Recurrent Depressive Disorder: What You Need to Know
Depressive disorders are pervasive and affect millions of people worldwide. Recurrent depressive disorder, or RDD, is a type of major depressive disorder characterized by multiple episodes of depression that recur in a cyclical pattern. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of RDD and how to treat them, so you can lead your best life.
What is Recurrent Depressive Disorder?
Recurrent depressive disorder is a type of major depressive disorder (MDD) in which an individual experiences multiple episodes of depression that recur in a cyclical pattern. Each episode may last from several weeks to months and can range from mild to severe. During the episode, an individual may experience a variety of symptoms, including feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, guilt, and worthlessness, decreased energy levels, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, changes in appetite or weight, and thoughts of suicide.
The exact cause of RDD is unknown, but it’s believed to be the result of a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors. It’s also thought that certain life events or stressors can trigger episodes.
How is RDD Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression that are persistent or recurrent over time, it’s important to seek medical attention. Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam as well as psychological evaluation to assess your mental health. Your doctor may also order lab tests to rule out any physical conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
Once the doctor has ruled out any physical conditions, he or she will then diagnose you with RDD if you meet the criteria for major depressive disorder as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This manual outlines the criteria for major depressive disorder which includes experiencing five or more symptoms for at least two weeks that significantly disrupt daily life.
How is RDD Treated?
RDD is typically treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medication such as antidepressants can help to reduce symptoms of depression and stabilize moods. Psychotherapy can help individuals learn how to manage their symptoms and develop healthy coping skills to deal with stressors that may be contributing to their episodes.
It’s also important to recognize any potential triggers or warning signs and take steps to avoid or manage them. This can include avoiding alcohol or drugs, engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep each night, and eating a healthy diet. Additionally, it’s important to maintain regular contact with your doctor so they can monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
Living with Recurrent Depressive Disorder
Living with recurrent depressive disorder can be difficult but it is possible to manage your symptoms and lead a full and meaningful life. It’s important to recognize your own warning signs and reach out for help when needed. Additionally, it’s important to build a strong support system comprised of family members, friends, and mental health professionals who can provide emotional support during difficult times. With the right treatment plan and support system in place, you can learn how to cope with depression and live your best life despite the challenges that come with living with RDD.
Recurrent depressive disorder is a type of major depressive disorder characterized by multiple episodes of depression that recur in a cyclical pattern. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of RDD so you can seek treatment if necessary. Treatment typically consists of medication and psychotherapy in addition to lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol or drugs and getting enough sleep each night. With the right treatment plan in place along with strong support from family members and friends, individuals living with RDD can learn how to manage their symptoms and lead a full life despite the challenges they face due to their condition.