A Look at Depression – The Fort Morgan Times

Did you know that one in ten adults suffers from depression?

Mental health issues are one of the most common reasons to see a doctor, but many people don’t know how mental illness is diagnosed or treated.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression is the most common type of mental illness and can affect people in different ways.

Most people with depression experience sadness, bad mood, frequent crying, hopelessness or hopelessness, while others may also notice a lack of emotions. These feelings usually occur more days than not and can make it harder for people to function.

People with depression may also experience weight changes, fatigue, slower speech, difficulty concentrating or remembering, loss of interest in their hobbies, getting too much or too little sleep, feeling anxious or feeling overly guilty.

Characteristics of depression include: hallucinations or thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or thoughts of hurting others. If you are feeling suicidal, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, immediately.

What causes depression?

While the exact cause of depression is unclear, many studies indicate that changes in brain structure and chemical balance contribute to depression. As such, depression is a medical illness.

It also causes changes throughout the body and can affect many systems in the body outside of the brain.

Depression is more common in young adults and the elderly, and is more common in women than in men. People with medical conditions are also more likely to develop depression.

Diagnostic

If you have any of the symptoms listed above or have any concerns about your mood, please see your primary care provider. Your doctor will take a detailed history and can give you a questionnaire to check the severity of your depression.

Many other mental health disorders have similarities to depression, including: bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD, and grief, so it’s important to tell your doctor as much as possible about your symptoms. You may also be evaluated for other medical conditions that can cause similar symptoms.

Treatment

There are many benefits to treating depression, including improved mood and energy, better daily functioning, and even improvements in medical conditions like heart disease.

In people with depression, chemicals in the brain are different from those in a healthy brain, which is why drug treatments aim to restore the brain’s chemical balance. There are several types of medications that can be used, and most depression medications are taken daily. If you need medication, your doctor will help you find medications that are right for you.

In addition to medication, many people with depression also benefit from counseling (also called therapy) with a behavioral health specialist, such as a counselor or psychologist.

For people with more severe depression, counseling and drug treatment may be needed.

Depression can last a lifetime, but can also go away within months or years. People suffering from depression should therefore make sure to consult their medical team regularly.

Colorado Plains Medical Center, in collaboration with community health care partners, such as the Salud Family Health Center, is proud to partner with the Fort Morgan Times to bring relevant, health-related information and awareness to communities. that we serve. Please search for our articles in the Fort Morgan Times bi-weekly.

Dr Claire Bovet is a family physician at the Salud Family Health Center.

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