Depression is much more than merely “getting the blues.” Depression can be crushing, disabling and exhausting—making it extremely difficult to complete tasks of day-to-day living. It takes all the enjoyment out of life. We have helped thousands of Raleigh residents overcome the grip of depression through supportive counseling, psychotherapy, lifestyle interventions, and medication.
What Is Depression?
While everyone gets sad from time to time, there is a huge difference between being sad and being depressed. For example, sadness is usually tied to a certain event or situation that “triggers” the feeling temporarily. However, with an episode of clinical depression, the cause of an episode can be less clear, and feelings of hopelessness, apathy, or sadness are both more persistent and accompanied by more “physical” symptoms like appetite and sleep changes. Depression—also called clinical or major depression—can include symptoms like:
- Long periods of tearfulness
- Hopelessness, even when there is no precipitating factor
- Outbursts of frustration or anger
- Loss of interest in activities that used to give pleasure
- Sleep issues, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
- Loss of appetite or excessive appetite
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Extreme difficulty concentrating
- Unexplained physical pain
- Frequent suicidal thoughts, or even suicide attempts
What Causes Depression?
The causes are actually fairly complex and can be influenced by several factors. Primarily, depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be influenced by genetics. The causes can be complex and involve many factors. At the biological level, a depressed brain often shows changes in brain chemicals or “neurotransmitters”, patterns of electrical activity, inflammation, and hormone activity. Psychological stress, social stress and even medical illness can precipitate or prolong a depressive episode, and genetics partially determines an individual person’s susceptibility to having depressive episodes.
How Do I Know If I Have Depression?
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you could be depressed.
- Are you depressed most of the day, nearly every day?
- Have you lost pleasure in all (or almost all) activities most of the day, every day?
- Have you experienced slow thinking and reduced physical movement to the point that it is noticeable by others?
- Do you have extreme fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day?
- Do you have feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt nearly every day?
- Do you have an inability to concentrate nearly every day?
- Do you have recurrent thoughts of death or suicide?
If you have depression, it’s important to know that you are not alone. More than 17 million Americans – or over 7 percent of the population—have had at least one major depressive episode.
How Is Depression Treated?
The good news is most patients respond well to treatment, which can include a range of different therapeutic options based on an individual’s severity of depression, response to prior treatments, and own preferences. Lifestyle practices remain at the core of managing depressive illnesses, while the addition of medications, other biological treatments like TMS+ and/or psychotherapy can play vital roles in recovering from depression and staying well.
Comprehensive, Effective Care for Those with Depression
As leading Raleigh psychiatrists, we understand how debilitating depression can be. That’s why we have practitioners who provide a variety of clinical services for many age groups. Our psychiatrists in Raleigh welcome the opportunity to help you get your life back from the grip of depression. Contact us today.
Doctors Who Specialize in Treating Depression
All of our skilled doctors at Raleigh Psychiatrics Associates specialize in treating depression. Explore our provider’s page to learn more about each of our doctors and their backgrounds.