What Causes Depression?

Depression affects millions of people, more women than men, with the symptoms popping up without warning. It can be brought on by stressful situations, biology, and other factors, but people experiencing it sometimes suffer in silence because of the stigma associated with it. Everyone reacts to the triggers differently, with some able to control or eliminate them, while others can’t and need help. Help may be available through therapy or by an innovative new treatment called ketamine infusion therapy.

What is Depression?

The Mayo Clinic says depression is more than the “blues” and states this:

“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.”

Causes of Depression

Many people suffering from depression dismiss its symptoms, are certain it’s temporary and their lives will return to normal eventually. But what if it doesn’t? And do you know enough about its many causes to diagnose and treat it? Here are some sources identified by UC Berkley:

  • Biology and its implications. According to Harvard Medical researchers, biology shows a responsibility in clinical depression, with nerve cell growth, nerve cell connections, and how nerve circuits function all impacting emotions which could result in depression.
  • The role of stress. We know anyone can experience stress, and that can lead to depression if left untreated. Relationship and money problems can play a role, plus mental and physical health, family history, and support of loved ones.
  • Your psychological profile can lead to depression, especially if you have low self-esteem or inflated notions of superiority.
  • A pattern of misuse or abuse related to alcohol or drugs.

Are There Different Kinds of Depression?

A mental health professional may diagnose you with depression based on the duration of the symptoms. Here are five forms of depression:

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder is characterized by severe or mild symptoms and lasts at least two years.
  • Postpartum Depression can linger for weeks, taking root during pregnancy characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion.
  • Psychotic Depression is a noxious brew of serious depression combined with psychosis, where the new mom is delusional or is hallucinating.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder most often creeps up in the winter during times when there are fewer hours of natural sunlight. Characteristics include increased sleep, social withdrawal, weight gain but they disappear in the summer.
  • Bipolar disorder, distinct from depression, includes symptoms that meet the criteria for major depression such as low moods. But a person affected can have extreme feelings of irritability or euphoria, called mania, or a less serious form called “hypomania.”

Depression and Its Symptoms

Many people are truly depressed only once, while others can experience it daily. More frequent occurrences are as worrisome as single instances and there are many symptoms to watch out for:

  • When you are burdened by the weight of emotions like sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness.
  • If you experience outbursts of frustration, anger, or irritability caused by trivial problems.
  • You avoid hobbies, sports, intimacy – things you were once interested in and looked forward to.
  • Issues with sleeping, including not getting enough hours of rest, or even sleeping too long.
  • You’re physically tired or lack energy, especially while accomplishing chores of minimal effort.
  • Eating or weight problems, such as not having an appetite and eating less than normal, or weight gain from binge eating.
  • Everyday situations like making dinner or interacting with co-workers make you restless, agitated, or anxious.
  • You don’t think as quickly as you used to, or your body moves in slow motion.
  • Memories of past failure or guilt nag at you and you can’t shake them.
  • Your decision-making skills are diminished, due to trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, or overall hesitance.
  • You think of suicide or harming yourself or others.
  • You wonder why you have sudden headaches or body discomforts.

I think I have Depression, What Should I do?

Depression can affect anyone but is twice as likely to occur in females as males. Science says the causes are often hormonal, rising during puberty, the onset of menstrual problems, or the occurrence of pregnancy and giving birth. The symptoms can be severe, but also can be managed and treated.

Studies reveal a growing body of evidence that medicine can treat symptoms of depression. Ketamine, for instance, has been shown to treat anxiety and anxiety spectrum disorders, increasing its use in clinical settings. Another study shows the drug has been effective over the short-term in relieving symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder.

If you or a loved one is battling depression we would like to invite you to contact our practice today for a free consultation to learn more about Ketamine infusion therapy.

 

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How to Help Someone with Depression

How to Help Someone with Depression

When someone is dealing with depression they are often not the only ones who are suffering. Trying to help someone who’s depressed is often a frustrating, confusing experience. You want to see them get better, but at the same time, you don’t want to do anything that might make the situation worse. As a result, interactions can become tense, simply because you’re trying not to make a mistake. And if you do say or do something that’s poorly received, there’s a danger of becoming resentful that your best efforts are not appreciated. So, how to help someone with depression? Mental health professionals suggest you try some of the following methods.

First Things First: Understanding What You’re Up Against

Before you’re in a position to offer help you need to have a good idea of what depression is and what it isn’t. So let’s begin with a quick primer on this vexing condition.

    It is a serious condition – Every year untold numbers of depressed people end their own lives. This should be evidence enough that this is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. So don’t underestimate it, don’t trivialize it and don’t think you’re going to wave some magic motivational wand and everything’s going to be better. It’s going to take time and effort.

 

  • It’s not personal – Family and friends sometimes take it personally when a depressed person doesn’t respond to their efforts in a positive way. They may even think the depressed person is getting some kind of joy out of putting up roadblocks to help. Keep in mind that the depressed person is often just as confused and upset as you are. So don’t take it personally.

 

  • It is possible to recover – There may come a time when you are tempted to throw in the towel and walk away. “I tried” is a common response to depression. Try to remember that depression isn’t like a cold or flu that can be expected to pass in a few days. There is no set timeline for recovery. But recovery is possible. So be patient and get on with your own life in the meantime.

 

  • It’s not a character flaw – When their best efforts seem to get nowhere, people are often tempted to resort to blaming the depressed person. “They’re just lazy” and “They just want attention” are common responses to being rebuffed. Try to remember depression is not a character flaw. It’s a serious and often stubborn medical condition.

 

How to Help Someone with Depression

 

Now that we have a better idea of what depression is and isn’t let’s look at how to help someone with depression.

 

  • Positive reinforcement – Tell the depressed person you care and that they’re important to you. Listen when they want to speak and don’t judge. Instead of telling them you understand, just listen. Or hold their hand. Or let them cry on your shoulder. The important thing is not to expect an immediate response. Often this type of support has an incremental effect that is real but hard to measure.

 

  • Leave the tough love at the door – Whether you’re treating a broken arm or depression, it’s crucial that you use appropriate treatments. Tough love has its place. But not when it comes to helping someone with depression. You wouldn’t tell someone with a broken arm to just “get over it”. And you shouldn’t say that to someone with depression.

 

  • Resist comparing your experience with theirs – When someone’s going through a hard time it’s common to offer solace by relating how you got through your own difficult situation. But unless you’ve recovered from depression yourself this type of approach is likely to backfire. It may seem like you’re trying to make light of their condition.

 

  • Stay connected – Above all, don’t become resentful and withdraw from the depressed person’s life. Stay connected with them while going on about your own business. Stay upbeat and show that your love is not contingent upon their physical, mental or emotional state. You care about them and that’s that.

 

Conclusion

 

Remember that recovery from depression is possible although it sometimes takes longer than we wish it would. The key is to be patient, don’t take it personally and try and separate the person from the condition. There is an array of treatments available that can help with depression today. One that has shown extraordinary promise in recent years is ketamine. Some are saying it as the biggest breakthrough in depression treatment in decades. Make sure that when treatments are discussed for your loved one that ketamine treatment is considered.

How Depression Affects Your Life

What is depression?

Depression is more than just being sad or feeling hopeless – it is a mental health disorder that can affect every aspect of your life. Depression can not be cured, and usually can not be recovered from quickly like the common cold or a stomach bug. For some, depression does just go away on its own, but for many others, depression will only worsen if left untreated over time. According to research done by the World Health Organization, depression may be the second greatest reason for disability across the globe, but only 10% of those suffering may ever receive any treatment that works for them. (more…)

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