Blog Post

31 October 2016

Catching the Early Signs of Depression

Depression is a varying and difficult disorder. It can stem from a variety of factors and might strike more than once in a person’s life. Major depressive disorder affects more than 15 million American adults in a given year and can take a while to see results through the right treatment. If you’re suffering from depression, you’re not alone. Family Psychiatry of North Jersey is here to listen and help you through even your darkest hours. We can help you no matter the severity, frequency or duration of depressive symptoms you’re experiencing. Help is here.

When you have depression, odds are good that you may also be suffering from anxiety or vice versa. From mild to severe depression, we are here to help you find your way to happiness and reduce the chances that these feelings will come back. You might feel alone, isolated, untreatable—and those feelings might become worse the more alone you feel. Most people will feel depressed, i.e., sad, unmotivated or discouraged, at least once in their lifetime. However, if these feelings last for more than two weeks and start taking over by affecting your day-to-day life, it’s time to come to the safe and confidential space of Family Psychiatry of North Jersey. See what it feels like to love life again.

What Is Depression and Where Does It Come From?

Depression can be spurred by many events or feelings. Sometimes it may seem like it comes on from nowhere at all. This is because depression is a complex problem and isn’t just a black-and-white matter. And treating depression isn’t as simple as taking a pill to cure a headache. Your depression might be caused by a chemical imbalance, major stressful life events, medications, genetic vulnerability or a combination of these factors.

Depression is still being deeply studied. While it’s known that genetic factors play a large role in developing depression, there isn’t necessarily one or several genes to blame and treat specifically. Genetic factors combined with environmental factors are most likely to spur depression. As depression continues to be studied, the biology of depression is going to be better understood. This type of intensive study will benefit everyone who suffers from different types of depression, which may include:

Major depression (or clinical depression):  

Disabling depression that interferes with your ability to eat, work, socialize and sleep. This type of depression brings on several symptoms of depression and lasts for longer than two weeks.

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD):

This type of depression usually continues for at least two years and while the symptoms may be less severe than those of major depression, they often overlap. Someone with PDD may feel constantly tired, have a low appetite, feel pessimistic and could be exhibiting constant stress or irritability.

Bipolar disorder:

This form of depression is known by its periods of extreme highs and happiness to periods of extreme lows and depression. This shift in emotion can happen gradually or abruptly, and depressive mood swings can often leave you feeling similar symptoms to manic depression.  

Early Signs of Depression

The signs of depression may vary from person to person as this mood disorder is so complex. Not everyone with depression may experience the same feelings and symptoms. You might feel different types of “lows,” experience different durations of depression and feel these symptoms at different frequencies. However, if you think you or someone you know is experiencing depression, some signs and symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Hopelessness and pessimism
  • Feeling of worthlessness or helplessness
  • Increased fatigue, low energy, no motivation
  • Eating too much or too little
  • “Cloudy” thinking and head
  • Indecisiveness
  • Reliance on alcohol or drugs
  • Closed in or antisocial behavior
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Sleeping problems
  • Feeling sick and run down
  • Thinking or talking about committing suicide

You might be feeling one or more of these symptoms for weeks to months to years, which means you could seek help to ditch these feelings and get on the road to feeling a sense of happiness and equilibrium.

What to Do to Help Treat Depression

Once you’ve recognized your symptoms of depression, the next step is seeking help. By coming to experienced and caring psychiatrists like Dr. Miller, you are taking the first step toward taking back control of your life. Once you meet with her, she’ll listen to your symptoms, feelings and history to learn where the depression may be coming from. You may even undergo a physical exam or lab tests to find out if your depression is stemming from a medical condition that needs assistance. This personal relationship founded on trust and empathy is one that will help decide the best treatment for your depression.

Treatment for depression varies from person to person, and we will never apply a “one size fits all” treatment to our clients. The most common treatment includes a steady combination of medication and psychotherapy, or talk therapy. If your depression is mild to moderate in severity, psychotherapy may be your best path of treatment, however, severe or persistent depression may also benefit from medications like antidepressants. Antidepressants primarily help your brain’s chemicals, or neurotransmitters, like serotonin. Serotonin is crucial to your brain’s ability to relay messages from one area of the brain to another, which affects your ability to regulate moods.

Once you start receiving the help you’ve been searching for, you’ll slowly find you’re able to take back control of your life instead of living with depression looming over you. You could feel happier and like your emotions are more stabilized instead of fleeting.

Get the Help You Need with Depression Now

When enough is enough with depression, come to Family Psychiatry of North Jersey. Dr. Miller will be able to help treat your mild, moderate or severe depression. Almost all depression is treatable with time and the right plan in place. Let’s start your treatment today so you can start feeling better tomorrow. Get in touch with us and let’s start talking.