While we may all get sad sometimes, it’s not the same as being depressed. Depression is a different level of feeling blue, often requiring medical intervention. Educating yourself about depression is important to recognize the difference between just feeling down. As we explore the topic of depression, we’re going to look into the symptoms, how depression differs for age groups, and how Scottsdale depression treatment can help.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that is defined as a persistent feeling of sadness and a loss of interest.  It affects everything, from how you think and feel, to your behavior. Many people who suffer from depression may have trouble doing day-to-day activities. Unlike just feeling a little sad, depression can require long-term treatment and medical help. 
Types of Depression
When discussing depression, it’s important to distinguish between the different types. 
The two most common types are:
This can include symptoms that last for at least two weeks and typically interfere with someone’s ability to work, sleep, and eat.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Also referred to as dysthymia, this can include less severe symptoms that last for much longer. Someone suffering from this type of depression can deal with it for at least two years.
There are other types of depression as well. These include:
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This comes and goes with the seasons. People with this disorder typically show symptoms in late fall and early winter. Symptoms typically go away in the spring and summer.
This affects women during pregnancy or after delivery. When the onset occurs after giving birth it is referred to as postpartum depression.
Depression and Psychosis
People with this severe form of depression can experience psychosis symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations.
People with this type of depression have highs referred to as manic periods and lows. The lows can mimic signs of clinical depression.
As you can see, depression can come in many forms and impact people in many ways.
How Depression Differs Among Age Groups
Besides affecting people differently, signs of depression can present themselves differently depending on their age. 
Children may be anxious, cranky, clingy, and even pretend to be sick.
Older Children and Teens
This age group may experience anxiety, eating disorders, and low self-esteem. They may also be especially sleepy or have an increased appetite.
Young adults tend to have negative views and be more irritable. They may also complain about gaining weight and can experience social phobia and anxiety disorders.
When middle-aged adults experience depression, they may have a decreased libido, wake up exceptionally early, and wake up in the middle of the night.
Older adults may have less obvious symptoms. They may be sad, or they may be emotionless. Some have medical conditions that lead to their depression.
Knowing how depression impacts different age groups can help you recognize symptoms in loved ones.
Signs of Depression
People may experience different signs of depression. This can include: 
- Feeling hopeless
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies
- Decreased energy or moving slowly
- Trouble concentrating and remembering
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Aches and pains with no physical cause
If you or someone you love experiences these symptoms most of the time for at least two weeks, depression may be to blame.
How is Depression Diagnosed?
To be diagnosed with depression, a person must experience five depression symptoms every day, nearly all day for at least two weeks.  When this happens, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. Primary care providers typically diagnose and treat depression and then refer them to mental health professionals.
To make the diagnosis, your healthcare provider will ask how long feelings of depression last, how often they happen, and if they keep you from going about your daily activities. Some medical conditions can lead to depression symptoms. Your doctor can determine if you suffer from depression or another condition through a physical exam, interview, and lab tests.
Once a diagnosis is made, it is important to get treatment for depression. Typically, the earlier treatment can begin, the more effective it can be.  Treatments will vary depending on the patient and the severity of the depression.
Antidepressants can help to improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that help to control your mood.
Therapy can also help people with depression. This can range from cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy.
Brain Stimulation Therapies
When medications and other methods don’t help to relieve symptoms of depression, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be an option.
Your medical provider will help determine the best treatment for your condition. During treatment, staying active, trying not to isolate yourself, and setting realistic goals can help overcome your depression.
Scottsdale Depression Treatment
If you need help with depression, Healing Foundations Center is here for you. As a Scottsdale depression treatment center, we help people dealing with all types of depression. Our treatments include different types of therapy and as well as medications. Contact us today for more information on how we can help or reach out to us online.