Depression Specialist

Advanced Mental Health Care Inc.

Psychiatrists & Psychologists located in Palm Beach, FL & Royal Palm Beach, FL

While it’s normal to feel sad on occasion, if that feeling lasts for more than a few days, you may be struggling with depression. Depressive disorders can make it hard for you to enjoy the things you once loved and even interfere with your daily life. If you think you may have depression and live in the Greater Palm Beach, Florida, area, contact the experts at Advanced Mental Health Care. They can perform a professional assessment and get you the treatment you deserve.

Depression Q & A

What are the symptoms of depression?

Every person experiences depression differently, but most people with the disease share a few common symptoms, including:

  • Persistent “empty” or anxious feelings
  • Feeling helpless, worthless, or guilty
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased interest in activities you once enjoyed

People suffering from depression often report difficulty concentrating, headaches, cramps, and digestive problems as well.

People with depression are much more likely to commit suicide. If you or someone you love has expressed suicidal thoughts or intentions, don’t ignore them. Contact Advanced Mental Health Care immediately to get help.

What causes depression?

Researchers believe that your brain structure contributes to depression. Brain scans of people with depression look different from similar scans of healthy brains, but scientists aren’t exactly sure why.

In many cases, people with depression have a smaller hippocampus with fewer serotonin receptors. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that stores memories and processes emotions, and serotonin is a neurotransmitter that allows the hippocampus to communicate across different parts of the brain when processing emotions.

Researchers have also found people with depression may have an excessive amount of the stress hormone cortisol. Some believe that cortisol has a toxic effect on the development of the hippocampus.

Many physicians believe depression can be triggered by:

  • Abuse
  • Certain medications
  • Conflict
  • Death or loss
  • Genetics
  • Substance abuse

Depression can also be caused by personal problems, such as social isolation. Major life events, such as getting married, starting a new job, or retiring, may also lead to depression.

How is depression diagnosed and treated?

Your psychiatrist at Advanced Mental Health Care starts by taking your medical history and consulting with you about your symptoms and their intensity. In some situations, they administer medical tests to determine whether your depression may be the result of certain physical issues, such as:

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Hormone levels
  • Reactions to drugs
  • Alcohol

Depression is best treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy provides you with tools to overcome the attitudes depression causes and empowers you to thrive in your daily life once again. Antidepressant drug therapy works to change your brain chemistry and better regulate your moods; they may take up to six weeks to show results.

If you think you might have depression, contact Advanced Mental Health Care today. They’ll get to work on an individualized treatment plan to help you manage your depression and get your life back on track.