A Serious Medical Illness that affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression has a variety of symptoms, but the most common are a deep feeling of sadness or a marked loss of interest or pleasure in activities. Other symptoms include:
Changes in appetite that result in weight losses or gains unrelated to dieting;
- Insomnia or oversleeping;
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue;
- Restlessness or irritability;
- Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt;
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions;
- Thoughts of death or suicide or attempts at suicide.
How Is Depression Diagnosed And Treated?
Depression can be effectively treated. The earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is.
The first step to getting appropriate treatment is to get a thorough medical evaluation. Certain medications, and some medical conditions such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. If the doctor can find no medical condition that may be causing the depression, the next step is a psychological evaluation.
Dr. Kittay will also ask if you are using alcohol or drugs, and if you are thinking about death or suicide.
Once diagnosed, a person with depression can be treated in several ways. The best treatment is usually a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
Antidepressants primarily work on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.