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Guiding Light Health Care Services, LLC

Psychiatrists & Mental Health Providers located in Warner Robins, GA

More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness, and you can't simply "snap out" of it. If you have symptoms of depression, William Scott, MD, and the team at Guiding Light Health Care Services, LLC in Warner Robins, Georgia, can help. They provide compassionate care and effective treatments that can relieve the suffering even when your depression is severe. Call Guiding Light Health Care Services, LLC today for more information, or book an appointment online.

Depression Q & A

What is depression?

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is one of the most widespread mental health conditions, affecting more than 17 million people in the United States each year. 

It can have a devastating effect on the way you feel, think, and behave, and how you handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, and working.

Depression causes profound, persistent low mood, so you feel deeply unhappy most or all of the time. It can become impossible to function at work and home when you have clinical depression, and without treatment, your condition is likely to get worse.

Severe or recurring depression can have a life-changing impact. Some people who have depression become so sick they feel utterly without hope and begin to contemplate suicide as the only solution to their pain.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression can cause a variety of symptoms and affect people in different ways. Typical types of symptoms include:

  • Constant low mood
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Slowed movements
  • Difficulty thinking clearly

It’s common to be plagued by negative thoughts when you have depression, so you might feel worthless, guilty, helpless, overwhelmed, useless, or powerless, for example. You also lose your enthusiasm for life and get little or no pleasure from activities that you normally enjoy.

In some cases, depression can lead to thoughts of suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people, and one of the warning signs of suicide is mental disorders, often depression.

For a diagnosis of depression, your symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

What causes depression?

Brain chemistry is one side of the story with depression. Neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin boost your mood, so if your levels are low, you’re more likely to feel down. You might also have a genetic predisposition to getting depression.

Having low self-esteem or difficulties managing stress can increase your chances of experiencing depression. Your circumstances can also have a bearing, for instance, if you live with domestic abuse, neglect, or poverty. Life events like bereavement and grief, job loss, or a family breakdown can trigger depression, too.

How is depression treated? 

There are two primary approaches to treating depression: medication and psychotherapy.

Medications such as antidepressants help by improving the balance of chemicals in your brain. They can take a while to work, so it’s important to persevere through the first few weeks until you start to see the difference.

There’s a range of expert psychotherapy treatments available, too, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), counseling, and psychoanalysis.  

Depression may require long-term treatment, but don’t let this discourage you. Most patients who have depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy, or both.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t delay in asking for help. Call Guiding Light Health Care Services, LLC today, or book an appointment online.