Even though depression is a very real and common problem, many people assume they have to have debilitating symptoms to get professional help.
However, this mood disorder can take various forms, and its symptoms can vary in severity from person to person. So, whether you experience a single episode of depression or ongoing symptoms over the years, it’s important to get expert care when you have sadness you can’t seem to shake.
Luciana Thompson, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, and the Compass Mental Health & Wellness team bring high-quality mental health and medical care to people in Houston. If you have persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness, here’s how they can help.
There’s a lot of stigma and misunderstanding surrounding depression. Unfortunately, that also keeps many people from getting help.
To start, there are several types of depression, and they each have different symptoms and causes, such as:
- Major depressive disorder (MDD): includes intense symptoms that interfere with daily life
- Bipolar depression: characterized by alternating periods of low and high moods
- Persistent depressive disorder: less severe than MDD, but symptoms typically last longer
- Atypical depression: a depressed mood that lifts in response to positive events
- Psychotic depression: involves delusions or hallucinations along with severe depressive symptoms
- Seasonal affective disorder: often seen in late fall and early winter
- Perinatal and postpartum depression: associated with pregnancy
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: occurs in the days or weeks leading up to menstruation
With so many types of depression, it’s essential to seek medical attention if you experience signs of this disorder, especially if they don’t go away.
Recognizing the signs of depression
People often assume that depression involves crying all the time. But, while that can be the case for some people, sometimes the symptoms of this mood disorder are more subtle.
In addition to feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or worry, common signs of depression include:
- Losing interest in things you once enjoyed
- Being easily frustrated, irritated, or angered
- Having problems remembering or concentrating
- Eating too little or too much
- Developing physical issues, such as stomachache, headache, or sexual dysfunction
- Experiencing changes in sleeping habits
Depression can also cause people to spend a lot of time thinking about death or hurting or killing themselves.
Getting help for depression
Everyone develops feelings of sadness from time to time. However, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact an expert if the feelings don’t seem to improve, especially if you have other signs of depression. This is a real condition that can require specialized treatment.
At Compass Mental Health & Wellness, our team knows firsthand that depression can affect people of all ages, from children to seniors. We also know it can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from brain chemistry, genetics, and hormonal imbalances to chronic illnesses and pain conditions. Even a history of trauma, poverty, and other environmental components can factor into depression. Fortunately, we can help.
If you have feelings of sadness you can’t shake, we can create a customized treatment protocol to ease your symptoms. It all starts with an evaluation in person or virtually, so we can reach a diagnosis. Then, we put together a comprehensive strategy tailored to your unique needs. For example, your plan could include one or more of the following:
- Lifestyle changes
- Exercise recommendations
- Nutritional counseling
- Sleep analysis
- Medication management, if necessary
We also work closely with you to help you learn to process your feelings in healthy ways. This approach can help you develop strategies to live a full and productive life.