Depression the Silent Killer: AskDrO Speaks

Depression is a painful illness that may not just go away. Many people don’t address “chronic sadness. They simply move through their day lifeless and flat. What happens to the unresolved hurt, pain and depression? It stays there and lingers like an oozing sore. Depression is painful to those locked in this black-hole. However, there is hope and a lot of good treatment if you seek-out help.

What is depression? It is a chronic  DSM-V defined mental illness. Depression can come in many disguises. (Hypothyroidism, MS, Cancer, etc.)   It usually takes a very skilled eye to recognize, diagnose, and treat this illness. Please be sure you see a physician. Make sure that the clinician, particularly Psychiatrist, is well-trained, and up-to-date in the current literature. Let’s review right quick.

Depression: (DSM V criteria)

You must be sad/depressed for at least two weeks or experiencing what we call anhedonia. (loss of interest in just bout everything) for at least two weeks. You must also have about (5) of the following:

Sleep (too much or too little)

Interest (loss of interest in all things)

Guilt (hopeless/helpless)

Energy (low energy=anergia)

Concentration (problems concentrating)

Appetite (eating too much or too little)

Suicide (suicidal ideation or plans)

Now once you’ve been diagnosed, now treatment. How do we treat this disease?   Many of you are familiar with pharmacotherapy-medications.  (SSRIs like Prozac or Lexapro) Therapy is also very important. We have had great success with CBT. (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) This type of therapy employs homework to help patients capture their “negative thoughts” and retrain their thinking. We can also use photo-therapy in the winter.(Light Therapy)  These are those wonderful lights that you can use each morning to get your day started. We now have the great TMS (Trans-cranial  Magnetic Stimulation).  This is a magnetic method used to stimulate small portions of the brain to treat depression. Yes, it works. We have a lot of innovative treatments now available.  However, first get a proper evaluation by a licensed and trained physician.

Also, let your doctor know if  immediately if you are feeling or becoming overwhelmed.

If you need some assistance locating a facility in your area, feel free to contact NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1-800-950-NAMI. Monday-Friday EST 10:00am-6:00pm.

I am also available at 404-575-4785 if you want to come in for an evaluation in Atlanta, GA.



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