Types of Depression

    • Change in weight or appetite
    • Fatigue or loss of energy
    • Changes in sleep patterns
    • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt or helplessness
    • Loss of interest in friends, activities
    • Thoughts of suicide
    • Unexplained crying

Dysthymia is a less severe, but involves long term chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning at "full steam."

Some people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes. Symptoms of dysthymia are much like those of major depression, but to a lesser degree. When people with dysthymia suffer episodes of major depression, their symptoms become dramatically more severe for a while, then turn to their usual reduced level. These people are said to have double depression, that is, dysthymia plus major depression.

Bipolar Disorder, also called Manic-Depression, involves depression, and elation or mania. During the depressed cycle, individuals experience many of the major depression symptoms. Sometimes the mood swings are rapid, making a person feel really high and then really low within a matter of days, but most often they are gradual. Often it occurs in the late teens or early 20's. During manic phase, some or all of these symptoms may appear:

    • Increased energy, less need for sleep
    • Pressured or rapid speech
    • Racing thoughts, ideas
    • Promiscuous sexual behavior
    • Grandiose thoughts or inflated self-esteem
    • Vigorous denial that anything is wrong
    • Impulsive behavior and poor judgment, such as overspending
    • Extreme irritability
    • Unpredictable or aggressive response to frustration.

Further, individuals, when manic, tend to overlook the embarrassing, sometimes harmful, consequence of their behavior. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior, resulting in unwise business decisions that can cause horrendous debt. In extreme cases, individuals may experience thought disorder, jumping from one idea to another with no apparent connection. This can sometimes lead to the individual experiencing delusions and hallucinations.

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Helpful Links and Resources

  • www.mentalhealthamerica.net -- dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service.
  • www.dbsalliance.org -- National Depression Bipolar Support Alliance-provides mental health news, education, wellness options, peer support, family/friends support, support group locator and self-help ideas.
  • www.nami.org

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Sextons Creek

Sextons Creek, a strategic services and communications firm serving clients in the area of government relations, strategic communications, media productions, and business services, represents Mental Health America of Indiana at the Indiana General Assembly where Stephen C. McCaffrey serves as Principal & Chief Policy Officer.

Among other services, Sextons Creek assists patients, providers, professionals, not-for-profits and pharmaceutical companies to collaborate with other stakeholders to improve access to healthcare in public health and criminal justice settings.

Sextons Creek provides services to MHAI that include legislative and regulatory monitoring, issue management, research, and legislative and administrative lobbying.  All clients of Sextons Creek as well as The Third House (which has represented MHAI and joined Sextons Creek) clients receiving lobbying services are registered with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission at: https://www.in.gov/ilrc/.

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