With the ups and downs of life, it’s normal to feel sad. Your low mood is short-term and improves when circumstances change. Feeling sad isn’t the same as depression. Depression is a complex mental health condition that goes beyond temporary sadness.

People with depression have persistent and intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness that affect every part of their day. They may not want to get out of bed in the morning, they have a hard time concentrating at work, and they have absolutely no interest in participating in any activities that bring joy.

At Desert Bolt Behavioral in Phoenix, Arizona, our team of skilled mental health experts takes a compassionate and integrative approach to depression. We know depression is a disease like diabetes and high blood pressure and not something you can snap out of.

Anyone with signs and symptoms of depression needs medical intervention. Here, we want to tell you about depression, signs and symptoms to look for, and what to expect when you reach out for help.

Understanding the complexities of depression

Depression is a mood disorder that has a profound influence on your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Anyone can develop depression.

Though an imbalance in brain chemicals is a factor that contributes to the symptoms of depression, the mood disorder is complex and most likely occurs from a combination of causes, like genetics, brain structure, and life events.

Even hormones affect your mood, and a long-term imbalance in hormones can lead to depression.

Seeing signs and symptoms

Knowing some of the common signs and symptoms of depression can help you recognize the mood disorder in yourself or a loved one during the early stages.

When depression hits, you may feel:

  • Very sad and hopeless
  • Disinterested in spending time with people
  • A lack of interest in engaging in joyful activities
  • Irritable and frustrated
  • Extremely tired and unmotivated
  • Anxious, guilty, and shame

Depression may also change how you sleep and eat. You may have a hard time sleeping or want to sleep all the time. Depression may also kill your appetite or cause you to eat more than normal. Your low mood may also make it hard to concentrate.

If you or someone you love has a low mood and any of the symptoms noted above, lasting daily for two or more weeks, it’s time to reach out for help. The sooner you get help, the sooner you’ll feel better.

You also may need medical intervention for depression if you have depression and your current treatment plan isn’t working.

Getting medical help

Medical treatment for depression may include talk therapy, medication management, and lifestyle changes like eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

Antidepressants improve symptoms, while talk therapy helps you understand your mood disorder and develop coping strategies that improve how you feel and think.

Not everyone with depression needs medication and not everyone responds to traditional antidepressants. For our patients with treatment-resistant depression, we offer Spravato®, a nasal esketamine that helps rewire the brain to lift your mood.

Medications work best when combined with talk therapy and lifestyle changes.

When depression symptoms take over, it’s hard to see through the fog. But you can feel better. Call our Phoenix, Arizona, office today or book an appointment online.

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Our goal is for you to leave our office with a memorable and enjoyable experience, which is why our welcoming and compassionate staff will do everything they can to make you feel right at home.

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