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8 hours $7.98
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20 hours $5.98
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Depression: An Integrative Approach

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the different forms of depressive disorders, pathophysiology, symptoms, and diagnosis as well as the conventional and integrative treatment approaches for depression.
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Depression is one of the most serious and costly health care problems facing the United States today. It is one of the most common types of mental disorders. Depression interferes with an individual's daily life, normal functioning, and may cause emotional pain for the individual with the disorder and family and friends. Although depression is a common but serious mental illness, with treatment depressive symptoms can be alleviated.

An audio reading of the content is available for this course

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Differentiate between the different forms of depressive disorders.
  • Discuss the pathophysiology of depression.
  • Compare gender and age differences in depression.
  • Describe the relationship between sleep and depression.
  • Identify the symptoms of depression.
  • Describe the criteria for diagnosis of depression.
  • Identify the differential diagnoses of depressive disorders.
  • Examine conventional treatment approaches for depression.
  • Examine integrative treatment approaches for depression.

Affecting more than 20 million adults in the United States, depression has reached epidemic proportions. While medication is often the first avenue of therapy used for those who are depressed, new evidence shows that integrative, holistic methods of treatment may provide effective ways to reduce the symptoms of depression.

Occasionally, everyone feels sad or “blue,” but these feelings usually pass within a couple of days. However, when a person has a depressive disorder, the symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years. These symptoms interfere with daily life and normal function and cause pain for both the person with the disorder and those who are involved with him or her. Depression affects people worldwide and occurs in all age groups, social classes, and cultures.

Different Forms of Depressive Disorders

There are several forms of depressive disorder, with major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder being the most common (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2017):

  • Major depressive disorder, also known as major depression or unipolar depression, is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with an individual’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy activities that were once pleasurable. A major depressive episode may only occur once in an individual’s lifetime, or it can recur throughout the individual’s life.
  • Dysthymic disorder is characterized by long-term (2 years or more) depression but with less severe symptoms than major depressive disorder. Dysthymic disorder may not disable a person but can prevent the individual from functioning normally or feeling well. Individuals may also experience one or more episodes of major depression during their life.

Some forms of depressive disorder may have slightly different characteristics than those described above, or they may develop under different circumstances. There are differing professional opinions about how to characterize and define these forms of depression. They include the following (NIMH, 2017):

  • Psychotic depression occurs when a severe depressive disorder is accompanied by some form of psychosis (e.g., a break with reality, hallucinations, and delusions).
  • Postpartum depression is diagnosed if a new mother develops a major depressive episode within 1 month after delivery. Approximately 10% to 15% of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is characterized by the onset of a depressive episode during the winter months, when there is less exposure to sunlight. This type of depression usually subsides during spring and summer. SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy, but approximately half of those with SAD do not respond to light therapy alone and need antidepressant medication and psychotherapy to reduce symptoms.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists
Course Expires:

July 11, 2020

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.