Depression is a mood disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in a patient’s brain. Depression develops when the brain’s ability to send and receive chemicals and neurotransmitters used in emotional responses is impaired. Depression may also be influenced by heredity, stress, changes in hormone levels, medical conditions, and grief. Many patients struggle with undiagnosed depression for years but when they are finally diagnosed and treated, the symptoms and effects of the disorder are relieved. Everyone feels down or blue every now and then, but when the feelings are long-lasting or the patient’s life and behaviors are affected, professional help may be needed.
Each person experiences depression in their own way. However, there are common symptoms associated with the disorder. However, patients will typically need to demonstrate at least 5 of the symptoms listed in the DSM-IV on a near daily basis for a full diagnosis of depression. Some of the many potential symptoms associated with depression include:
Dr. van Riel provides highly customized treatment because each patient will react differently to care. She often suggests treatments ranging from lifestyle changes to psychotherapy or medication. In psychotherapy sessions, the goal is to find a root cause behind a person’s troubling thoughts and emotions. Often a traumatic event can trigger or intensify depression in addition to problems with brain chemistry. Increasing physical activity, changing sleeping and eating patterns, and reducing stress can also help the person’s brain have the time and resources it needs to heal. Prescription anti-depressants may be suggested to allow a patient to experience level emotions in order for psychotherapy to be more effective. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms or behaviors connected to depression, it is worthwhile to talk to a compassionate professional like Dr. van Riel. There is no need for you to suffer when help is available.
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