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Depression

Discover the truth about depression and learn effective strategies for coping, healing, and moving forward.

The Link Between Childhood Trauma and BPD

Childhood-Trauma

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronic, complex psychological condition that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is characterized by a pervasive pattern of high affective instability, impulsive behaviors, unstable interpersonal relationships, and an inconsistent self-concept. Borderline personality disorder is associated with a diverse range of signs and symptoms. The cause of borderline personality disorder remains unknown. However, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.” Recent research has shown that 1.6% of the population in the United States has BPD, which amounts to over four million Americans.

Trauma is defined as any type of distressing event or experience that can have an impact on a young person’s ability to cope and function. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), childhood trauma is defined as “the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.” Childhood trauma may be caused by examples such as abuse (such as sexual or physical), witnessing domestic violence, neglect, accidents, chronic or sudden medical illness, a death in the family or parental illness, substance use, divorce, or incarceration. Any experience that threatens a child’s sense of security and leaves a young person feeling overwhelmed and isolated can be traumatic. Data indicates that one in four children living in the United States experiences a traumatic event before reaching adulthood.

Childhood Trauma and BPD

Empirical evidence confirms the notion that humans store memories, experience, and emotions on a cellular level. Hence, early childhood experiences play a large role in how the brain develops and functions. A report from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University asserts that childhood trauma can derail healthy development and cause damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. Trauma and adversity in childhood raise the risk of numerous health problems (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, etc.) in adulthood. Further, the effects of childhood trauma have repeatedly been linked to the development of maladaptive personality traits and personality disorders. According to University of Manchester research, people with borderline personality disorder are 13 times more likely to report childhood trauma than people without any mental health problems.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

What Is The Most Effective Therapy For Trauma?

Therapy For Trauma

Trauma is defined as any type of distressing event or experience that can have an impact on a person’s ability to cope and function. Trauma can affect the innerworkings of one’s brain. For example, research indicates that traumatic stress can result in increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to subsequent stressors, whereby the brain learns to associate certain stimuli with the traumatic event. Endorphins (the hormones in one’s body associated with feeling pleasure) also play an essential role in trauma exposure. An increase in the level of endorphins in the brain occur during trauma, and the levels remain elevated to help numb the emotional and physical pain of the trauma. For some, exposure to trauma can lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a diagnosable mental illness that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). PTSD is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it.” There are many treatment options for trauma and PTSD, and there is no single method of treatment for trauma that is universally recognized as more effective than others.

Therapeutic Treatment Options

Every person is different and will require a customized treatment plan to ensure all nuanced needs are properly addressed. Common psychotherapeutic interventions that may be included in one’s treatment plan could include one or more of the following, provided by the American Psychological Association (APA):

  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): uses mindfulness skills to help an individual focus on accepting their emotions, while also helping to adjust the unhealthy behaviors that arise from the emotions.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): this can help correct irrational and/ or inaccurate thoughts a person may have regarding the trauma as well as help him or her develop skills and healthy coping mechanisms for reducing anxiety and stress.
  • Expressive arts therapy (play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, sand therapy, etc.): provides an alternative medium to express, process and integrate one’s thoughts and feelings surrounding trauma.
  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT): helps individuals learn how to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs related to trauma.
  • Group therapy: participating in group therapy sessions can help an individual learn from peers that are navigating thoughts and emotions related to trauma.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): utilizes guided eye movement techniques to help process one’s memories, thoughts, and emotional associations in relation to the experienced trauma.

The outcomes associated with untreated trauma span a wide range of psychiatric diagnoses and misdiagnoses, functional impairments, and evolving educational, vocational, relational and health problems. Through working with the individual, mental health professionals can identify which therapeutic tactics are helpful to the recovery process and which may need to be altered during treatment.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Understanding Depression and Depressive Disorders

Understanding Depression and Depressive Disorders

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression is one of several mood disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Mood disorders, also known as affective disorders, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine “is a mental health class that health professionals use to broadly describe all types of depression and bipolar disorders.” Mood disorders severely impact one’s mood and its related functions. An individual with depression or a depressive disorder will likely have erratic mood shifts from extremely low (depressed) to extremely high (manic). To be properly treated an individual must be clinically and accurately diagnosed.

Most Common Mood Disorders

While there are several depressive disorders listed in the DSM-5, certain disorders are more common than others. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the most common depressive disorders include the following:

  • Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder): characterized by periods of depression alternating with periods of mania (elevated mood)
    • Bipolar I disorder: characterized by at least one manic episode that may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes
    • Bipolar II disorder: characterized by at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomania episode, and absence of manic episodes
  • Cyclothymic disorder (cyclothymia): characterized by fluctuating low-level depressive symptoms along with periods of mild mania (hypomania)

Based on the diagnostic interview data from National Comorbidity Survey Replication, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates approximately 21.4% of adults in the United States experience depression or a depressive disorder at some point in their lives. 

Signs and Symptoms

Mood disorders, as defined by the Mayo Clinic are characterized by a distortion of one’s general emotional state and/ or mood that is inconsistent with the current circumstances and interferes with one’s ability to function. Common examples of signs and symptoms that could be indicative of depression and depressive disorders could include, but are not limited to any combination of the following, provided by the American Psychiatric Association (APA):

  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed pastimes
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/ or pessimism
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Increased fatigue 
  • Feeling worthless and/ or guilty
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Moving and/ or talking more slowly than usual
  • Suicidal ideation

The symptoms associated with depressive disorders will differ, as they will depend on the individual, as well as the type of depressive disorder with which he or she is diagnosed. If left untreated, the symptoms of depression and depressive disorders can lead to severe short and long-term effects and in some cases could be life-threatening. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

What Causes Depression?

What Causes Depression?

Depression is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a major depressive disorder, and is sometimes referred to as clinical depression. It is characterized by persistently depressed mood and/ or a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, impairing one’s ability to function in his or her daily life. The various symptoms associated with depression can range from mild to severe. While depression can develop at any age, symptoms commonly surface in adolescence and young adulthood. There is no single identifiable cause of depression, rather Harvard Health asserts that there are many possible causes of depression. The Cleveland Clinic provides examples of factors that may play a role in its development, including but not limited to the following:

  • Brain chemistry: Abnormalities in brain chemical levels may lead to depression.
  • Genetic vulnerability: A family history of depression can increase one’s propensity for developing depression.
  • Life events: Stress, the death of a loved one, upsetting events (trauma), isolation, and lack of support can cause depression.
  • Medical conditions: Ongoing physical pain and illnesses can cause depression. Depression is a common comorbidity of other illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Medication: Depression is a side effect of some medications.
  • Recreational drug and alcohol use: can cause depression or exacerbate one’s depression.
  • Personality: People who are easily overwhelmed or have trouble coping may be prone to depression.

To be diagnosed with depression, a person’s symptoms must fit the criteria outlined in the DSM-5. An individual must be experiencing five or more of the following symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure:

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  4. A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  5. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  6. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  8. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

These symptoms must cause the individual clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms must also not be a result of substance abuse or another medical condition.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

 

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