Everyone feels sad from time to time. Life can be tough and confusing, and it’s normal to feel down when sad or scary things happen. You may feel unhappy or distressed for a few hours or a day, but a friend may be able to cheer you up, or engaging in an activity may improve your mood.
Depression, however, is different than an occasional bout of sadness. Depression is a mental health condition that causes intense feelings of sadness that can last for long periods of time. Depression is often misunderstood, which can lead to people not getting a diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes people don’t get help for depression because they may feel a stigma or don’t know where to get help.
At Creekside Family Practice in Cypress, Texas, Hammad Qureshi, MD, can help. Dr. Qureshi is a compassionate, experienced physician who provides a full range of services, including diagnosing and treating depression
What is depression?
Depression is a mental health condition that causes intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness that can last for long periods of time. It’s estimated that 9% of Americans struggle with depression. Depression can drastically disrupt normal functioning and can even lead to suicidal behaviors.
What are the signs you may be suffering from depression?
The experience of depression varies from person to person. However, there are a few common signs that could indicate depression.
Feeling sad and hopeless
It’s normal to feel down occasionally in response to sad events, such as a personal loss or disappointment. However, persistent intense, sad emotions, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, can indicate a more serious condition. If you’re not sure why you feel sad, and the usual ways of improving your mood don't work, you may be experiencing depression.
It’s typical to feel fatigue when you’re mentally and physically exhausted. Usually some quiet time and rest will pull you out of it. However, persistent unexplained fatigue, which makes you constantly feel like you don’t want to do anything, is one of the most common symptoms of depression.
Depression can cause you to sleep a lot more than usual, or have sleeplessness, also known as insomnia. You may have a lot of trouble falling asleep, or you may wake up after a few hours of sleeping and obsess about issues or problems. The usual remedies for insomnia, such as avoiding caffeine and exercising, may not improve your sleep, because it could be caused by depression.
Significant weight changes
If you’re depressed, you may gain or lose weight. You may feel too fatigued and overwhelmed to plan out meals or go out to eat. Or, you may have the opposite experience and want to eat all the time. Either one of these extremes can cause significant weight changes over a short period of time, which may be a sign of depression
Suicide is often caused by depression. People who are depressed may consider suicide as a way to get relief from their pain. It’s estimated that about 60% of people who commit suicide have a mental health problem. If you have suicidal thoughts or engage in risky behavior without regard to your safety, you should get evaluated for depression.
Treatment for depression
Dr. Qureshi will listen to what you’re experiencing and determine if you’re suffering from depression. He can either assist you with treatment or provide you with a referral to a mental health specialist.
The main treatment options for depression are psychotherapy and medications. With psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, your provider discusses what’s troubling you and helps you find ways to cope.
Medications, known as antidepressants, can address chemical imbalances that may be contributing to your depression. A mix of talk therapy and medication may be recommended as the most effective treatment for your symptoms.
To get evaluated to see if you have depression, or to get treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Creekside Family Practice today.