Depression Treatment

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Depression

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Depression has plenty of nicknames – the blues, down in the dumps, etc. – and there is a good reason for our familiarity with it. Depression – medically termed as clinical depression or major depressive disorder – is the most common mental health problem both here in the United States and across the globe. In fact, approximately 17.3 million Americans – more than 7 percent of the adult population – are affected by depression. So, if you think or know you are suffering from depression, you are not alone.

And while many people can rebound from this issue, there are many other instances where medical diagnosis and treatment is required to regain a state of emotional wellbeing.

In fact, depression can be downright debilitating, even removing us from our enjoyment of life and inhibiting work and relationships. There is hope, however, in the form of targeted psychiatric evaluation and treatment. And Bridgepoint care providers have seen firsthand how traditional psychiatry can help address this common mental health issue. In fact, psychiatry has proven adept at helping depression patients to get their lives back on track.

female dealing with addiction

How Depression Works

You may only think of depression as a feeling of sadness or emptiness, maybe even hopelessness – and it is all those things – but it can be so much more. And depression can also induce a wide range of symptoms. Left untreated, these symptoms can come to dominate your life and lead to other issues and concerns, including substance abuse, relationship problems, work problems, heart disease, and even suicide.

You may also believe that depression is a result of a chemical imbalance, and certainly chemicals play a role. However, it is not as simple as having too much of one chemical or not enough of another. And depression can be triggered by several factors, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems or a combination of these factors.

Depression can also present in several forms that while sharing many symptoms are in fact distinct and are treated uniquely. These forms of depression include:

7 Types of Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety and depression have a lot in common. Many times they are interlinked and similar treatments can be used.

Anxiety

It is quite common for depression and anxiety to occur together – in fact it happens 75 percent of the time – so, many psychiatrists address anxiety as a form of depression. Anxiety can result in panic attacks (and fear of having anxiety or panic attacks), heightened muscle tension (headaches, sore muscles, hand tremor), occurrences of heart pounding, nausea, or dizziness, constant pessimism, persistent fears or phobias, conflict avoidance, excessive fear of being judged or scrutinized by others, or even present as physical tics such as obsessive biting of fingernails or picking at skin.

Pure Depression

This can present as a constant mild sadness (dysthymia) all the way to crippling major depression – during which it is difficult to even get out of bed. Symptoms include persistent sad or negative mood, loss of interest in activities, restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, or pessimism. Depression patients may also sleep too much or too little, experience appetite changes and/or weight loss or weight gain, complain of physical ailments such as headaches, digestive problems, or chronic pain, or even experience thoughts of death or suicide (including actual suicide attempts). Depression may even include simple difficulty in concentrating, remembering, or making decisions and a constant feeling of being dissatisfied or bored.

Mixed Anxiety/Depression

This combination will bring on a mix of the symptoms for anxiety and depression.

Over focused Anxiety/Depression

Patients suffering from this issue have trouble shifting attention and therefore obsess on negative thoughts or behaviors, as well as anxiety. This is often the definition of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other symptoms include phobias (irrational fears), eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), excessive or senseless worrying, anger when things do not happen as planned, tendency to oppose or argue, intense dislike for change, holding of grudges, inability to compromise.

Temporal Lobe Anxiety Depression

This condition occurs when there is too little or too much activity in the temporal lobes of the brain and includes symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as having a short fuse or extreme irritability, rage, spaciness or confusion, visual or auditory changes (seeing shadows or hearing muffled sounds), and déjà vu.

Cyclic Anxiety/Depression

Sufferers of this type of depression experience short periods of excessive activity in the brain that sort of hijack the brain and take over the personality. Cyclical issues include bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, premenstrual tension syndrome, and panic attacks. Sufferers may also experience the symptoms of depression or anxiety as well as abnormally elevated, depressed, or anxious moods, disrupted sleep patterns, grandiose notions, ideas or plans, increased talking or pressured speech, racing thoughts, increased energy, poor judgment and risky behavior, inappropriate social behavior, irritability or aggression, and delusional or psychotic thinking.

Unfocused Anxiety/Depression

This type of depression effects the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in addition to high activity in the basal ganglia and/or deep limbic system and causes sufferers to have a hard time focusing or staying on task. This can be easily mistreated or diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. It includes symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as trouble staying focused, spaciness, feeling overwhelmed, exhaustion, procrastination, chronic boredom, forgetfulness, unable to express feelings, a lack of empathy for others.

man attending psychotherapy session for drug addiction

How Traditional Psychiatry Works to Treat Depressiom

As you can see, depression can present a wide range of symptoms, and it is the psychiatrist’s job to diagnose and treat these symptoms, allowing the patient to recover a sense of normalcy and wellbeing. To do this, the psychiatrist must first rule out any potential medical problems that may also produce similar symptoms – issues such as thyroid disease, infections, medication side effects, hormone abnormalities or beyond.

The psychiatrist must also determine whether the patient is also suffering from other mental health conditions such as ADD/ADHD, psychosis, or addiction, as these conditions influence the most effective treatment plan.

Once an exhaustive examination of the patient’s mental health is established, the psychiatrist can begin to implement the treatment plan – which may include a wide range of approaches. These treatments include supportive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy and beyond. Medications can also be utilized – many of which are proven in the treatment of depression.

How Bridgepoint Works to Help You

Bridgepoint knows that there is no cookie cutter approach to mental health, and we tailor our healing approach to each individual patient. And while millions of Americans suffer from depression, we recognize that each case is different and requires an open-minded, versatile approach in order to get the most out of treatment.

That is why we are detail oriented and bring our wide range of experience and expertise to bear – to make sure that you get the therapy you require. And, in many cases, professional help is the only way to receive lasting relief.

Depression is not the result of a character flaw or personal weakness. And, left untreated, this mental health issue can ruin your life – it is the cause of most suicides in this nation (almost 2/3s by some studies). But even mild depression can lead to substance abuse or derail your work or personal life.

Get Help Today for Depression and Change Your Life

Bridgepoint clinicians understand the intricate and very real nature of depression and how best to address the changes that occur in patients suffering from this issue.

If you are concerned about depression, please do not hesitate to call our offices today and schedule an appointment with our caring professionals. We will ensure that you get the assistance and mental health support that you need. We can set up an in-office appointment or talk with you over a tele-health visit to get started.

Contact us at our offices in Smyrna between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 770-858-5377.

Visit Our Resources Page

Bridgepoint encourages clinicians, patients, and their loved ones to research new methodologies and techniques to improve mental health and wellbeing. To assist with your own learning, we’ve put together a variety of resources on a variety of topics – including genomics – to help you on your mental health journey.

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