Houston's Depression Treatment Clinic
If most of your some days make you feel hopeless and that life has no meaninglifeless, you might be suffering from major depression. Do not worry because and trust me, you are not alone in this.
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What to know about
Depression in Houston Texas & in the USA
If some days make you feel hopeless and lifeless, you might be suffering from major depression and trust me, you are not alone.
Studies from the Latest Statistics on Major Depression from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that in the U.S, an estimated 16.2 million adults had at least one major depressive episode. This figure represents almost 7% of the U.S total population.
In addition, the prevalence of adults with major depressive episodes was the highest among people aged 18-25 (10.9%). Furthermore, the report also shows that the prevalence of major depressive episodes was higher among adolescent females (19.4%) compared to makes (6.4%)
What to look out for
Symptoms Of Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder has different types and each can have a different cause. One thing common to all types is the feeling of disinterest in activities once enjoyed and feeling hopeless, sad, and anxious. You can consult your doctor for a proper and formal diagnosis if you feel the following symptoms:
(Note: frequency and intensity may vary)
- Depressed mood for about two weeks or more
- Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiousness and an “empty” mood
- Pessimism; feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling guilty, worthless, and helpless
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy; Fatigue
- Slow movements (moving or talking)
- Feeling restless; trouble within staying still
- Difficulty in concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- Difficulty in sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
- Physical symptoms (aches, pains, headaches, cramps, digestive problems without clear physical cause)
Major Depression Can Cause Severe Impairment
According to a study in 2016, about 10.3 million adults in the U.S older than 18 had at least experienced one major depressive episode with severe impairment. People who had this kind of severe depression often had problems with their ability to manage things at home or work, have relationship issues and poor social life. 4.3% of adults in the U.S. had experienced a major depressive episode.
For people aged between 12 and 17, 9 percent had experienced a major depressive episode with severe impairment. If it caused severe problems with their day to day function such as doing chores, performance at work and or school, then they are defined as someone who has a major depressive episode.
There are a lot of available treatments for depression, but the result of these treatments highly depend on the severity and type of depression. For many, psychotherapy combined with medications works better than using psychotherapy alone, but this needs approval first from your mental health care provider.
Psychotherapy has developed an efficient way of monitoring people with depressive disorders. Some of them provide different types of therapies which are found helpful and effective. A few examples are:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – this therapy helps assess and change negative thinking patterns associated with depression by recognizing negative thoughts and teaching coping mechanisms to individuals. This is usually done within 8-16 sessions.
Intrapersonal therapy (IPT)
Intrapersonal therapy (IPT) – this therapy focuses on addressing interpersonal relationship problems that may trigger depression by teaching individuals on how to evaluate their interactions and to improve their interpersonal capacity.
Psychodynamic therapy – this therapy helps in recognizing and resolving negative patterns of behavior rooted from past experiences by looking at a person’s unconscious processes, which can also be considered as another component of psychotherapy.
Psychoeducation And Support Groups
Psychoeducation teaches individuals on how to treat and determine symptoms related to relapse to help them understand the situation of those people who experience signs of relapse.
One way to help them is through support groups that allow its participants to share experiences and coping strategies both for those people with mental conditions and their families.
If you are actually looking for free educational programs and support groups, you might want to explore NAMI’s nationwide which offers outstanding education, skills training and support.
Taking antidepressant medication may help reduce or control symptoms which may take at least 2-4 weeks until 12 weeks before it reaches it full effect. Most individuals have to test what dose of medication is best for them. Here are some antidepressants commonly used to treat depression:
Mirtazapine – various drugs like Wellbutrin and remeron are often prescribed targeting specific serotonin and norepinephrine receptors in the brain which causes an increase of activity of several brain circuits. It’s often used less often than newer antidepressants due to its side effect of weight gain, sedation and sleepiness. However, if compared with SSRI’s and SNRIs, Mirtazapine is less likely to cause insomnia, sexual side effects and nausea.
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – various drugs called antidepressants are also prescribed like Effexor, Pristiq and Cymbalta. SNRIs are the most common antidepressants after SSRIs.
Second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) such as Abilify and Seroquel are used to treat the most common type of mental illness such as schizophrenia, acute mania and bipolar disorder. SGAs are also used for treatment-resistant depression.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are found to be an effective medication since they manifest fewer side effects than other medications. They are also found to be effective for people who don’t respond well with other medications. However, it is not to use in combination with SSRIs.
Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) – are prescribed to increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. A common NDRI medication is Bupropion but may not be given as a medication to all since there are some instances of anxiety symptoms as its side effect.
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) come as a substitute medication for other antidepressants that can ease chronic pain but most likely to have more side effects compared with other antidepressants.
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Doxepin (Sinequan)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Avantyl)
- Protriptyline (Vivactil)
Brain Stimulation Therapies
If other treatments did not work, many psychiatrists recommend brain stimulation therapies as an alternative.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – this therapy involves transmitting short electrical impulses into the brain but may cause some side effects including memory loss. Individuals who are to undergo such treatment should understand the risks and benefits beforehand.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a new type of brain stimulation that uses a magnet instead of an electric current to stimulate the brain. However, rTMS are not effective as a maintenance treatment.
- Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is an invasive procedure that works through a device implanted under the skin sending signals through the left vagus nerve, which carries messages from the brain to the major organs to areas of the brain that controls mood, sleep and other brain functions.
Complementary And Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Another type of treatment that can also help treat depression, though others may not find it useful when combined with psychotherapy and medication is called the Complementary and Alternative medicine or CAM methods. When choosing this option, discussing it with your health care professional may help you to be sure they will not cause side effects or any adverse reactions.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reviews focuses their research on developing treatments which may be beneficial for persons with depression. You visit their website for more information.
Studies shows that aerobic exercises can help treat mild depression because it increases endorphins and stimulates norepinephrine, which improves a person’s mood.
They also suggest those people with depression to increase the amount of folate or folic acid in the body which may be the cause of some antidepressants become ineffective, like taking supplements such as St. John’s wort which is proved to be an effective drug for controlling depression.
Apart from those treatments that are already available, there are some that are still under the research, to name a few are ketamine and deep brain stimulation.
- Ketamine is an anesthetic drug which may have not undergone long study determining its safety for long term use due to possible side effects increasing psychosis and may not be ideal for people with substance use disorders.
- Deep brain stimulation has been used to treat Parkinson’s disease, reducing its effects by way of implanting a pair of electrodes in the brain and controlled by a generator that is implanted in the chest.
Family support is the best option when helping somebody who experiences depression. Some of them might only want someone to talk to and wanted to feel that they have a companion who is willing to understand and feel their situation.
One way to manage the effects of depression is to live a balanced lifestyle. Here are some recommendations from people who once had and experienced depression:
Try to learn about your situation. It is always good for an individual to know more about their situation which can help you manage their depression. Try attending local conferences and conventions or build a personal library about depression or build your own support groups with people to seek advice from people who have overcome depression.
Recognize early signs of depression. Know what triggers you to overthink which may aggravate the feeling of depression. This will help you determine when to seek immediate attention when your depression is triggered. Don’t be afraid to ask your support group for help– they can help you monitor your behaviour and symptoms.
Cooperate with your healthcare provider. Show your trust to your healthcare provider by telling all information they need related to the treatment you are taking, such as if there are side effects of the medications or anything that triggers your depression. This will help them make adjustments on their approach.
It is also good to have their contact numbers stored in your phone for easy communication whenever you will be needing their help.
Look for emotional support from those who have the same condition. Share your thoughts, fears and questions with others who have similar problems or those who have family members or friends sharing the same situation as you. You can connect with them online through NAMI peer-education programs
Avoid taking drugs and alcohol. Substance such as drugs and alcohol tend to disturb emotional balance and may affect the medication you are taking. Do not succumb with the idea that alcohol and drugs will help you better rather it can make your condition worse.
Helping A Family Member Or Friend
What if it is not you but a family or a friend of yours is the one who experiences depression?
How are you going to deal with the challenges including complex family dynamics, social isolation and often unpredictable behavior that they experience? Well, here are some point to consider in dealing with those kind of situation:
Find out more about your love one’s condition. There is no better way to understand your loved one’s condition than learning about it more yourself. Talk with a friend or a relative’s past experiences to recognize signs early. You can find more tips on NAMI Blog:
Learn to recognize symptoms early. Depression have symptoms you can easily recognize, such as having a low mood, insomnia or extreme fatigued. Recognizing these symptoms can help you address depression early.
Communicate with them. When you are talking to persons with depressive tendencies, try to be more empathic with them by encouraging them to see the good in what they are experiencing. Let them feel that there is someone who cares about them and someone who is willing to listen to them.
Always be calm and act rationally. Be calm when a family member or a friend is the one who is experiencing a crisis. Let them feel that you are always there for them and that they are not alone. Listen to their grips and problems and express sympathy towards them.
Look for emotional support from others. Share your thoughts, fears and questions with others who have similar problems or those who have family members or friends sharing the same situation as you. You can connect with them online through NAMI peer-education programs
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We think it’s about time people were able to take their wellness into their own hands. So our doctors are in-network with most major health insurance providers. You get access to an amazing community of specialists, with the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered.