What is Depression?

Feelings of sadness can impact everyone at different times in different ways. We all experience major life events, and while some feelings of sadness come and go, depression can be a lasting illness that impacts us both mentally and physically.

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home. 1 Some other side effects of depression include changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, loss of energy, increase in pacing, inability to sit still, handwringing, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty thinking and making decision, and thoughts of death or suicide. 1

Certain forms of depression develop under unique circumstances. These can include Persistent Depressive Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Psychotic Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Bipolar Depression. 2 Patients with persistent depressive disorder may experience symptoms of major depression lasting at least two years. Postpartum depression patients experience major depression both during and after pregnancy. Symptoms including extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion can make it difficult for new mothers to complete daily tasks for themselves and their babies.2 Psychotic Depression presents in patients as having depressive feelings as swell as some form of psychosis including delusions or hallucinations. Finally, Bipolar Depression patients experience extreme episodes of major depression and euphoric or irritable moods known as mania. 2

However, depression is amongst the most treatable mental disorders! Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. 1 New discoveries are being made every day, and these advances can lead to more avenues for effective treatment. For patients with treatment resistant depression, research is showing that Ketamine Infusion Therapy, Spravato, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) offer relief for depression symptoms through different mechanisms than traditional antidepressants. Now, genetic testing is an option to better understand patient interactions with behavioral health medications, bringing the era of personalized medicine to the mental health space.

Our Medical Director, Dr. Prashant Gajwani M.D. is involved in this research to advance psychiatric care options, and our practices located in Missouri City and Pearland offer these treatments! If you or your loved ones are experiencing major life events or symptoms of depression, know that help is just around the corner! Take your first step to heal by calling 281-778-9530 option 1.

Sources
1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression
2. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression