Depressive Disorders

Get information on Depressive Disorders including effects, signs and symptoms, and treatment.


Living with a Depressive Disorder

Living with a Depressive Disorder like depression is an immense challenge that can permeate and affect all aspects of life. The persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, worthlessness, fatigue, and suicidal thoughts that accompany a Depressive Disorder make even small tasks seem monumental. Getting through each day while struggling with low motivation, poor concentration, sleep issues, and lack of interest in once-enjoyable activities requires tremendous effort and courage. Relationships often suffer as isolation increases and irritability emerges even with those closest to you. The most tragic part remains that those living with depression survive a war raging internally which often goes unseen by the outside world. Seeking help and finding the right treatments to manage this complex biochemical condition prove essential, though fears of stigma sadly still prevent many from doing so. With compassionate understanding and support, as well as personal resilience, recovery becomes possible.

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Understanding Depressive Disorders

Getting an accurate diagnosis of the type and severity of Depressive Disorders proves critical in directing effective treatment. Mental health professionals complete psychological evaluations assessing family history and screening for substance use and medical conditions that could contribute to symptoms like weight gain or insomnia initially. Interviews probe the length and timing of disturbances in mood, thinking, and behavior, plus associated features, including fatigue, guilt, or suicidal thoughts. Standardized questionnaires help rate the depth of sadness, lack of interest, changes in appetite, concentration issues, and more. Brain imaging scans and bloodwork sometimes measure chemical and hormone levels for a fuller context.

Diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5 distinguish between subtypes based on symptom patterns over time. Pinpointing underlying biological and environmental influences driving an individual’s depression facilitates customized treatment planning to achieve and maintain symptom remission long-term.2

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Depressive Disorder Signs and Symptoms

Persistent Sadness & Low Mood

This is a core symptom of Depressive Disorders where individuals experience a continuous feeling of sadness or a markedly diminished interest in activities they once enjoyed. This persistent low mood can significantly impact work, relationships, and daily activities.

Changes in Sleep and Appetite

Depressive Disorders often bring significant changes in sleeping and eating patterns. This could mean insomnia or oversleeping and increased or decreased appetite, which can lead to weight loss or gain. These physical changes are both a symptom and a contributor to the severity of depression.

Fatigue and Loss of Energy

People with Depressive Disorders commonly experience a profound and persistent sense of fatigue, regardless of their level of activity or rest. This loss of energy can make even the simplest tasks seem overwhelmingly difficult and contribute to a cycle of decreased activity and increased Depressive symptoms.

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Compassionate Holistic Care for Depressive Disorders

At Cornerstone Healing Center, we understand the immense courage it takes to seek support in the battle against Depressive Disorders. Our holistic programs integrate evidence-based psychotherapy and medication management with creative arts therapy, yoga, meditation, nutritional counseling, and community support groups. This whole-person approach addresses the genetic vulnerabilities, emotional wounds, and environmental stressors fueling each individual’s despair. Our compassionate team of psychiatrists, therapists, and care partners nurture hope and build resilience. Whether participating in intensive outpatient or residential treatment, Cornerstone provides a warm, home-like environment to foster a sense of belonging during recovery. With locations across Arizona, we have helped many clients regain joy and purpose in the darkest times.

Treatment Methods for Depressive Disorders

psychotherapy for depressive disorders
Psychotherapy, particularly approaches like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), is effective in treating Depressive Disorders. These therapies focus on altering negative thought patterns, improving relationships, and developing coping strategies, contributing to long-term mental health and well-being.3
medication management depressive disorders
Anti-Depressant medications are often used alongside therapy. These medications, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, help correct chemical imbalances in the brain associated with depression. Proper management by healthcare professionals is essential to find the right medication and dosage while monitoring for side effects or interactions.
holistic therapies for depressive disorders
Holistic therapies can be great for Depressive Disorders because they address the mind, body, and spirit. This includes mindfulness practices, yoga, and nutritional counseling, complementing traditional treatments to manage depression symptoms and promote overall well-being.


lionel estrada LISAC headshot clinical director scottsdale

Lionel Estrada, LISAC


Lionel, a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) with over 4 years at Cornerstone, specializes in addiction and mental health. Trained in EMDR therapy, he employs a trauma-informed, empathetic approach to address underlying causes of these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Inpatient or residential treatment is necessary when Depressive Disorders severely impair daily functioning or when there’s a risk of harm to oneself. This level of care is suitable for intense, persistent symptoms unresponsive to outpatient treatments, providing a structured environment, intensive therapy, and continuous support.

The required level of care for Depressive Disorder varies based on symptom severity and impact. Outpatient therapy, including psychotherapy and medication management, is often sufficient for mild to moderate depression. More severe cases, particularly those involving co-occurring mental health issues or substance abuse, may need more intensive outpatient programs or inpatient care. Consulting with a mental health professional is crucial to determine the most effective treatment plan.

Supporting someone with Depressive Disorder involves empathy, patience, and encouragement. Listen actively and offer reassurance. Encourage seeking professional help and accompany them to appointments if possible. Educating yourself about Depressive Disorders helps in understanding their challenges. Most importantly, let them know they are not alone, and their feelings are valid and important.

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