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Depression: Everything You Should Know

What is Depression?

Depression is a common mental disorder affecting more than 264 million people worldwide. It can cause severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is a leading cause of disability around the world. The effects of depression can be long-lasting and can greatly affect a person’s ability to function and live a rewarding life.

Depression is experienced in different ways. It can interfere with daily work, relationships and even cause some chronic health conditions to worsen. Conditions that can get worse due to depression include: Arthritis, Asthma, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer.

Common Symptoms:

  • Mood: anger, restlessness, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, mood swings, crying
  • Emotional State: intense sadness, feeling incompetent, thoughts of suicide
  • Cognitive: difficulty concentrating and completing tasks, thinking or talking too slowly, delayed responses during conversations, declining in work or school, relationship problems
  • Sleep Habits: insomnia, excessive sleepiness, not sleeping throughout the night, sleeping too much
  • Physical: decreased energy, changes in appetite, weight changes, fatigue, digestive problems, headaches, pains, self harm, substance abuse

Causes of Depression:

There are many possible causes of depression. Here are a few of the common causes:

  • Family History: You have an increased risk for developing depression if you have a family member who suffers from depression or another mood disorder.
  • Drug Use: Approximately 21 percent of people who struggle with a substance abuse problem, also have depression. This includes both alcohol and drug misuse.
  • Early Childhood Trauma: Traumatic events experienced as a young child can affect the way our bodies react to stressful situations.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions such as insomnia, chronic pain, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can place one at a higher risk for developing depression.
  • Poor Self Image
  • Personal history of mental illness
  • In many cases, a cause might not be able to be determined.

Diagnosis & Treatment:

To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. Please keep in mind that feeling sad and down at times is a completely normal part of our lives. However, if you are feeling sadness and hopelessness on a regular basis, you might be struggling with depression. Depression can get worse if left untreated, so it is important to recognize symptoms and seek proper treatment in a timely manner.

There is no single test utilized to diagnose depression, however your healthcare provider can make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and a series of questions during a psychological evaluation. Questions can pertain to mood, activity level, appetite, sleep, and daily thoughts.

Being diagnosed and living with depression can be difficult, but treatments are available that can dramatically improve your quality of life. Your healthcare provider can help you to explore treatment options that can help you to successfully manage your symptoms.

At Blue Sky MD Health, we care for everything from common illnesses to chronic diseases and mental health concerns. If you think you might be struggling with depression, please Make An Appointment with us today. We are highly trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat mental health disorders. We are also available to obtain referrals for experienced mental health counselors. Rest assure that we take the time to listen to you, respect your opinion, and care for you as a whole person. We are accepting new patients and same or next-day appointments are available for urgent needs.

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