Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults, or 6.7% of the population. One in six people, 16.6%, will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression is a common but, often serious medical condition that negatively affects how you feel, how you think, and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home. Fortunately, it is also treatable.
Depression symptoms vary from mild to severe and may include:
These symptoms must last for at least two weeks and represent a change in your previous level of functioning in order for a clinical diagnosis of depression.
Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Some 80% to 90% of patients will eventually respond well to treatment and almost all patients achieve some relief from their symptoms. At The Center for Developmental Psychiatry, our team typically treats patients using a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Since brain chemistry may contribute to an individual’s depression, we may prescribe an antidepressant to help modify that. Antidepressants are not sedatives, “uppers,” or tranquilizers, and they are not habit-forming. Yet, they may produce improvement within a week or two, although full benefits may not be seen for two to three months.