Dr.O, “Why Am I Always Depressed?”

This is a very common question that I am always asked by a number of under treated patients. Under treated could mean no medication, no psychotherapy or both. It is important, with brain diseases (mental illnesses) as with other somatic disorders, hypertension and diabetes just to name a few, to get the appropriate treatment. Oftentimes, people feel that their depression will just vanish  in a couple of days. Sometimes this can happen, but other times, it lingers on and on and on.

Now, if you are asking this question, “Why Am I Always Depressed?,” we have to first be sure that you have been appropriately diagnosed and treated for the illness. Why is it appropriate to get the correct diagnosis? It is important to get the correct diagnosis because this can help with determining the possible etiologies, thereby coming up with the right treatment plan. Some of the common causes of depression include; issues with death and loss, job-related stress, hypothyroidism, and other under treated chronic medical problems (cancer, HIV, and others). It is so very important to start off by getting the appropriate medical work-up to be sure that there is nothing lurking around in the body. Oh I forgot, anemia is also a cause of depression. When persons are anemic, they have low blood counts, which can lead to fatigue and low energy as well. This can surely mask itself as depression.

Now, once we figure out that this is garden-variety depression, we can start with a treatment plan. In the old days, it took us 4-6 weeks to get a good handle on any symptoms to control with medications. ¬†However, now we can get some relief in as little as 7-10 days or less in some instances. If there is a dreaded sleep problem, we can handle that immediately without Ambien for those of you who have been keeping-up with the news. If there are anxiety symptoms, as well, we’ve got something for that too. We have much more than Prozac so don’t be afraid.

Now, that we have gotten through the hard part, don’t forget about psychotherapy. Failure to dig deep and find out why you are feeling the way that you feel, can lead you to the ever so common question, “Dr. O, Why Am I Always Depressed?” This is where psychotherapy comes in and you have to address the covert issues that may be causing your distress. The most common reasons for depression, that are not directly related to a general medical condition, are loss and trauma. I probably should clarify and share that I am basically talking about what I see in my practice. It is very important to process issues like this in therapy because if not , you may be stuck in the vicious cycle of that chronic mood disorder, called depression.

You should also note that bad relationships are an etiology of depression too. Please take the opportunity to check out my e-book at www.askdro.com for more information about this particular topic. I am sure that this book will prove helpful.

In essence, the most common cause for chronic feelings of loss and depression is under-treated and untreated depression.

Once again thanks for stopping by,


Picture source: http://www.caring.com/articles/depression-signs

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