Depression Treatment Specialist Questions and Answers
Mental health is an incredibly important aspect of our everyday lives; it affects how we interact with others, how we manage our thoughts and feelings, and how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. The most common mental health disorder is depression, affecting more than 264 million people across the world. Although depression can be hard to live with, it usually responds well to treatment.
What is depression?
Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD), is a mood disorder characterized by a constant feeling of sadness or lack of interest in life. While it is a normal part of life to feel sad or depressed at times, when intense sadness—including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless—lasts for many days to weeks and interferes with everyday life, it may be something more than sadness. Clinical depression is a treatable medical condition that often responds well to treatments and therapies. Depression can often be caused by a medical condition, for which treatment would include addressing the underlying cause of the condition.
How Is Depression Diagnosed?
There are several tests, exams and evaluations that can help diagnose depression, including:
- Physical Exam: A doctor may perform a physical exam and ask questions about the patient’s general health and quality of life. In some cases, depression may be linked to an underlying physical health problem, which can be identified through a physical exam.
- Lab Tests: Several lab tests can diagnose physical causes for depression, such as a blood test called a complete blood count or a thyroid function test, to make sure it is functioning properly.
- Psychiatric Evaluation: Another common way to diagnose depression is through a psychiatric evaluation. A mental health professional will ask the patient about their symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavioral patterns. They may ask the patient to fill out a questionnaire to help answer these questions.
- DSM-5: A mental health professional may use the criteria for depression listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which includes the following criteria:
- Depressed most of the day
- Marked diminishment of interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, of activities that were previously enjoyable
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
- Fatigue/loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate
- Recurrent thoughts of death
What Are the Treatments for Depression?
There are two main treatments for depression, therapy and medications, and both have a variety of options depending on the situation and severity of the condition.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including:
- citalopram (Celexa)
- escitalopram (Lexapro)
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
- vilazodone (Viibryd)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including:
- duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
- desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla)
- levomilnacipran (Fetzima)
- Atypical antidepressants, such as:
- bupropion (Wellbutrin XL, Wellbutrin SR, Forfivo XL)
- mirtazapine (Remeron)
- vortioxetine (Trintellix)
- Tricyclic antidepressants, such as:
- imipramine (Tofranil)
- nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- trimipramine (Surmontil)
- desipramine (Norpramin)
- protriptyline (Vivactil)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including:
- tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- phenelzine (Nardil)
- isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- Selegiline (Emsam)
- Behavioral Therapy
- Cognitive Therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
- Psychodynamic Therapy
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, come to Family First Medical Group for professional care. Our medical specialists are experienced in treating depression and can help you overcome this condition using a variety of effective treatments. Call us today to book an appointment for depression treatment, or visit one of our two convenient locations in Evergreen Park, IL, or Mokena, IL. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Evergreen Park IL, Mokena IL, Oak Lawn IL, Hickory Hills IL, Chicago Ridge IL, Bridgeview IL, Bedford Park IL as well as many other areas in the Chicagoland Region.