Stages of Depression
I am 25, unmarried but in a committed relationship, and the mother of a 15 month old. When I was 15 I was put on Prozac which I had a unpleasant reaction to. Then, I was put on Paxil and there I stayed for about 4 years. I have experienced a number of \"life changes\" in the past two years including quitting college, death of a grandparent, an unexpected pregnancy (without health insurance) and the purchase of a home. I became depressed about a month after the birth of my son and it has been an up and down ride since. I have not sought professional help yet (no insurance) and therefore, and not taking any medications. My question is regarding different stages of depression. I have begun to notice patterns in my mood and behavior that seem to signify my varying levels of depression. I have not been able to find any information on any published \"stages\" of depression and am curious if this is common? There is a period where my mood starts to become irritable and my energy starts dropping (lower than it already is). Then, I will become easily angered and just be plain teed off at everything. Then comes the crying fits and the desire to just sleep and shut out everything. I withdraw, frequently \"zone out,\" and start having difficulty verbalizing my thoughts and emotions as well as make decisions and follow logical order processes. Sometimes, my mind \"slows down\" as well as my speech, but not everytime. The length of each stage and the length of the total process varies. Sometimes all within 1-2 weeks sometimes start to finish 4 weeks. But I only feel truly \"myself\" maybe one or two days a month, but not every month, so only a handful of times a year. Everyone once-in-a-while I will have a high level of energy and self-confidence and feel like, yes, I can accomplish anything I really want too. That\'s when I get myself into trouble by taking on too many tasks that I can never complete before I start becoming depressed again. Then, I get even more depressed when I see those projects laying around because I feel like such a failure for not having completed them.
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.