4 Questions to Ask Your Psychiatrist about Depression
If you, or a loved one, have questions or concerns about depression, visit Success Health System. Our board-certified psychiatrist is here to answer your concerns. Call us today for more information or schedule an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve you in Columbia MO, Olathe KS and West Plains MO.
The stigma surrounding mental illness, and depression in particular, is still very much a problem in today’s society and it is believed that more than half of those with mental illness do not seek help because of their fear of being discriminated against. Stigma, discrimination or prejudice stem from fear or a lack of understanding, so it is important that we educate ourselves in these areas for both our own benefit and that of society as a whole.
What Is Depression?
Depression is also known as Major Depressive Disorder and is a serious medical illness that negatively impacts a person’s life in the way they feel, think and act. It causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest in things that were once enjoyed and, if left untreated, can have a severely detrimental effect on one’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Depression affects approximately one in 15 adults in any given year, and it is estimated that one in six people will experience the illness at some point in their life. Depression can occur at any time, but the average age tends to be in the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression, and some studies have shown that one-third of women are likely to experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.
The good news is that depression is among the most treatable of mental illnesses, and medication can help someone who is experiencing depressive symptoms. These drugs, called anti-depressants, may be prescribed to help modify a person’s brain chemistry as it is believed that a chemical imbalance in the brain can play a part in depression. Patients are generally recommended to continue taking the medication for a least six months after symptoms improve, and between 80% and 90% of patients will eventually respond well to treatment.
What are the Symptoms of Depression?
Symptoms of depression can vary from mild to moderate to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or blue
- Losing interest or pleasure in something that was once enjoyed
- Gaining or losing weight that isn’t related to dieting
- Having difficulties in sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feeling more fatigued and having less energy
- Increase in unnecessary physical activities, such as pacing or being unable to sit still
- Having feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Finding it difficult to think, concentrate or make decisions
- Having suicidal thoughts or ideations
In order for a diagnosis of depression to be reached the symptoms must continue for at least two weeks and must demonstrate a change in the level of functioning.
What Causes Depression?
Depression can affect anyone, even someone who, on the surface, may appear to be living a happy and fulfilled life, and there are several factors that can play a part:
- Biochemistry: Imbalances in certain brain chemicals may contribute to depressive symptoms.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families; there is an estimated 40% increase in the likelihood of a person having depression if their parents, children or siblings have the illness.
- Personality: People with a generally pessimistic outlook on life, have a low stress tolerance or suffer from low self-esteem are more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Being continually exposed to violence, abuse, neglect or poverty could make some people more vulnerable to depression.
What help is available for depression at Success Health System?
Success Health System offers services for many mental health disorders, including depression. Our board-certified psychiatrist, Dr Moses Tabe Ambilichu, also specializes in psychiatric medication management and telepsychiatry, and treats people of all ages, from children through to seniors. Together with his experienced team of medical professionals you can be sure to receive the compassionate, individually tailored and cost-effective care that you deserve, all the while being treated with respect and without judgment.
If you, or a loved one, have questions or concerns about depression, call Success Health System today, or schedule an appointment online. We offer treatment options for anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), depression, substance abuse and more. We have convenient locations in West Plains MO, Columbia MO, and Olathe KS, and serve patients from Olathe KS, Columbia MO, West Plains MO, Harg MO, Prathers Ville MO, Midway MO, New Century KS, Olathe KS, Overland Park KS, Carson MO, Pomona MO, and Potters Ville MO.