Signs You’re Struggling With Depression

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 264 million people suffer from depression across the globe. While most of us experience occasional feelings of sadness, when depression lingers, it may be time to visit a professional to evaluate and potentially improve your mental health. Dr. Mark Tanner and our compassionate team assess you for depression and other psychiatric conditions at Family Healthcare of Atlanta PC in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Signs of clinical depression

We evaluate you for clear signs of clinical depression, including:

Loss of interest in day-to-day tasks. This may simply mean it’s time to reevaluate your job or relationships. However, ongoing withdrawal from favorite hobbies or close friends may signal depression. Decreased sex drive and impotence, not brought about by physical issues or aging, could be further indications.

Overall hopelessness. Feeling hopeless remains a major sign of depression, especially without any causal event or reason. Worthlessness, misplaced guilt, and self-loathing may also indicate a need for help.

Mood swings. Your emotional life resembles a roller coaster, veering from angry outbursts to crying jags. This may be caused by depression or other psychological disorders, such as bipolar disorder.   

Altered relationship to food. If you’re not dieting, frequent ravenous hunger or loss of appetite, without any underlying health condition, may be a sign of ongoing depression.

Persistent thoughts of death or suicide. If these begin to dominate your thoughts, seek help now.

Restlessness and/or irritability. These feelings tend to increase when depressed.

Fatigue and sleep disturbances. If you previously felt rested after a good night’s sleep, yet now toss and turn, or feel fatigued even after a full night’s sleep without any physical explanation, you may suffer from depression.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, if you experience feelings of depression for more than two weeks at a time along with loss of interest in daily activities, plus underlying sleep, eating, or issues surrounding self-worth, you may suffer from major depression. Stop losing sleep worrying and let Dr. Tanner help you decide whether psychological or physical issues lie at the root of your problems. 

What happens during your evaluation?

Dr. Tanner and our caring team evaluate your mental health. We:

  1. Review your medical history
  2. Discuss any family history of mental health issues
  3. Assess your current physical and emotional symptoms

If our team suspects a medical condition may cause your symptoms, we recommend specific lab tests or exams. If we diagnose your condition as depression, we suggest an appropriate treatment plan.

Healing depression

According to one study, patients undergoing psychotherapy for depression experienced a lower rate of relapse (26.5%) than through medications alone (56.6%). Once we evaluate your condition, we may propose traditional treatments, such as:

You may also consider other techniques, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which employs a noninvasive device to influence your brain’s magnetic field, or vagus nerve stimulation, that targets a specific area that triggers depression in your brain, for more serious cases.

Lifestyle changes also help

Dr. Tanner provides a first line of defense when it comes to evaluating your condition. Certain lifestyle changes may help, as well, in addition to counseling and/or medication. Consider increasing:

Healthy foods. Exchange sugary treats with healthier options, including avocados, fresh fruit and green, leafy vegetables. Add more omega-3 from fatty fish, such as mackerel, trout, sardines, and salmon, which may boost serotonin levels in the brain.

Relationships. Maintain friendships and good family ties to improve overall well-being.

Exercise. Elevate your mood and increase serotonin, endorphins and other feel-good chemicals with just a few hours of aerobic exercise each week. Yoga and stretching may also improve your mental and physical health.

Sleep. Undisturbed sleep, usually from seven to nine hours a night, helps ward off depression. Turn off the television or mobile devices earlier to allow your body the chance to relax and settle into slumber. Depriving yourself from this healing respite can increase moodiness, irritability, and fatigue.

Don’t suffer in silence. If you experience any or all of these symptoms of depression, give us a call at 404-355-2000 or book an appointment online at Family Healthcare of Atlanta PC in Atlanta, Georgia today. 

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