Depression is a mental health condition that is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, or stigmatized. Rather than just being a moment of sadness or grief, depression is a complicated condition affecting your mood and motivation.
Luckily, it is a highly treatable mental health condition with 80-90% of patients responding well to treatment and nearly all patients having some improvement. If you live in Kingwood or Shenandoah, Texas and you’re dealing with depression or other mental health problems, Dr. Athi P. Venkatesh and the medical team at Kingwood Psychiatry can help.
Many events in our lives can cause us to feel sad, unmotivated, or otherwise unhappy for a short time. However, major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, causes chronic feelings of loss and sadness, as well as a lack of motivation with daily tasks or a lack of interest in things you enjoy.
It can lead to severe symptoms that affect your daily functioning and cause you to feel generally miserable or unhappy without understanding why. Additionally, depression can make you feel isolated or alone.
However, it’s important to know that depression is common, with one in six adults in the U.S. (16 million people annually) experiencing depression at some point in their life. As one of the most common mental illnesses, this means that there are numerous treatment options as well as support groups available to help you.
Common symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and changes in eating habits and sleep patterns. You may also experience more tangible signs like headaches, stomachaches, or sexual dysfunction. Suicidal ideation can occur in severe cases of depression, which is a sign that you should seek help as soon as possible.
Many different factors can increase your risk of depression, such as medical conditions (diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease), medications, recreational drugs, alcohol, genetics, trauma, and abnormalities in brain chemistry. Some of these you can’t control, such as your genetics.
However, lifestyle changes can help reduce your symptoms and your risk of future depressive episodes. Speak to our team about reducing your alcohol or drug use, reviewing your medicines for any mood-altering side effects, and other lifestyle changes you can make.
When facing depression, it can be encouraging to know that there are a lot of successful treatment approaches including lifestyle changes, counseling, medications and brain stimulation therapies. If one approach isn’t working for you, there are usually others you can try.
Psychotherapy helps address causes of depression and teaches you coping mechanisms to manage it while antidepressants can help to reduce symptoms. Severe or treatment-resistant cases can also benefit from different types of brain stimulation therapy such as electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy.
Depression can be isolating and exhausting, preventing you from enjoying life. But there are treatments available, and we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Venkatesh and Kingwood Psychiatry today to feel better about yourself and get a brighter outlook on life.