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When you are feeling very upset most of the day or frequently throughout the day, you may have some type of depressive problem. There are many different forms of depression that affect many different people. One of the most serious form however, is double depression.

Double depression is a combination of chronic depression, typically referred to as Dysthymic Disorder, and acute depression, also referred to as Major Depression. Double depression refers to the condition where someone has a chronic, but relatively low grade level of depression, but then experiences a stressful life event(s) that causes an increase in symptoms and resulting Major Depression.  This “double depression” is far more serious than is often recognized.  The chronic depression can last for many years and causes symptoms that interfere with daily living, but when this is complicated by Major Depression, these symptoms become more severe and debilitating  and the future can seem hopeless. Suicidal thoughts may also occur, in addition to suicide attempts and completed suicides.

Different types of depression occur in millions of American adults. In fact, approximately 57.7 million American adults have some kind of mental health problem in one year. This is a significant number of people and these types of depression vary from slightly to immensely dangerous. As we said however, one of the most dangerous types of depression is Double Depression.

Double Depression occurs in 3-6% of adults. Double depression is a serious disorder that needs to be taken care of immediately. In fact, the frequency of many kinds of depression, including Major Depression and Dysthymic disorder, are increasing. Many factors are playing a part in this and it’s important to be aware of the symptoms.

There are many warning signs for this type of disorder. For example, people with this disorder typically experience feelings of hopelessness, insomnia, or low self-esteem. They may also experience loss of appetite or low energy or feelings of worthlessness. These symptoms occur in other forms of depression but in double depression the symptoms tend to be more excessive and severe. They tend to severely impair the daily functioning of the sufferer and tend to make them feel hopeless, have difficulty carrying out every day tasks, are sad or down most of the time, do not find life pleasurable, withdraw from family and friends and may have frequent crying spells or episodes of irritability.

When you feel hopeless and worthless consistently and constantly throughout the day, month and year there is a problem. It is not normal to feel this way all the time. There are happy times in your life no matter what seems to be going wrong and if you can’t see those silver linings and instead see only the bad things throughout your life, you are likely suffering from some form of depressive disorder. If you feel any of the above symptoms, or you know anyone who suffers from them, please seek treatment.

There is some evidence that suggests the quicker a disorder is recognized and treated, the better the chances for a positive outcome.  Fortunately, there is now an Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our programs provide services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.