While anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, depression isn’t far behind. In 2018 it was estimated that over 16 million adults in the US experienced a depressive episode. At his private practice in Beverly Hills, California, Mindia Gabichvadze, PsyD, diagnoses and treats depression with a unique integrative approach that combines best practices in psychology with Eastern philosophies of health. Call Dr. Mindia today or schedule a consultation online for expert, compassionate treatment for depression.
While everyone feels sad now and then or experiences grief, these feelings are very different from major depressive disorder (MDD) — the clinical term for depression. Depression is a brain disorder where abnormal brain activity and neurotransmitter levels affect your mood, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
One of the primary differences between sadness and depression is the length of time that you live with your depressed feelings or grief. Depression can last for several months, or even years, and is accompanied by other disruptive symptoms, while sadness tends to pass much more quickly.
Though grief can trigger a depressive episode, it's a normal response to loss and doesn’t affect your self-esteem or cause feelings of hopeless and worthlessness.
Symptoms of depression may vary over time and affect different people in different ways. Depression is often diagnosed after the consistent presence of symptoms for two or more weeks. Symptoms may include:
In addition to these symptoms, you may also experience brain fog, poor concentration, and memory lapses.
Depression is very common and comes in many forms, including grief, major depression, postpartum depression, and seasonal depression. Possible causes include a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress.
Increasingly, research suggests these factors may cause changes in brain function, including altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. For example, medical researchers believe your hormones can impact your mental health. Postpartum depression is at least partially triggered by the dramatic hormonal changes you experience after childbirth.
Other risk factors for depression include:
Your risk of depression is also higher if you have a generally pessimistic outlook on life.
Dr. Mindia provides customized treatment plans after a detailed evaluation of your symptoms and condition. The mainstay of treatment is usually psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Increasingly, research suggests these treatments may normalize brain changes associated with depression. Dr. Mindia understands that the diagnosis and treatment of this condition require compassion, trust, and expert management. Dr. Mindia may also recommend an integrative approach and use Eastern philosophies of wellness in your treatment plan.
If you think you may have a depressive disorder, call or book an appointment with Dr. Mindia today.