Depression is categorized as a mental illness with extreme feelings of sadness, low self-worth and hopelessness. Depression may be acute, chronic, or recurring. Those who suffer from depression describe themselves as feeling “empty” and find difficulty doing daily activities such as laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning. Living with depression is a difficult ordeal, and a proper diagnosis is required before starting treatment.
Depression, whether acute or chronic, involves the entire body. It affects mood and thoughts as well as the physical body, such as causing fatigue and weakness. Depression can interfere with how you sleep, eat, work and live altogether. Depression cycles can last for weeks or months, or even years.
Causes of Depression
While there is no determinate cause for depression, there are many instances that may promote it. For instance, some types of depression may run in the family. This could be due to genetics, or the environment. Other times, depression develops from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain left untreated. Additionally, life events such as trauma, stress, grief, and loss left untreated may develop into depression and prevent a full recovery.
However, there doesn’t have to be a “cause” for depression. In some instances, depression may develop seemingly out of nowhere, despite how well the person is doing. Our brains produce chemicals that dictate our mood, and our brains aren’t perfect. Because those suffering from depression are at risk of suicide, it’s very important to seek help from a psychiatrist before symptoms persist or get worse.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
There are varying signs and symptoms of depression, with some being obvious and others subtle. While anyone can feel sad, sadness related to depression persists much longer than normal. If feelings of sadness persist for more than a few weeks, it’s best to seek healthcare and a proper diagnosis. Some common symptoms of depressive sadness include:
Abnormally long periods of sadness
Not being able to enjoy life
Constantly feeling blue
As mentioned earlier, depression affects the physical body as well as the mind. Those suffering depression may experience sudden weight loss or weight gain, loss of energy, and chronic fatigue—despite sleeping long hours. Common physical symptoms of depression include sleeping for abnormally long periods of time or not being able to sleep (insomnia), body aches and pains and fidgeting hands.
Depression causes the individual to find difficulty doing simple tasks such as bathing, dressing, cleaning or washing and leads to low self-esteem. This in turn affects not only their personal lives and wellbeing but their family, work, and sex lives. Some common physical symptoms of depression include:
Changes in sleep patterns
Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
Chronic fatigue and low energy levels
Depression left untreated may eventually lead to additional conditions and a worse outcome. For instance, chronic depression may result in anxiety or even hallucinations. This is because severe depression leads to false beliefs and delusions, which can result in paranoia or constant fear. If left untreated, it can grow worse and worse.
One characteristic of depression is constantly thinking negative thoughts about the past and present. This may include events, people they know, their jobs, or even their worldview. Depression is a mental illness that not only occupies the mind, but the entire body.
At Molina Psychiatry, we take depression very seriously and make the right diagnosis in order to begin treatment. Because each patient is different, Dr. Molina’s individual approach is different. After a thorough examination, Dr. Molina will make a diagnosis and lay out the appropriate treatment plan. Treatments for depression include medication and psychiatric counseling. For severe cases, additional treatments may be beneficial. After starting treatment, symptoms of depression begin to improve within a matter of weeks.
Dr. Molina has over 25 years of treating patients with mental conditions and illnesses, and specializes in depression. At Molina Psychiatry, we understand that every individual is different. Our unique approach to each individual allows us to treat depression at its core and promote quality of life.
If you believe you may have depression, call our office today. With the right diagnosis, we can get started with treatment—and you can get back to your life.
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Molina Psychiatric Associates, P.A.
2485 E. Southlake Blvd.,
Southlake, Texas 76092
Monday-Thursday: 7am - 4pm