Depression Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
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. Chronic depression is experienced by 20% to 25% of all adults.
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
- Diminished 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 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
- Hormonal 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
Depression treatment plans typically begin with an in depth examination to try and unearth some of the factors that are leading to your unhappiness. Depression treatment typically begins with a physical exam and blood test to rule out any medical conditions such as hypothyroidism .
Your doctor may also conduct a psychological evaluation. This is simply a long discussion where your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, including any bouts of depression you may have dealt with in the past are discussed.
In some cases, medications like antidepressants or stimulation techniques such as electroconvulsive therapy can be an option for controlling the neurotransmitters that affect your mood.
One of the most beneficial methods for helping work through depression is psychotherapy. This is also known as talk therapy, and it is a two-way dialogue between you and your doctor. During these sessions, your doctor will likely educate you about depression, including some of the factors that can trigger it, and offer advice on physical activities that can stimulate the body and mind.
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.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
Address4849 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm