Depression Diagnosis and Treatment

Depression alters how you feel, think and act during your daily activities at home and work. It may hinder or otherwise impact your ability to eat, sleep, work, study or relate with others. Going through the day becomes tough and even overwhelming.

When depression disorders set in, there’s a constant expectation that a sudden mishap or problem will arise. It may also be marked by a feeling of emptiness, lifelessness and apathy. However, you can get your depression treated before it becomes more serious. No matter how helpless or hopeless you feel now, you can still get better with the right treatment.

At Advanced Psychiatry Associates, we provide comprehensive treatment for depression and other mental health issues. If you live in California, you can visit our mental health facility for a full evaluation of your condition. When you understand the cause of your depression and you recognize the signs, you’re on your way to feeling better and overcoming the problem.

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What’s the Difference Between Depression and Anxiety?

Depression and anxiety can overlap, but they are not the same. Anxiety can be described as a constant state of worry. It’s normal to feel worried and fearful occasionally, but anxiety goes beyond average levels. It can take over someone’s life, stopping them from doing what they love.

Depression is a feeling of extreme sadness and apathy. Those with depression often feel like they are weighed down by a dark shadow, causing hopelessness and lethargy. Depression can start following a traumatic experience, the loss of a loved one or even a medical cause like genetics or puberty.
Doctor Treatment Man for Depression

These mental struggles can influence each other — this is where they overlap and are often co-morbid. In most experiences, depression can occur following extended periods of anxiety, as the constant worry becomes too much and influences a person to stay where they’re safe — often alone inside their house.

Types of Depression

The overarching category of depression can take on different forms, usually due to varying events that initiate its symptoms. Some of these include:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD): MDD is diagnosed if you feel depressed most of the time for most of the days in a week, in addition to experiencing at least four other diagnostic criteria within a two-week period.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): SAD is a period of MDD within the colder months with little to no sunlight. It can resolve itself in the spring and summer.
  • Major depressive disorder with psychotic symptoms: Those experiencing this disorder will have MDD symptoms alongside hallucinations, paranoia and delusions.
  • Postpartum depression: Women can experience postpartum depression in the weeks and months following the birth of their child.

Most Common Symptoms and Side Effects of Depression

Depression presents differently in each person, but there are common signs. Some symptoms are a part of everyday life, which is why many people don’t recognize they have depression until after it’s treated. However, if you notice these physical and mental health symptoms persisting, you may have depression:

  • Abnormal sleep: Having difficulty sleeping (insomnia), waking up long before dawn or sleeping excessively
  • Impulsivity or restlessness: Feeling restless or making impulsive decisions frequently
  • Persistent anger: Agitation, mood swings, lashing out and violent behavior
  • Feelings of hopelessness: Having a feeling that things will not get improve and you can’t do anything to make the situation better
  • Lack of energy: Feeling weak, sluggish and worn out. You find it difficult to move your body, and carrying out little tasks leaves you exhausted
  • Reckless behavior: Excessive gambling, substance abuse or other high-risk activities
  • Poor concentration: Getting distracted easily or inexplainable memory loss
  • Increased aches and pains: Having pains in different parts of the body like the head, stomach, back and limbs

Depression symptoms also break down into age groups:

  • Children: For children, depression is uncommon but still possible. It’s exhibited through a loss of interest in favorite activities, changed eating habits, clinginess or avoidance of school.
  • Teens: Teens can show depression differently, such as through experiencing extreme mood changes, lashing out, sleeping too much or engaging in harmful behaviors.
  • Adults: As adulthood begins, individuals can develop depression due to major changes. Midlife adults are often under financial stress, isolation and many responsibilities. Both stages of life can influence isolation as a coping technique.
  • Elderly people: As individuals grow older, they can become depressed due to physical limitations and health problems. They may also self-isolate following the loss of a loved one. Some health medications can also influence depressive symptoms.

What Are the Treatment Options for Clinical Depression?

Depression is often initiated by a trauma, medical condition or another mental health struggle. Whatever the cause, treatment can help address the root issue, offering a much more effective and positive outcome.

Natural Remedies

If depressive symptoms are mild, doctors will often offer natural remedies to try at home. These can include:

  • Herbal products: St. John’s wort is a medicinal herb often used for moderate depression. However, consult a medical professional before taking it, as it can interact with other medications.
  • Relaxation techniques: Progressive muscle relaxation, music therapy and yoga are effective depression treatments.
  • Exercise: Many people find that moving their bodies can stimulate endorphins and influence mood boosting.

Medical Intervention

There are two main medical treatment options for clinical depression: medication and therapy. Therapy involves using psychology and personal interaction to change a patient’s behavior. Medication can help correct chemical imbalances that may cause or contribute to severe depressive feelings.

Using medicine and therapy together yields a higher rate of improvement than when used alone, especially with chronic depression.

A wide range of antidepressant medications is available for treating depression. Often, a patient will try multiple medications before finding one that works, but patience is necessary. The effectiveness of antidepressants also depends on improving sleep and appetite, which can heavily influence well-being.

Therapy and counseling can help you develop resiliency, leading to a better view of yourself. Since self-imposed negative views mark depression, you can learn to develop more positive thought patterns through therapy. Therapy also helps reduce signs of depression by improving your relationships with others.

Psychiatric Diagnosis and Treatment for Depression

The most effective way to overcome depression and manage your mood is to consult a mental health professional. Even before you decide to make lifestyle changes and do other purposeful things to manage your moods, you should make an appointment to see a specialist and get a detailed psychiatric diagnosis for depression.

At Advanced Psychiatric Associates, we offer you a thorough checkup at our facility. Our diagnosis includes thorough examinations and tests carried out at our on-site lab and a thorough mental health evaluation. Depression will only stop when underlying health issues are diagnosed and treated.

During diagnosis, we’ll ask you several questions about your symptoms and health history. You’ll need to complete a questionnaire to provide more information about your condition. We will conduct medical tests to be sure that your depression isn’t the result of poor nutrition, hormone levels, drug reactions or substance use. These results can help us develop your personalized treatment plan for depression.

Contact Advanced Psychiatry Associates to Schedule an Appointment

If you’re looking for where to get depression treatment or talk to a professional in Northern or Southern CA, visit Advanced Psychiatry Associates. We’re a one-stop mental health facility that provides therapy, testing, diagnosis and treatment on-site for a wide range of mental health conditions.

We have multiple individualized treatment centers for teenage depression starting from 14 years of age. We also make it easy for you to pay for treatment by accepting major insurance providers, including HMOs, Medicare and workers’ compensation plans. We also accept cash.

To learn more about treatment for depression, addiction or any other mental health issue, complete our contact form or use the live chat feature. We’ll help you find a treatment plan starting today.

“I’ve been going here over a year now. I’ve always been treated professionally. Everyone is so nice. My clinicians are courteous and caring. Everyone I’ve dealt with has treated me respectfully while I’ve been learning to deal with my diagnoses. Highly recommend this office!”

- KIM K.