Thursday, December 18, 2008

Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition. In contrast to the normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, clinical depression is persistent and can interfere significantly with a person’s ability to function.

Types of Depression:

There are three main types of depressive disorders. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.

Major Depression: Manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. This disabling type of depression may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime.

Dysthymia: A less severe type of depression, involves long term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good.

Bipolar Disorder: Also called manic-depressive illness. This disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression).

Symptoms of Depression:

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and varies over time. Some of the symptoms of depression include:

- Persistent sad, anxious, “empty mood”
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness/ helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
- Decreased energy, fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Appetite/weight changes
- Restlessness, irritability
- Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts

Treatment for Depression:

The first step to getting appropriate treatment is a physical exam by a physician. Some medications and some medical conditions can cause the same symptoms as depression, and the physician should rule out this possibility through an exam. If a physical cause is ruled out, a psychological evaluation should be done, by the physician or by referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Treatment choice will depend on the outcome of the evaluation. There are a variety of antidepressant medications and therapies that can be used to treat depression. Depending on the severity of symptoms, the therapist may prescribe medication and/or one of the several forms of therapy that have been proven effective for depression.

Local mental health treatment facilities can also offer evaluations or assessments to help determine treatment needed for depression.

Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services is an extension of Forrest General Hospital, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Pine Grove’s world renowned programs focus on treating gender specific chemical addiction including a specialized track for co-occurring eating disorders. Additionally, Pine Grove offers a focused substance abuse healing program for adults age 55 and over. Other Pine Grove specialty programs include a dedicated professional’s treatment curriculum and a comprehensive evaluation center. Pine Grove also features a program for patients with sexual and intimacy disorder issues. Pine Grove was established in 1984 and has provided nationally and internationally recognized health care for over 30 years.

Visit www.pinegrovetreatment.com or call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673) for more information.