The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 16.1 million Americans had at least one episode of major depressive disorder in 2015. Education and professional treatment are key to managing this difficult–but not insurmountable–mental health condition.
Let’s look at what happens during a major depressive episode, what can help, and where you can go for effective treatment in Richmond, Danville, and Martinsville, VA.
What Are the Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder?
Major depressive disorder–also called clinical depression–is a mental health condition that causes prolonged and severe symptoms of sadness. More than simple melancholy, depression is both mentally and physically debilitating.
Feelings of guilt, sadness, and worthlessness are key features of a major depressive disorder episode. Other symptoms, which can become debilitating, are:
- Insomnia or erratic sleep patterns
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Overeating or poor appetite
- Drinking too much (or other risky behaviors, such as fast driving)
- Feeling hopeless and guilt-ridden
- Outbursts of anger–either verbal or physical
- Anxiety and agitation
- Low or absent libido
- Disinterest in once-enjoyed hobbies
- Slow physical movements
- Mental fog
- Inability to make a decision
- Memory lapses
- Thoughts of and plans for self-harm or suicide
- Unexplained body pain–headaches, joint, and muscle discomfort
While these symptoms can come and go in many people throughout their lives, the persistence of these signs for two or more weeks indicates major depression.
What Causes Major Depressive Disorder?
Causes of this all-too-common mental health issue vary, but common triggers are a big life event, such as the loss of a job or loved one (bereavement), job stress, genetics, giving birth, and treatment for an illness, such as cardiovascular disease. Researchers speculate that lower amounts of brain chemicals called endorphins lead to depressive episodes, and personality traits, such as melancholy and low self-esteem, contribute to this often misdiagnosed or downplayed health condition.
Should I Get Professional Help for My Depressive Symptoms?
The answer is yes, you should because untreated major depressive only worsens without treatment. However, thankfully, a multi-faceted approach involving medication, talk, and cognitive behavior therapy, sufficient sleep, and exercise can improve mood and lessen negative thought patterns.
The professionals can help you track your symptoms, avoid depression triggers, and get you counseling and medication as needed.
Additionally, if you have ideas related to self-harm, do not delay in getting help. Call the Suicide and Crisis Hotline by dialing 988. Or, text HOME to 741-741. Finally, you could call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8253) for compassionate, effective intervention right away.
Major Depressive Disorder Treatment in Richmond, Danville, and Martinsville, VA
If your loved one is exhibiting symptoms of MDD, contact EPIC Health Partners LLC. We are a community-based behavioral health facility that provides adults and children with mental and behavioral health assessments and services. We offer clinic-based and community-based services, as well as telepsychiatry services.
Our team of professional counselors, social workers, and dedicated supporting staff provides care that focuses on the unique needs of each client. We offer a comprehensive range of mental health services, including psychiatric services, outpatient therapy, mental health skill building, addiction recovery and treatment services (ARTS), community stabilization, and intensive in-home services to enable individuals to lead a positive and rewarding life.
To learn more about our services, call EPIC Health Partners today at (434) 835-4601. You can also use our convenient and secure Request an Appointment form.