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woman struggling and distraught puts hands to her head while contemplating how depression treatment could help herLife is a complex journey, and many people face different challenges. It’s normal to experience bouts of sadness or depression from time to time. Mood can be affected by life events, sleep, nutrition habits, relationships with others, and even changes in the weather. But if your depressed mood is affecting your ability to complete daily activities like eating and sleeping normally, completing your schoolwork or work, or maintaining relationships with loved ones, something more serious might be happening.

At New Direction Mental Health, we understand depression and the importance of seeking depression treatment. We offer comprehensive mental health disorders treatment programs to help you get back to a more normal life. Our depression therapy program can help individuals recognize the signs of depression and work towards managing it to improve overall mental health. Call us at 724.374.7414 to learn more about our depression treatment programs and how getting help can make a difference.

What Is Depression?

Depression is formally diagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD). It is a common but serious mood disorder in which someone experiences low moods that affect their ability to think, feel, and act the way they normally would. While there is no “cure” for depression, treatment is available that can help people with depression find joy and retake control of their lives. Depression can feel overwhelming, but there is hope. If you or someone you care about is experiencing depression, you are not alone—help is available at New Directions Mental Health. 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Depression?

Depression looks different for different people, but some common signs and symptoms can indicate you are experiencing something more than a temporary feeling of sadness. Remember that someone with depression may not experience all of these symptoms, and the symptoms they experience can vary in severity. If you are experiencing five or more of these common symptoms of depression, you might have clinically diagnosable depression:

  • Low or depressed mood every day for more than two weeks
  • Losing interest in activities that used to be enjoyable or meaningful
  • Intrusive thoughts about death or suicide
  • Sleep disturbances, including sleeping much more or less than usual
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Changes in appetite, including eating much more or less than usual
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Cognitive disturbances, including difficulty thinking, focusing, or making decisions
  • Fidgeting or moving more slowly than usual

People with depression experience symptoms like the ones above that disrupt their usual functioning and get in the way of them living their lives. It’s important to remember that there are different types of depression and that depression can present differently in men and women. Common male depression symptoms include anger, aggression, risk-taking behavior, physical aches and pains, and withdrawal from family and friends.

Depression is not the only condition that can cause these symptoms. Medical conditions such as certain thyroid disorders and vitamin deficiencies can also include symptoms like low mood, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Make an appointment with your doctor to rule out possible underlying or contributing medical conditions and ensure your diagnosis is as accurate as possible. 

What Causes Depression?

Depression is a complex condition that can affect anyone, even if it appears they have “no reason” to be depressed. Research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that depression is caused by genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. 

Genetic Causes

Do you have a family history of depression? Like other conditions, depression can run in the family. Studies have shown that the offspring of parents with depression are more than twice as likely to experience this mental health disorder compared to children whose parents don’t suffer from it. 

Biological Causes

Several biochemicals in your body impact your mood, including neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Differences in the way someone’s body handles these chemicals can affect their risk of developing depression.

Environmental Causes

People do not exist in a vacuum. Their life circumstances can significantly impact their mental health. People exposed to violence, abuse, neglect, and poverty may have an increased risk of depression.

Psychological Causes

Depression is a psychological disorder, and various psychological factors can impact it. People who do not have healthy methods of coping with stress, who have low self-esteem or self-worth, and who otherwise exhibit pessimistic psychology are more likely to develop depression. 

How Can a Depression Treatment Program Help?

Just like several factors can cause depression, there are many ways it can be treated. Because depression involves some physical and mental risk factors, and certain medical conditions can cause depression-like symptoms, the first step in finding the proper depression treatment includes having a thorough diagnostic evaluation by a physician. Once your physician understands the factors causing your depression, they can start to build a treatment plan tailored to your unique situation.

Treatment for depression may include:

  • Medication – If biochemistry is a factor in your depression, a doctor may prescribe antidepressants to help modify brain chemistry that may be causing symptoms.
  • Therapy – Individual or group therapy can help address psychological causes of depression and resolve trauma that may be causing symptoms.
  • Lifestyle changes – Improving physical health can positively impact mental health, so a doctor might suggest making lifestyle changes such as taking vitamins or increasing exercise.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy – Is an FDA-approved depression treatment that uses painless magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that are less active in people with depression. It is a non-invasive, non-drug alternative that can be effective even for people with treatment-resistant depression.
  • Ketamine therapy – Safely used as an anesthetic in hospitals for decades, recent research suggests that ketamine therapy shows promise in individuals with severe depression that hasn’t responded to other medications or therapy.

Our team is dedicated to providing excellent mental health services with compassion, understanding, and respect. We are among the best-established mental health practices in the Southwestern PA area and have served our community for nearly 50 years. Allow our teams to help you or a loved one struggling with depression.

Benefits of a Depression Therapy Program

Participating in a depression therapy program can help you to:

  • Regain control of your moods, thoughts, and emotions
  • Improve relationships with family and friends
  • Increase self-esteem and confidence
  • Develop healthy coping strategies for depression symptoms
  • Learn how to manage depression triggers
  • Take an active role in your depression treatment plan
  • Enjoy activities and experiences that depression may have made difficult in the past

At New Direction Mental Health, we understand depression and how it affects individuals and families. Our team is committed to providing excellent mental health services with compassion, understanding, and respect. 

Contact New Directions Mental Health for Depression Treatment in Pennsylvania

At New Directions Mental Health, we are dedicated to helping people in our communities access life-changing mental health care. Our services aim to meet the needs of individuals, couples, families, children, teens, young adults—and everyone in between. Our depression treatment can help give individuals the tools they need to stay healthy and maintain their mental well-being. If you believe you are experiencing depression, contact us at 724.374.7414 to learn what our compassionate care providers can do for you. 

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