Depression

Depression

Depression is more than feeling sad. It is a debilitating disorder characterized not just by a feeling of sadness or depressed mood, but by significant impairment in daily functioning and social interaction.   Depression can impair the restfulness of sleep or make you want to sleep the day away. It robs people of their ability to concentrate and control their appetite, steals the ability to enjoy the people and activities you love most and can even change how quickly you physically move through life.  When severe, depressed patients may lose their jobs due to loss of work productivity. At its worst, life itself can seem worthless and suicidal thoughts can enter the mind of the depressed patient. The good news is that with hard work, social support and (sometimes) medication, depression is not only treatable but curable.  

Many patients have been told they have depression because something is wrong with their brain or that somehow it is their fault!  I believe this counseling is not only incorrect, but irresponsible from the medical profession. Research shows that depression is the natural result of a particular combination of genetics, brain chemistry, environment and expectations.  I believe emerging research data in the field of neuroplasticity and epigenetics hold the keys to unlocking more successful treatment plans for patients with depression because they address the secrets to how the brain actually heals and how environment can contribute to that healing process. 

At BloomMed, I choose to counsel my patients with this approach in mind for evaluating and treating depression.  We want to make sure we are treating the right diagnosis and rule out any co-morbid conditions that could be contributing to their symptoms.  Once confirmed, I provide a plan that incorporates the entire body to improve the strength of the mind. This includes a healthy diet and exercise program in addition to counseling and if needed, medication.  My goal is always to get my patients to take the least amount of medication at the lowest doses possible that allows them to thrive. Treatment of depression is no different. This means though that sometimes we have to start a medication to eventually thrive off of it in the future.  Research shows that patients who are symptom- free for 1 year on antidepressants have a better chance of full remission than those who discontinue after 3-6 months of treatment. Research also shows that patients with moderate to severe depression achieve remission of symptoms faster and have less risk of relapse when treated with a combination of medication and counseling than with either alone.  I don’t take this research lightly- and it has served the patients of BloomMed well.  

 If you or a loved one is interested in being evaluated for depression, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us or click here for more information! If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go online to https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ to receive immediate support.  

Author
Dr. Stephanie Cudjoe, M.D.

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