Depression is a mental disorder that affects your mood. It’s more than a fleeting feeling of sadness. If you have true depression, your low mood affects your life significantly and persists even when you try to make yourself feel better.
Scientists haven’t identified the exact cause of depression, but they believe it occurs because of a combination of factors. Some of the factors that may contribute to depression include:
Certain risk factors may also increase the likelihood of depression. For example, depression may be more likely if you have a serious illness or have recently experienced a traumatic event. Having other mental health disorders or abusing drugs can also raise your risk of depression.
Depression causes different symptoms for different patients. However, some of the symptoms you may experience with depression include:
Dr. Horne may suspect depression based on his initial assessment of a patient. However, to confirm this diagnosis, he’ll perform a physical exam and conduct a psychiatric evaluation. If you meet the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, he’ll make a formal diagnosis of depression.
Treating depression can be difficult, and it often requires ongoing effort. Fortunately, a variety of treatments may be effective if you have this condition. In many cases, Dr. Horne recommends medication if you’re diagnosed with depression. Medications prescribed to patients with this condition include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, atypical antidepressants, and tricyclic antidepressants. Patients sometimes need to try several medications before they find one that works well.
In addition to medication, Dr. Horne may also recommend psychotherapy. Depending on your needs, you may benefit from individual therapy, group therapy, and/or family therapy.
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