Treatment

Depression

 

What Is Depression?

 

Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.

 

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.

 

There are several forms of depressive disorders.

 

Major depression: Severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes.

 

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances. They include:

  • Postpartum depression, which is much more serious than the "baby blues" that many women experience after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.

  • Psychotic depression, which occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations).

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer. SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy, but nearly half of those with SAD do not get better with light therapy alone. Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy can reduce SAD symptoms, either alone or in combination with light therapy.

 

Bipolar Disorder: also called manic-depressive illness, is not as common as major depression or persistent depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes—from extreme highs (e.g., mania) to extreme lows (e.g., depression).

 

Causes

 

Most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

 

Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. Brain-imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have shown that the brains of people who have depression look different than those of people without depression. The parts of the brain involved in mood, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior appear different. But these images do not reveal why the depression has occurred. They also cannot be used to diagnose depression.

 

Some types of depression tend to run in families. However, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression too. Scientists are studying certain genes that may make some people more prone to depression. Some genetics research indicates that risk for depression results from the influence of several genes acting together with environmental or other factors. In addition, trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Other depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.

 

Signs & Symptoms

 

"It was really hard to get out of bed in the morning. I just wanted to hide under the covers and not talk to anyone. I didn't feel much like eating and I lost a lot of weight. Nothing seemed fun anymore. I was tired all the time, and I wasn't sleeping well at night. But I knew I had to keep going because I've got kids and a job. It just felt so impossible, like nothing was going to change or get better."

 

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

 

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings

  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

  • Irritability, restlessness

  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

  • Fatigue and decreased energy

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions

  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

  • Overeating, or appetite loss

  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.


 

 

 

5012 Chesebro Road

Suite 200

(424)284.2440

91301

490 Post St

Suites 939, 1043 & 1100

(415)296.5290

94102

8641 Wilshire Blvd

Suite 220

(424)284.2440

90211

1050 Northgate Dr

Suites 550 & 570

(415)296.5290

94903

533 Airport Blvd

Suite 453

(415)296.5290

94010

2428 Santa Monica Blvd

Suite 208

(424)284.2440

90404

1127 Wilshire Blvd

Suite 202

(424)284.2440

90017

2970 Camino Diablo

Suites 100 & 300

(925)360.5264

94597

8950 Villa La Jolla Drive

Suite A109

(424)284.2440

92037

6200 Wilshire Blvd

Suites 801, 1010 & 1410

(424)284.2440

90048

100 Howe Ave

Suite 220N

(916)538.5100

95825

© 2018 by PCPA, Inc.