Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have major depression, especially when you’re living with it.   

For some people, depression is a pervasive feeling of sadness or hopelessness. For some, depression means feelings of anger or extreme irritability. People with depression may swing from high levels of activity to lethargy, or they may report not feeling emotion at all.

Then there is depression that may encompass any or all of these symptoms. This is called “Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with mixed features,” and has been most commonly misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder.

Here’s a good explanation from the neuroscience branch of Cambridge University Press:

“For the first time in 20 years, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) updated the psychiatric diagnostic system for mood disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Perhaps one of the most notable changes in the DSM-5 was…a structural bridge between bipolar and major depression disorders, [which] formally recognizes the possibility of a mix of hypomania and depressive symptoms in someone who has never experienced discrete episodes of hypomania or mania.”

If you suspect you may have MDD with mixed features, it is important to be diagnosed and treated by a professional. In fact, an article on the Psychiatric Times website described Major depression with mixed features as “a diagnostic chameleon.”

“Mixed features…are caused by the overlap of depressive and manic symptoms, but it’s hard to understand them by reading separate descriptions of these two states. It would be like trying to imagine green by studying yellow and blue…

“Mixed features can look like anxiety, ADHD, borderline personality disorder, or depression with an agitated edge.”

If you suspect you or someone you love may have MDD with mixed features, it is important to be properly diagnosed to receive the proper medication (such as a mood stabilizer in cases of persistent anxiety or anger). Come and see me and let’s get you on the road to emotional stability.

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Children and Antipsychotics

In a 2015 study, the National Institute of Health found that boys are being prescribed antipsychotics much more often than girls are.

Responding to Social Rejection

Can you track your heartbeat without feeling your pulse? If you can, you might be better prepared to cope with being excluded in social situations.