Understanding Depression

By Dr. Aditya Sharma, Medical Director of Adult Psychiatric Services at Medical Center of McKinney

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Depression is one of the most often experienced psychiatric illnesses. In fact, 9.9 million American adults suffer from depression in a given year. That is about 5 percent of the American population. However, according to Dr. Aditya Sharma, Medical Director of Adult Psychiatric Services at Medical Center of McKinney, people have a hard time seeking treatment for depression or accepting that their symptoms may be the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Clinical depression is more than just typical ups and downs in life. It is common to experience times of sadness, especially when one is facing a stressful event, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, financial problems, etc. If your feelings of sadness become more severe over time or last more than a few weeks, you may be suffering from clinical depression. Some symptoms of clinical depression include:

  • A persistent sad, anxious, or irritable mood
  • Excessive crying
  • A loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable
  • Significant weight loss, loss of appetite OR significant weight gain
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping all the time
  • Feelings of fatigue or loss of energy
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, inappropriate guilt and, in some cases, thoughts of death or suicide

If you experience these symptoms for more than a few weeks or if these symptoms are stopping you from being able to participate in your daily life, call a mental health professional for an assessment. It is important to remember that just like other illnesses, clinical depression is treatable with the help of a professional!

The most common treatments for clinical depression include antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. The only way to know what is right for you is to see your doctor or a mental health professional.

If you would like more information about depression or the mental health services that we offer here at Medical Center of McKinney, please visit us online or contact us at 972-547-8888.

If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to mental health, you can attend our free Therapeutic Thursday education presentations throughout the summer. Therapeutic Thursdays are hosted in the café at the Wysong Campus located at 130 S. Central Expressway, McKinney, TX 75070.

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