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The Mood Disorder - Depression
At one point or another everyone experiences the feeling of being "down" or "blue." However, nearly 10% of all Americans experience a true, clinical depression, which impacts all aspects of a person's life including eating, sleeping, working, relationships, and self-esteem or self-confidence. A person who is experiencing major depression is incapable of willing away his or her negative thoughts without treatment. They are unable to simply "snap out of it."
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or hopelessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyed
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering details
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
Left untreated, depression can last for weeks, months, or even years. The good news is that 80-90% of those who seek help can feel better within a few weeks. A person who suspects they are suffering from depression should seek a complete diagnostic evaluation from their doctor. This evaluation will typically include a history of the person's symptoms, alcohol and drug use, related family health issues, as well as a mental evaluation to determine thought or memory patterns.
Which Kinds of Treatment Can Help Depression?
Once depression has been diagnosed, proper treatment can begin. Depending on the severity of a person's symptoms and the outcome of their evaluation, doctors may suggest psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both.
Psychotherapy generally consists of:
- Cognitive behavior therapy, which helps the patient recognize their negative thoughts and allows him or her to view challenging situations in a more effective way.
- Interpersonal therapy, which delves into the patient's present social roles and interpersonal interactions. The therapist will help the person identify the problem areas in their social life that may be affecting his or her depression and teach the person how to manage those concerns.
Medications can include:
- Anti-anxiety medications
We understand how hard it can be to cope with depression. Please call our office at 561-496-1281 or contact us online today. We are here to help.