Is depression a real medical problem? This question was asked of me on yesterday. Yes, it is definitely. For a while, some people suggested that depression was just a “sign of weakness.” Others even saw it as a “birth defect.” Depression is a treatable medical illness. In my opinion, it should ALWAYS be diagnosed by a medical professional. Why is there such discussion now about this disease? Where was depression in the 70s? Did it even exist in the 80s? The answer to all of these questions is yes.
Here is the thing, for a while many people would not share openly their feelings of depression. Some people would continue to just push through life and drink-alcohol. Others, were afraid of the “stigma” associated with having a mental illness. However, I am beginning to see more patients come forward with clinical depression. The big consideration is always medication management. You should work directly with a M.D. or D.O. to decide your course of treatment.
Now personally I don’t suggest counselors initially diagnosing medical illnesses. The reason being that other diseases sometimes mimic other clinical phenomena. Of course, DSM-V is a readable text, but still most illnesses require a medical work-up and even a few basic labs. I may refer a patient for therapy with another clinician, only if they request this level of care. In some instances, patients have been treated long-term,by a therapist, and just are not getting any better. This is usually when they will refer the patient our way-Psychiatrist.(M.D. or D.O)
There is several type of depressions:
- Major Depression (unipolar)
- Bipolar Depression
- Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood
- SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
- Mood Disorder, Nos
- Mood Disorder due to a General Medical Problem (Cancer, Chronic Pain, Hypothyroidism, etc)
You really need a good medical work-up before starting a treatment plan. Remember this disease causes the most missed days from work than any other medical illness. Are you depressed?
For more information go to my website at www.drowensmd.com. There is a test there than may offer you some clarity.
Once again thanks for dropping by,