How Would You Describe Persistent Depressive Disorder?

It’s okay to feel down, moody, or tired after an exhausting week at work. But if those feelings persist daily and last for years, you may be experiencing symptoms of a kind of mood disorder known as persistent depressive disorder. It affects millions in the U.S., but its symptoms are treatable.

PREVALENCE 

According to a U.S. government survey, persistent depressive disorder affects millions. The latest figures:

  • Prevalence of persistent depressive disorder among U.S. adults between 45 and 59 years-old is 2.3%, 30–44-year-olds (1.7%), 18–29-year-olds (1.1%), and 60 or older (.5%).
  • About 1.5% of U.S. adults are affected in any year, with about 2.5% having it at some time in their lives.
  • Females (1.9%) are more susceptible than males (1%).

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE PERSISTENT DEPRESSIVE DISORDER?

Dysthymia is a weaker, but long-term kind of depression. It’s also known as persistent depressive disorder. People experiencing this condition may also suffer from attacks of major depression at times.

Depression is a mood disorder that involves your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, think about things, and feel about yourself. It’s not the same as being unhappy or in a ‘blue’ mood. It’s not a sign of weakness or something that can be willed or wished away. People with depression can’t ‘snap out of it’ and get better. Treatment is key to recovery.”

Symptoms can often be treated with ketamine infusion therapy, but they also can lead to serious harm if ignored. They could include:

  • Lack of interest in daily pursuits
  • Sadness, emptiness, or low feelings
  • Hopelessness
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Poor self-esteem, self-criticism, or feeling incompetent
  • Problems thinking and decision making 
  • Irritability or extreme anger
  • Less activity, success, and productivity
  • Avoiding social activities
  • Feeling guilty or worrying over past events
  • Low appetite, poor eating habits
  • Problems sleeping

The disorder often begins in childhood, the teenage years, or young adult life and is chronic in nature. Factors may boost the risk of developing or triggering it, including:

  • Having a blood relative with major depressive disorder or other mood disorders
  • Traumatic or stressful events, like losing a loved one or financial insecurity
  • Certain negativity-based personality traits, like poor self-esteem, over-dependence, being self-critical, or pessimism
  • You have a history of another mental disorder, like a personality disorder

What causes persistent depressive disorder?

No one is certain of the exact cause. The disorder could be related to some differences in the human brain that include a chemical called serotonin. People with low levels of serotonin may have trouble handling emotions and making decisions, key functions driven by what happens in your brain. Persistent depressive disorder may also be triggered by another medical problem or ongoing life stressors. These include biological, genetic, environmental, and psychological influencers. Chronic stress and trauma may also be linked to the condition.

How is it diagnosed?

Depression often co-occurs with other ailments, like heart disease or cancer. It could also crop up with substance abuse or anxiety problems. Often, people with persistent depressive disorder become used to its mild depressive symptoms and don’t think they need help. However, early diagnosis and treatment is key to recovery.

A diagnosis may be made following a thorough psychiatric evaluation and medical exam performed by a qualified medical doctor or mental health professional. A medical exam seeks to identify or rule out an underlying condition that causes the symptoms, while a psychiatric assessment focuses on thoughts, feelings, behavior, and personal and family history of mental illness. In either case, your medical provider will compare your depression symptoms with criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

TREATMENT

Many factors contribute to how a medical doctor or mental health provider treats someone who’s experiencing persistent depressive disorder or another mental illness. Factors like your age, gender, personal and family history of mental illness, and overall health inform the decision-making process.

The most widespread form of treatment is some form of psychotherapy. “This is most often cognitive behavioral or interpersonal therapy. It focuses on changing distorted views of yourself and your environment. It also works to improve relationship skills and identify and manage stressors.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you suffer from any kind of depression, there are strategies you can try to help yourself, but it’s tough because depression can lead to exhaustion, and feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, and hopelessness.

Contact us today to learn more about ketamine infusion therapy, an innovative new treatment for mental health conditions and mood disorders.

How Your Diet Affects Anxiety

HOW YOUR DIET AFFECTS ANXIETY

Food and anxiety help the body regulate mood. If you’re anxious, you may choose food and beverages you believe make you feel good. But not all food is created equal when fighting anxiety symptoms, and sometimes you need other help.

 

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

 

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal reaction to stress. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.” 

American adults are the prime demographic for anxiety, but it also affects children with symptoms starting before age 21.

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

 

Symptoms fluctuate depending on the kind of anxiety disorder you experience. Common symptoms of an anxiety disorder may include physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms.

 

  • Cold or sticky hands
  • Dry mouth
  • Heart tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Muscle tension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling panic, worry, and uneasiness
  • Nightmares
  • Recurrent thoughts or flashbacks of bad experiences
  • Frenzied, obsessive thoughts
  • Failure to be calm and still
  • Ritualistic behaviors, like washing your hands continually
  • Problems sleeping

 

WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?

 

The triggers of anxiety aren’t entirely known. Life experiences which may include trauma seem to launch anxiety disorders in people who may be susceptible to anxiety. Inherited traits could also be a factor.

 

There could be medical causes:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Respiratory problems

 

But anxiety can also result from an underlying medical condition if you don’t have blood relatives with anxiety, have never had it before, and don’t avoid things that could trigger symptoms.

 

HOW YOUR DIET AFFECTS ANXIETY

 

If you’re looking for food that may help control anxiety symptoms, you’re not alone. You may be one of 40 million U.S. adults on the same quest. Some research indicates that certain foods soothe moods and make you feel calmer, while other foods do just the opposite, at least in the short term. If you have stress that ends in anxiety or panic attacks, dietary modifications may relieve anxiety symptoms.

A prominent precursor to anxiety is stress, which revolves around the constant demands and pressures we all experience daily. Stress can be chemical, emotional, mental, or physical in its composition. Nearly anything you encounter can result in stress, which is why doctors, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals tout the benefits of making good food choices to fight stress and anxiety.

 

Here are some tips to fight anxiety:

  • Diminished blood sugar, inadequate hydration, using alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can also trigger or imitate anxiety symptoms. 
  • Eating regularly and avoiding hypoglycemic states are very important. Avoid sugar, both real and artificial forms.
  • For the best hydration, plain spring water is best, and you should enjoy six to eight glasses daily. 
  • Nicotine doesn’t trigger or cause anxiety, but its withdrawal can mimic the symptoms, and people with anxiety sometimes soothe themselves with a smoke. Nicotine use can lead to higher blood pressure and heart rate, both symptomatic of anxiety and precursors to even more severe health conditions. 
  • If someone experiences anxiety, it’s not unheard of to use alcohol as a crutch to calm their nerves. Still, heavy drinking is problematic in its own right, with unique emotional and physical issues.

 

What should you add to your meal choices?

  • Follow a healthy and well-balanced meal plan, such as the Mediterranean diet
  • Reduce sugary and processed foods to control symptoms of anxiety
  • Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol, and eschew cigarettes
  • Try zinc-rich foods (broccoli, kale, legumes, nuts, oysters, and whole grains)
  • Your diet should include magnesium-rich foods: avocado, dark leafy greens, and fish
  • Asparagus, avocado, leafy greens, and meat are rich in vitamin B 
  • Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are a good choice
  • Consume more probiotic-rich foods (fermented foods like kefir and yogurt)

 

DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT

 

Controlling anxiety symptoms typically begin with a medical exam or psychiatric assessment to ensure there isn’t a physical problem triggering the condition and assess your personal and family history of possible mental illness. Beyond that, your healthcare provider will use several tools to aid in the diagnosis, like blood tests, diagnostic procedures, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Popular treatment options include psychotherapy and ketamine infusion therapy.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

If you’re suffering from anxiety, there are many things you can do to minimize symptoms, including psychotherapy and certain medicines. Your healthcare provider may also recommend lifestyle changes, with one of the most effective being consuming healthy meals daily. 

Ketamine infusion therapy is one promising option. Call us today to learn more about this innovative new treatment option.

What Are Mood Disorders?

Everyone gets sad or depressed sometimes. It’s a normal part of dealing with life, but when a stressful situation results in sudden anger, loss of sleep, irritability or other symptoms which persist indefinitely, you may be experiencing the first signs of a mood disorder. Thankfully, most symptoms can be managed.

WHAT IS A MOOD DISORDER?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “A mood disorder is a mental health class that health professionals use to broadly describe all types of depression and bipolar disorders.”

Though children, teens, and adults can all be affected, children and teens don’t always experience the same symptoms as adults. It’s difficult to pinpoint mood disorders in children because they can’t always express their feelings. Ketamine therapy, certain medicine, support and self-care can help lessen mood disorders.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF MOOD DISORDERS?

Two of the most common mood disorders people are most familiar with are depression and bipolar disorder. But these also have many sub-types.

Depression is a widespread mental disorder. Anguish or sadness is a normal response to a traumatic crisis or event, like the death of a spouse or loved one, loss of employment, or a severe illness. But, when depression remains present even when tense events have ended or you can’t find an obvious cause, doctors would then categorize your condition as clinical or major depression. For someone to be diagnosed with clinical depression, symptoms must persist for at least two weeks.

There are many kinds of depression, with varying symptoms depending on the form of the illness.

  • Postpartum depression, which happens during pregnancy or following delivery.
  • Persistent depressive disorder, which is a chronic type of depression that can last for up to two years or more.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is another form of depression that happens during certain seasons, mostly beginning in the late fall or early winter and lasting until spring or summer. Rarely, this kind of depression may begin during the late spring or summer, with symptoms resembling those of major depression.
  • Psychotic depression is a kind of severe depression paired with psychotic episodes, like hallucinations or delusions.

Depression may also be related to a medical ailment, medicine, or substance abuse.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings from periods of mania to depression. Low mood symptoms may be perceived as clinical depression. While having a manic episode, you may feel elated, irritable, or have boosted activity levels. There are four basic kinds of bipolar disorder.

  • Bipolar I, the most severe type. You could experience manic episodes lasting a week and be severe enough to need hospitalization. Depressive episodes will also happen, frequently lasting for two weeks or more.
  • Bipolar II disorder can result in cycles of depression like those of bipolar I. You may experience hypomania, a less serious form of mania. Someone experiencing bipolar II disorder is normally able to finish daily responsibilities and doesn’t need hospitalization.
  • Cyclothymia disorder is a type of bipolar disorder that has sometimes been described as a calmer form of bipolar disorder. People with it have constant irregular mood swings – anything from mild- to moderate-emotional high points to mild- to moderate-low points – for extended lengths of time. Plus, changes in mood can happen fast and at any time. It’s characterized by short periods of normal mood. Adult diagnosis requires symptoms to have lasted for at least 2 years.
  • “Other” or “unspecified” bipolar disorder whose symptoms don’t meet the criteria for one of the other kinds, but someone can still experience significant, abnormal shifts in mood.

Are there other mood disorders whose symptoms may be treatable with ketamine infusion therapy? Yes, they include:

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a kind of disorder that starts seven to 10 days before menstruation and subsides within a few days of the beginning of menstruation. Studies indicate this disorder is triggered by the hormonal changes associated with a menstrual cycle.
  • Intermittent explosive disorder is a lesser-known disorder characterized by episodes of unwarranted anger out of balance compared to the situation.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Once a doctor or mental health provider has diagnosed your mood disorder, it’s time to discuss various treatment options. Given research and test results, ketamine treatment is an obvious choice. What else can help manage a mood disorder? In-patient and out-patient therapy, self-help, support groups, and changes in lifestyle.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, or another mood disorder, don’t wait until your life spins out of control before getting help. A family member or friend may offer support, but real progress can only be made after a diagnosis and the development of a treatment program, which may include ketamine infusion therapy. To learn more, contact us today!