Take the First Step in Conquering Depression
Depression has become a prevalent medical issue over the years, and it is an important part of any conversation with your physician. Whether depression is something you feel for a short time or a life-long problem, it can feel debilitating, keeping you from enjoying the things you love. It doesn’t have to stay this way, as there are many available treatments.
What Defines Clinical Depression?
Clinical depression is defined as a serious disease that affects the way a person lives everyday life such as work, relationships, sleep and diet. It is not just about feeling down or low. A person who is clinically depressed cannot find activities to make them feel better or forget about what they are going through. They experience an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and body that lead to a permanent state of sadness and hopelessness. There are many types of depression, and the diagnosis will depend on a person’s symptoms and personal experience.
Causes of Depression
The exact cause of depression is not pinpointed in every case. While it is known that depression involves a chemical imbalance, the reason for the development of these imbalances can vary. Both environmental and genetic factors can lead a person to develop some type of clinical depression. There are, however, risk factors which make a person more likely to suffer from depression such as:
- Being female
- Those with relatives suffering from clinical depression or other psychological disorders
- Being over 65
- Previous episode of feeling either manic or depressed
How to Bring it Up with your Doctor
There is often a stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses, making it uncomfortable to mention symptoms to your doctor. However, just like with pain or injury, it is key to discuss mental health concerns with your physician. If you have been feeling hopeless or sad or have experienced changes in food cravings or sleep cycles, you should consider the possibility you are suffering from depression. Try the following tips to ease the task of speaking to your doctor about depression:
- Choose a physician you are most comfortable with to confide in first, such as your primary care physician. Most often, these doctors are able to prescribe any medication needed.
- Have some talking points ready. If you need to write down your symptoms as you feel them to remember, then do so.
- Know that there are many diagnoses that involve depression, and it could take time to get to the right one.
- Do some research on treatments beforehand, and be ready to advocate for what you do and do not want.