decreased energy Overeating or loss of appetite Suicidal thoughts

    Our team at Boston MindCare take a detailed history to decipher your symptoms and give you a definitive diagnosis. With that, we can also form a customized treatment plan for you.

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    Bipolar Disorder And Suicide

    The depressive phase of bipolar disorder is often very severe, and suicide is a major risk factor. In fact, people suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to attempt suicide than those suffering from regular depression. Furthermore, their suicide attempts tend to be more lethal.

    The risk of suicide is even higher in people with bipolar disorder who have frequent depressive episodes, mixed episodes, a history of alcohol or drug abuse, a family history of suicide, or an early onset of the disease.

    Suicide warning signs include:

    Depressed Mood And Loss Of Interest

    How long do episodes of depression last ?

    Either depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure must be present for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode. Depressed mood is the most common symptom seen in major depressive episodes. Interest or pleasure in everyday activities can be decreased this is referred to as anhedonia. These feelings must be present on an everyday basis for two weeks or longer to meet DSM-V criteria for a major depressive episode. In addition, the person may experience one or more of the following emotions: sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, indifference, anxiety, tearfulness, pessimism, emotional numbness, or irritability. In children and adolescents, a depressed mood often appears more irritable in nature. There may be a loss of interest in or desire for sex, or other activities once found to be pleasant. Friends and family of the depressed person may notice that they have withdrawn from friends, or neglected or quit doing activities that were once a source of enjoyment.

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    How Is Nimh Addressing Bipolar Disorder

    The National Institute of Mental Health conducts and supports research on bipolar disorder that increases our understanding of its causes and helps develop new treatments. Researchers continue to study genetics and bipolar disorder, brain function, and symptoms in children and teens who have bipolar disorder, as well as family history in health and behavior.

    Learn more about NIMHs research priorities and current studies.

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