Depression Treatment in Baltimore, MD
Occasionally feeling upset is a natural part of life, but most of the time we're able to snap out of it on our own or with the help of someone who's close to us. When the feeling of unhappiness becomes severe, (lasting for days, weeks, or even months), it can affect everything that's important to you, including your health.
Excessive negative thoughts and feelings is a chronic medical condition otherwise known as major depression, major depressive disorder, or clinical depression.
Symptoms of Depression
Often times when you or someone you know is suffering from depression, the only way to get through it is with the help of a medical professional. Additionally, if the condition isn't addressed it can progressively get worse. That's why it's important to familiarize yourself with the signs of depression. Some of the most evident symptoms include:
- Debilitating sadness
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Becoming increasingly isolated
- Low libido
- Extremes in sleep habits such as excessive sleeping or insomnia
- Severe appetite changes that lead to either significant weight loss or weight gain
- Trouble concentrating
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
Causes of Depression
The exact causes of your depression might be unknown, but your doctor will likely review a combination of both physical and social factors before proceeding with treatment. Some of the physical causes of depression include:
- Physical changes in the brain
- Neurotransmitter imbalances. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals in your brain that help control everything from body functions to your mood
- Hormone imbalances
- Prescription drugs such as blood pressure medications or sleeping pills
Some of the social factors that contribute to depression are:
- Low self-esteem
- Excessive pessimism
- Not having enough close friends to share your thoughts and feelings with
- Having family members or friends with depression
- Traumatic events in your life such as financial hardships, relationship problems, or the death of a loved one
- Trauma that occurs during childhood including the death of a loved one or some form of abuse whether it's physical, sexual, or emotional
- Alcohol, nicotine, or drug abuse
Treatment of Depression
Our treatment plans begin with an in-depth examination to try and unearth some of the factors that are leading to your unhappiness. We'll begin with a physical exam and testing which may include blood, urine, stool and salivary tests, to rule out any medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, amino acid deficiencies, intestinal infections or food intolerances. Genetic testing can also be done to see how you process the neurotransmitters in the brain.
We'll also conduct a psychological evaluation. This is simply a long discussion where we'll talk about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, including any bouts of depression you may have dealt with in the past.
Correcting imbalances in hormones and nutrition can significantly impact depression. Treating the gastrointestinal tract often improves brain function. In some cases, neurofeedback can be an option for positively impacting your mood.
Support groups are another effective way to improve your social interactions. Sharing the feelings you've been experiencing with others will help you realize that you are not alone in battling your depression.
Janelle M. Love, MD
Address269 Peninsula Farm Rd
Arnold, MD 21012
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Tue: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Wed: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Thu: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm