Depression is more than feeling sad from time to time. At South Florida Psychiatry in Miami, Florida, Ernesto Sarduy, PMHNP, DNP, understands how intrusive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness can seep into your everyday life. Dr. Sarduy leverages the latest techniques in psychiatry to diagnose and treat depression in individuals of all ages. Call the clinic today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

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What is depression?

One of the most common mental health disorders, depression causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and irritability. The condition can affect your mood and behaviors, diminishing your work and school performance and interfering with your interpersonal relationships. Depression can develop at any age and remains the leading cause of disability worldwide.

What are the signs of depression?

Everybody experiences depression differently. The signs may initially be subtle but typically worsen over time without treatment. Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in once-loved activities
  • Feelings of extreme sadness, hopelessness, guilt, or worthlessness
  • Sleeping too often or too little
  • Restlessness
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent thoughts of suicide or death
  • Muscle aches
  • Digestive issues

If you experience any of the above symptoms of depression for longer than two weeks, Dr. Sarduy may perform a comprehensive mental health evaluation. Once you have a diagnosis, Dr. Sarduy can create your individualized treatment plan to reduce your symptoms and help you overcome the challenges of depression.

How does depression develop?

Many factors can influence depression, including brain chemistry, stress, and genetics. Event personality traits, such as your temperament — whether you are more pessimistic or optimistic or your self-esteem — may also play a role.

Common risk factors for depression include:

  • Past trauma
  • Certain medications
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Vitamin deficiencies

Having risk factors for depression doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop the condition, but it does increase your vulnerability to its effects.

What are the treatments for depression?

A combination approach typically offers the greatest improvements for individuals with depression. Dr. Sarduy may create an individualized treatment plan that includes therapy and medication.

Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), may help minimize the symptoms of depression.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can also encourage you to turn negative thoughts and behaviors into more helpful ones. This technique allows you to understand and healthily process your feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Dr. Sarduy guides you to identify and change any poor coping mechanisms you may have to resolve your issues.

If you’re ready to find relief from depression, call South Florida Psychiatry today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.