Depression Management in Erie, PA
Depression is a common mood disorder that can cause serious symptoms in many individuals. These symptoms often make daily activities a difficult struggle and require proper diagnosis and treatment from a specialized physician like the ones at Community Health Net.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression in the Erie, PA area, contact Community Health Net to schedule an appointment. Give our office a call today at (814) 455-7222.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Many people generalize depression to be a lingering feeling of sadness, but depression can include many specific symptoms, such as:
- Loss of interest in enjoyed activities
- Feeling hopeless
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
- Intense fatigue
- Difficulty in remembering things or concentrating
- Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
- Fixating on life problems or past failures
- Increased irritability
- Feelings of guilt
- Sudden anger
- Slowed speech and/or body movements
- Changes in appetite
- Physical discomforts like back pain or recurring headaches
Not every individual will experience symptoms of depression in the same way. These unique variances may include several of the symptoms listed above, which may range in severity from one person to another. In order to be officially diagnosed with depression, an individual must experience symptoms consecutively for at least two weeks.
The Different Types of Depression
Depression can be characterized in several unique ways, including five primary forms of this disorder.
Many women experience mild depressive symptoms in the first few weeks after delivering a child, but postpartum depression is a more serious form of this common “baby blues.” Women with postpartum depression may experience symptoms of extreme sadness, fatigue, and anxiety while pregnant or soon after giving birth.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Also known as dysthymia, persistent depressive disorder is a mood disorder that lasts for a period of two years or more. During this length of time, individuals with persistent depressive disorder are likely to experience varying intensities in their symptoms, leading them to battle severe depression at some moments, and mild symptoms at others.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This particular subtype of depression causes depressive symptoms to frequently occur during winter months when less sunlight is available during the day. Symptoms typically subside or lessen as the months progress into spring and summer seasons, but are likely to return once winter approaches.
Psychotic depression can occur when a person experiences psychosis, which is usually caused by a deeply disturbing revelation or delusion. This serious condition is often associated with equally serious symptoms and should be treated as soon as possible.
Causes and Risk Factors
There is no exact cause of depression, and this mood disorder may arise at any age. Most often, depression is first diagnosed in early adulthood, and may be influenced by the following factors:
- Family history of depression
- Major trauma or personal stress
- Side effects of a medication
- Related medical problems or serious illness
Community Health Net’s Approach to Treating Depression
Just as symptoms can vary significantly in different people with depression, so too can recommended treatment options. Prescribed medications often provide relief, and may also be implemented in conjunction with behavioral therapy.
In order to determine what course of treatment is best for an individual, they must personally discuss their symptoms with a mental health specialist. Recommendations from your physician may also change later on if initial solutions begin to lose their effectiveness, or if the individual experiences sudden bouts of more severe symptoms. Fortunately, even these more drastic cases can be managed using professional care.