Depression Treatment in Seattle

If you have ever felt the cloud of depression envelop you, you may feel comforted to know that you are not alone. There are more than 17 million adults in this country alone that suffer from depression. Years of identifying and treating depression have provided the psychiatric medical community with a vast amount of data as to the causes. Today, psychiatrists and psychiatric healthcare professionals understand that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Some of the contributing causes that have been assembled include:

Family History

If other members of your family suffer from depression, you may have a genetic predisposition to developing this condition. As a matter of fact, your tendency towards depression might be up to three times stronger than for individuals with no family history of it.

Also, scientific research in the field of psychiatry has allowed the identification of certain genes that may play a role in the appearance of depression. However, the exact gene mechanism that triggers the disease has not yet been identified.

Biological Factors: It’s possible that you have an imbalance of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. The release of these chemicals in your brain significantly affects mood.  

Environmental Components: There are a number of environmental factors that can lead to depression if left untreated. Some of these include childhood trauma, adult trauma, abusive relationships, frequent conflict, and prolonged negative situations. 

Drug or Alcohol Abuse: Excessive use of alcohol or drugs or other substances can lead to depression, but they are also oftentimes symptomatic of depression. Chemical substances can also adversely impact your body’s ability to produce neurotransmitters that affect your mental state.

Other Medical Conditions: There are some medical illnesses or conditions that are quite often accompanied by severe depression. Among these, you can find chronic pain, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and others. In these cases, the depressive moods may be caused by the disease itself  or patients may experience them because of the way the disease itself has impacted their lives.

Life Event Risks: Major events in your life can also be triggers for depression. In this case, it could be because you are going through a divorce, have lost your job, or a loved one has passed away, among other social situations. 

What are the main symptoms of depression?

Although there are many symptoms of depression, not all of them need to be present for the individual to be diagnosed as suffering from this psychiatric disorder. What psychiatrists and psychiatric healthcare specialists look for is for some of these symptoms to have been present for at least two weeks before any formal diagnosis can be made. Among the most common symptoms of depression you can find:

  • Persistent and uncontrollable sadness
  • Feeling emotionally flat or disconnected from events around you
  • Feelings of helplessness and low self-worth
  • Morbid, pessimistic, or hopeless feelings that do not seem to go away
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Angry outbursts and chronic irritability
  • Disinterest in activities that once were pleasurable and interesting
  • Lower than normal energy levels
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Sleep difficulties that go from an inability to sleep to sleeping too much
  • Weight changes due to changes in appetite
  • Suicidal attempts or thoughts

In general, when is depression first diagnosed?

Depression or depressive episodes tend not to be very common in young children. Once they become adolescents, these symptoms become much more widespread. Some studies have revealed that as many as one in five teenagers will experience depression before becoming adults. And once they show symptoms, it is believed that more than half of them will show signs of depression within two years and almost 70% will have relapsed within five years. 

How does depression advance?

Some cases of depression resolve on their own, but many people experience long-term symptoms of depression that require treatment to resolve. If left untreated, these symptoms can become deeper and involve further complications such as dysfunction in relationships, in school, or at work, social anxiety, weight gain, and substance abuse. Suicide is a danger to ongoing depression as well.

Is the treatment of depression successful?

With treatment, symptoms of depression are controlled in many cases, sometimes within a period as early as two months. In many first time cases, treatment can be concluded within six months to a year of its initiation. With persistent and continued treatment and medical care, treatments are very effective at preventing recurring episodes. Accurate identification and thorough treatment during an episode of depression are vital to decreasing future episodes since each new episode of depression requires longer treatment times and lower resolution rates.

There is no way to stop or prevent depression, but on time psychiatric diagnosis and an effective treatment protocol can be of great help in managing symptoms and preventing severe consequences from happening.

At Synergy Mental Wellness, Michael Boas, PMHNP-BC wants to be your first resource for depression. By providing excellent mental health services, he will make your experience as convenient and pleasant as possible. Synergy Mental Wellness is a full-service telepsychiatry medical service for patients in Seattle and throughout the state of Washington. With our assistance, you can treat your depression and live a healthy and productive life.

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