Double depression is a condition in which a person who suffers from a mild depression such as dysthymia falls into a deeper depression like chronic depressive disorder, or major depression. Although Double Depression is not a new condition, this form of the disease is gaining more attention as people gain more and more assistance for the condition.
Hopelessness is the hallmark of double depression. Usually, a person who is doubly depressed seeks assistance after he/she goes through a major depressive episode. The fact is that treatment may be more difficult for people who are doubly depressed because a person who is hopeless has basically ‘given up’. The doubly depressed patient may be less likely to follow through with therapy and may not respond to the same processes and treatments, including medications, as someone with either dysthymia or major depressive disorder.
Currently, however, the treatment is relatively similar to other forms of depression. Psychotherapy appears to be necessary. In more and more cases, a combination of dialectical behavioral and traditional talk therapy seems to be most effective. Medications will need to be evaluated to ensure that the individual’s mood is stabilized.
Common medications prescribed for this condition include:
- Effexor, etc.*
(*Note: The medications you are prescribed depend upon which symptoms you suffer from, what your medical history is, which mental health care providers you see and a variety of other factors.)
It is paramount that the patient feels better than he/she did before beginning treatment although it does take time, patience and the willingness to work with a therapist, psychiatrist/doctor and so forth to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Even with its inherent difficulties, double depression can be successfully treated. If you suffer from double depression, or suspect that you do…or someone you love does, please seek out assistance from a trained mental health professional and work to obtain a proper diagnosis. A treatment (and safety) plan will help you ride out the rough times and prevent you from falling into hopelessness.