It’s not uncommon to think of depression as simply an emotion, but there’s much more to it than that.  Patients who seriously struggle with depression can’t turn their problem off and on like a switch. Depression is a medical condition, and like all medical conditions it requires treatment, whether through a prescription medication, therapy, or both.
Symptoms of depression are familiar, but some may be new to you. A short list includes:

  • Sadness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Low sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Feelings of low self-esteem or guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts

Not everyone who struggles with depression struggles in the same way. For some patients, their symptoms are obvious, while others may only have a vague sense that they aren’t as happy as they could be. All of which means that a patient struggling with depression may experience only a few of these symptoms and not every single one of them. For a more complete list of depression symptoms, and to read up on how depression in adults differs from depression in children or teenagers, visit the Mayo Clinic’s page on depression-related symptoms.

What Causes Depression?

As long as depression is seen as something a patient has control over, it will be assumed that depression is largely caused by life changes. And while there may be some truth to this, there’s also a large biological component. Brain chemicals and hormones can both play a role in affecting one’s mood. In the case of hormones, the cause may not be a sad life event but another health condition, like a thyroid problem or menopause, among other possibilities. What’s more, depression can also be inherited through the genes, making it a problem that can run through successive generations of the same family.

Treating Depression

Because depression is unquestionably a health condition and not just a weakness on the part of the patient, seeking care is vital. By not seeking care, you open yourself up to a host of complications, including:

  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Suicide
  • Self-mutilation
  • Conflicts at home or at work
  • Anti-social behavior

But through careful treatment from Dr. Michael Madow and our team in Henderson or Las Vegas, you can reclaim your mental health and your life again. One of the most effective forms of treatment is a prescription medication. The kind of antidepressant your doctor may prescribe will depend on your situation, though. There isn’t one single pill that is right for every patient. To see what kinds of medications exist, visit the Mayo Clinic’s page for treating depression. There, you’ll find a complete list of the different varieties and a description of what sets them all apart.
Prescription medications are just one solution for treatment depression, though. Dr. Madow may also suggest counseling to help you through your difficult time. By talking about your condition, we can help patients from Henderson, Las Vegas, Summerlin, and Boulder City come to a new understanding of what might be causing their depression. And by understanding your condition as thoroughly as possible, we can help you make changes to your life that will help you improve your quality of life.

Henderson psychiatrist Dr. Michael Madow provides comprehensive psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological services for patients in Henderson, Las Vegas, Summerlin, and Boulder City.

Dr. Madow’s website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. For a diagnosis, please call our Henderson or Las Vegas office to schedule a consultation visit with Dr. Madow. A diagnosis can only be made under the care of a licensed professional.