What are Waves of Depression?

In this blog, we will be discussing waves of depression, also cover what is depression, the symptoms, and causes of depression, and also answer frequently asked questions. 

What are Waves of Depression?

Waves of depression refer to the depressive condition in which the symptoms of depression come into waves or depressive episodes. 

Clinical depression can manifest itself in waves, which is very natural. These waves are known as “depressive episodes,” and there has been a lot of research done on them. This blog article is all about depression coming in waves.

We will also explore all we need to know about depression, waves of depression, types of depression, how to deal with waves of depression. 

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental disorder that involves persistent feelings of sadness, despair, disinterest in activities that were once pleasurable, and sometimes even thoughts about death. 

Depression is a common term that is used to refer to major depressive disorder and also other types of depressive and mood disorders.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Irritable mood most of the time
  • Decreased or no interest in the activities that you enjoyed before
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in appetite
  • Trouble falling asleep/sleeping more than before
  • Feelings of low energy and exhaustion
  • Difficulty in concentration and decision making
  • Suicidal thoughts, suicidal tendencies, and thoughts about death

Types of Depression

There are various types of depression that we will explore below:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) 

MDD is a common mental health condition that affects around 17 million adults in the U.S. which was found in research conducted in 2017. 

There are various common terms used to refer to MDD like depression, clinical depression, unipolar depression, etc. 

The symptoms of MDD are sadness, despair, changes in sleep patterns, lack of energy, fatigue, loss of interest in pleasurable things, worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, etc.

The symptoms can often last for weeks, months, and even years. People can have a single episode of MDD and cause issues in their work, studies, relationships, etc.

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder 

It is another type of depression that lasts for 2 or more years. This is often referred to as chronic depression, dysthymia, etc. It is not as intense as MDD but it also affects major parts of your life. 

It is a long-term form of depression where the severity fluctuates from time to time. It can become less for a period of time and again get worse and people often confuse it as a part of their life and don’t understand the severity of their condition

  • Bipolar disorder

This is another type of depressive disorder that has alternating episodes of mania/hypomania and depression. It was earlier known as manic depression but now it is known as bipolar depression.

The phases or episodes of mania have the following signs and symptoms:

~feeling too energetic

~going through days without sleep or less sleep


~rapid speech and racing thoughts

~high self-esteem

~indulgence in risky behaviors

~feelings of high or euphoria

The depressive episodes share the same symptoms as described above in the symptoms of depression:

~Feelings of sadness

~irritable mood most of the time

~Decreased or no interest in the activities that you enjoyed before

~Weight loss or weight gain

~Changes in appetite

~Trouble falling asleep/sleeping more than before

~Feelings of low energy and exhaustion

~Difficulty in concentration and decision making

~Suicidal thoughts, suicidal tendencies, and thoughts about death

Bipolar disorder is also further sub-divided into two types – Bipolar I and Bipolar II which can be further discussed with your healthcare provider and a mental health professional.

The manic/hypomanic episode can last for several days and then the depressive episode takes over. Sometimes the condition can get so severe that the person might need hospitalization. 

Is it common for depression to manifest itself in waves?

Yes, it is common for depression to manifest itself in waves of depression. The trick is to learn to moderate the habitual reaction to these triggers, and then the waves will become less strong.

If you ignore them and instead encourage your typical reactions, your depression will worsen (called depression triggers).

Depressed mood usually worsens within days rather than weeks or months, and suicide ideation and protracted loss of usefulness are far less probable.

Potential risk factors of having waves or bouts of depression

  • People with a parent or a first-degree relative with depression  are more likely to have a depressive disorder
  • Chronic stress can predispose a person to have depression
  • Trauma can also increase the likelihood of a person having depression
  • Comorbidities or any other mental health condition can also increase a person’s chance of having depressive disorders
  • History of a medical or psychological condition also predisposes a person to depressive disorders

Possible triggers that can cause waves of depression

Depression is a complicated disorder with several potential causes. Even though a person is predisposed to depression, they generally only experience a depressive episode when a stressful event causes the disease.

Among the possible triggers are:

  • modifications to everyday routines
  • Sleep deprivation 
  • unhealthy eating habits
  • job, home, or school stress feeling alone, alone, or unloved living with abuse or maltreatment
  • with depression.

Tips to deal with waves of depression

  • Keep track of your triggers and symptoms

Keeping note of moods and symptoms may assist a person in determining what causes a depressed episode. Detecting depression symptoms early on may help them avoid a full-blown depressive episode.

Keep a journal to keep track of noteworthy events, changes in daily habits, and mood swings. Rate emotions on a scale of 1 to 10 to assist in determining which situations or activities elicit distinct reactions. Consult a doctor if your symptoms last 14 days or longer.

  • Maintain your cool

Detecting the start of a depressive episode might be frightening. An understandable reaction to the earliest signs of depression is to feel worried or anxious. These responses, however, may lead to poor mood and exacerbate other symptoms such as lack of appetite and interrupted sleep.

Instead, concentrate on being calm. Remember that depression is curable and that the sensations will pass.

Anyone who has previously had depressed periods should remind themselves that they are capable of overcoming similar symptoms again. They should concentrate on their strengths and the lessons they’ve learned from earlier melancholy periods.

  • Recognize and accept sadness

Learning more about depression might help individuals cope with it. Depression is a common and serious mental health issue. It is not a symptom of inadequacy or personal deficiency.

Accepting that a depressed episode may occur from time to time may help people cope when one occurs. Remember that symptoms may be managed with therapies such as lifestyle modifications, medication, and therapy.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

  • Understand the significance of self-care

Self-care is critical for maintaining physical and emotional wellness. Self-care activities are any actions that assist people in caring for their own well-being.

Taking time to rest, refuel, and connect with oneself and others is what self-care entails. It also entails saying no to others when one is overwhelmed, as well as taking time to quiet and soothe oneself.

Eating a healthy diet, engaging in creative pursuits, and taking a relaxing bath are all examples of basic self-care activities. However, any action that improves one’s mental, emotional, or physical health may be classified as self-care.

  • Take a deep breath when you feel triggered.

Deep breathing exercises can help to reduce anxiety and ease the body’s stress reaction. Slowly inhaling and exhaling provide physical and psychological advantages, especially when done regularly.

Deep breathing may be practiced by everyone, whether in the vehicle, at work, or in the grocery store. Many smartphone applications, many of which are free to download, include guided deep breathing activities.

  • Practice muscle relaxation techniques

Another useful treatment for persons suffering from sadness and anxiety is progressive muscle relaxation. It entails tensing and releasing the muscles in the body in order to relieve tension. Many smartphone apps, once again, provide guided progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

  • Be gentle to yourself

Even though depression cripples your self-esteem, makes you doubt yourself, stir feelings of worthlessness, etc. You need to remind yourself that this is just a condition and you are so much more than that. You need to be gentle and practice self-love

  • Seek therapy and mental health interventions
  • Join support groups for people with similar concerns
  • Remember to stand back on after the wave has passed by

You may be standing tall and feeling invincible one day, only to be hit by a rush of sadness the next, threatening to knock you down and send you back to the beginning of your mental health journey.

But here’s the thing: even a modest setback does not send you to the bottom of the heap. These waves of melancholy do not undermine everything you’ve learned along the way. They may seem enormous and may feel as if they are taking over and pulling you under, but they are nothing more than a feeling that you are perfectly capable of rejecting.

Treatment for waves of depression

You should consult with a medical professional so that they can help you navigate through your need of medication as sometimes, medications can be really helpful in helping you manage your symptoms.

You should also seek guidance of a mental health professional and invest in psychotherapy as psychotherapy is highly recommended for depressive disorders because it will help you:

  • have a better insight in your condition, 
  • what triggers these waves of depression, 
  • help you teach healthy coping mechanisms,  
  • equip you with tools and techniques to deal with it whenever it happens. 
  • Work through your self-esteem issues
  • Help you take care of your mental health


We talked about waves of depression, what depression is, different types of depression, tips on how to deal with it, and 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are Waves of Depression?

What is the term for depression that comes and goes?

Seasonal depression, also known as a seasonal affective disorder, is a kind of depression that is associated with specific seasons. This is referred recognized by medical experts as a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns.

What is the occurrence rate of depression?

Depression affected 14.8 million people in the United States each year, accounting for 6.7 percent of the entire adult population. Depression affected 25.6 percent of the patients in total 

What exactly is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental illness that affects around 20 million individuals worldwide (1). Schizophrenia is characterized by cognitive, perceptual, emotional, linguistic, self-perception, and behavioral abnormalities.

What is the most frequent type of mental illness?

According to the National Alliance for Mental Health, one out of every five individuals in America will suffer from a mental disease at some point in their lives. Currently, approximately 10 million Americans are suffering from a serious mental illness. Anxiety disorders, severe depression, and bipolar disorder are the most frequent.

What is the rarest mental illness?

Some disorders, on the other hand, are so uncommon that mental health experts may rarely deal with them or sometimes even never come across them. 

Here are some of the more unusual mental health problems:

  • Stendhal Syndrome. 
  • Apotemnophilia. 
  • Alien Hand Syndrome. 
  • Capgras Syndrome.


Which mental disease is the most distressing?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has long been thought to be the mental ailment that causes the most acute emotional suffering and misery in people who suffer from it. According to research, borderline patients suffer from continuous and considerable emotional and mental anguish.




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