We can significantly reduce the negative impact of Depression
What is Depression?
Everyone can have times in their life when they have a “down” day or feel “blue”. During difficult times, it’s normal to feel some sadness, discouragement, or grief. During stressful times, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed about taking care of all the things that need your time, energy and focus. When these feelings are transitory, they can diminish over time. If after a few weeks, someone tells you just to “snap out of it” and you can’t, you may be experiencing some depression. It’s time to reach out and get help.
What are some types of Depression?
There are several types of depression which vary in the number of symptoms, the severity of the symptoms, and the duration of the symptoms. Many people who come to my office experience either Major Depressive Disorder or Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia). The main symptom of Major Depressive Disorder is feeling depressed and losing pleasure in nearly all facets or your life. This type of depression can happen once in your lifetime or be a recurring event. The main symptom of a Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) is feeling depressed for most days over a two-year span. Depression can run in families but the severity of symptoms depends on the individual.
How does Depression Feel?
Depression can zap the life out of you. It can be debilitating. You can feel sad, angry, empty, hopeless, helpless, and irritable. There may be a noticeable change in appetite, loss of energy, sleeplessness or wanting to sleep all the time. Feeling worthless or having excessive guilt can be signs of depression. You may also experience some difficulty concentrating, remembering things or making decisions. Withdrawal from family and friends can be another sign that a person is depressed. Some physical symptoms can include headaches, aches and pains, or digestive problems. The most serious symptom is recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
At our first meeting, we will review forms completed by you indicating your symptoms and how depression is impacting your life. Treatment depends on the type of depression being treated. After my clinical assessment, I will develop a comprehensive treatment plan. It’s important for me to rule out other conditions that may have depression-like side effects. You will be asked if there is a history of substance use and what medications you are taking. You will also be asked If you are being treated for a medical condition. Some kinds of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes or stroke, can have depression-related side effects. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, I may recommend an evaluation by an M.D. for anti-depressant medication. Through therapy, you will learn to become proactive in symptom relief. The plan identifies symptoms and coping strategies to reduce the negative impact of the symptoms. You will learn to reinforce positive, reality-based thoughts and increase your feeling of well-being. With the proper treatment, many people go on to lead a life with a deep sense of fulfillment and psychological health.