Mental health and emotional wellbeing are important factors in your overall health. While everyone has bad days and periods of sadness due to specific life events like a death or personal trauma, depression isn’t always linked to or the result of grief.
At Midwest Regional Health Services, our team of primary care and family medicine doctors and specialists offers a range of services including mental health treatment at our office in Omaha, Nebraska.
When to see a specialist about depressive moods
Depression can take many forms. It may develop as a condition by itself or as a symptom of a different mental health problem. According to the American Psychiatric Association, an official diagnosis for depression typically occurs after two weeks of symptoms, including a disruption in your normal routine, interests, and lifestyle.
Unlike grief, depression often creates feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing, isolation, and suicidal thoughts in severe cases. If you or anyone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll free number 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Everyone has their own unique experience with depression. You may have milder or more severe symptoms than someone else. Depression can also have a negative effect on your moods, thought process, emotions, and ability to focus and concentrate at school or work. It can even deplete your energy and make you feel physically exhausted.
Here’s a list of some of the most common symptoms of depression:
- Feelings of sadness and hopelessness not associated with a specific event (i.e., death)
- Anger and irritability
- Loss of interest and motivation
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Changes in appetite/weight loss or gain
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
Feelings of guilt and shame are also very common with depression, but asking for help is the first step toward finding relief.
Are you at risk for depression?
Depression doesn’t discriminate, so no one is immune. Over 16 million American adults suffer from Major Depressive Disorder according to the Anxiety and Depression Association, and it’s the leading cause of disability for people between the ages of 15 and 44. Despite how common depression is in the United States, and despite the growing awareness around mental illness, many people struggle in silence and put off getting help. You may have a higher risk for developing depression if there’s a history of depression or mental illness in your family. Other mental health problems like bipolar disorder and anxiety can also increase the risk of depression. Other risk factors include:
- Substance abuse
- Physical or emotional trauma
- Personal losses like divorce, death, or job loss
If you’re worried that you’re suffering from depression or have questions or concerns about your symptoms, give us a call to discuss your options. Our team of mental health specialists offers confidential and compassionate care both in person or remotely via our telemedicine service for your convenience.
For more information about depression and mental health issues, contact Midwest Regional Health Services today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.