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Signs You Have Depression

Signs You Have Depression

You get sad, that’s normal. But you’ve also noticed months-long changes in eating habits and sleep patterns; you’re easily agitated and get angry quickly – and those may be early signs of depression. More than 17 million U.S. adults suffer from depression, but knowing its symptoms is a critical step in getting treatment.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.”

Depression isn’t a moral failure or something you can sweep under the bed. 

What Causes Depression?

  • Doctors have observed physical differences in the brains of people with depression. The magnitude of these changes is still unclear but may ultimately help identify causes.
  • Brain chemistry and faulty neurotransmitters are known as glutamate, which helps transmit pain signals and communicate with cells throughout the body.
  • Changes in hormones, which may explain depression cases in women during and after pregnancy.
  • Genetics, as depression is more common if you have a blood relative with the condition.

Are There Risk Factors?

  • Certain personality traits, including low self-esteem.
  • You experienced trauma or stressful events, like physical abuse, death in your family,  relationship issues, or money worries.
  • Someone in your family had a mental illness, alcoholism, or suicidal tendencies.
  • Sexual orientation or gender issues without being in a supportive situation.
  • You suffer from other mental health ailments, including another mood disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Another risk factor for depression is abusing alcohol or recreational drugs.
  • Major life changes.

Tips For Finding Treatment

One of the most important factors in treating depressive symptoms is finding a doctor or therapist you can trust and therapy options you’re comfortable with. When searching for professional help:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask about expertise or experience in diagnosing and treating depression.
  • Always ask about the kinds of treatment they recommend or have worked within the past. 
  • Ask how your progress will be evaluated.

Finally, continue looking for a treatment that’s right for you.

Signs You Have Depression

Everyone reacts to depression in ways that are unique. How you react could be a product of your personality, overall health, and other factors. Many signs and symptoms of depression respond favorably to conventional therapy, but if you suffer from long-term or treatment-resistant depression, your healthcare provider may recommend ketamine infusion therapy for your depression treatment. Only a doctor or mental healthcare specialist can accurately diagnose a case of depression, but there are things you can watch for on your own.

Signs to watch for:

  • You have little interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy doing.
  • You may feel sad, lonely, or have low moods.
  • You have trouble sleeping – either sleeping too little, or not enough, or have disruptions in sleeping patterns.
  • You’re wracked by fatigue and have low energy.
  • Another sign to watch for changes in eating habits or weight. If you’re depressed, you may binge eat and gain weight; or you may skip meals and lose weight.
  • You feel bad about yourself and guilty that you let someone down – even when you didn’t.
  • Things like enjoying a book, finishing a crossword puzzle, or watching the news take immense effort to focus and concentrate.
  • You speak or move slowly to the point someone else notices your actions.
  • You think others would be better off if you were dead and harbor suicidal thoughts.
  • You may find yourself suffering from unexplained physical problems, headaches or migraines, or gastrointestinal difficulties.
  • Angry outbursts or becoming easily irritated.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Depression can coexist with other medical or mental health conditions. It could be paired with heart disease, cancer, or another mental health condition like bipolar disorder. The first step in managing your condition is early diagnosis and finding the right treatment for your condition.

A diagnosis happens after a thorough mental health assessment and medical examination has been done, either by a medical doctor or mental healthcare professional using tests and diagnostic procedures. Symptoms are then compared to criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Treatment may include psychotherapy, self-help, medicine, or ketamine infusion therapy.

Final Thoughts

Depression is a serious mental health issue affecting nearly 300 million people worldwide. It casts a heavy net, but it doesn’t need to control your life. If you suffer from depression, contact us today to learn how we can help you find relief from your depression.

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James T. Leathem, DO

Dr. James Leathem is a board-certified anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He was born and raised in Connecticut and graduated from Florida Southern College with a bachelor of science in marketing management with minors in sociology and communications. He obtained his medical degree from Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in anesthesiology at Michigan State University and its affiliated McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital.

In 2015, after residency, Dr. Leathem returned to Arizona to practice anesthesiology. He joined Red Mountain Anesthesiologists and worked primarily at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, performing 100% of his own cases. He was made partner in the group after demonstrating 3 years of anesthesia excellence and administering over 4,000 anesthetics. In 2019, a corporate change occurred and an opportunity presented itself in which he was able to transition out of the hospital to surgery center and clinic-based anesthesia.

Dr. Leathem realizes that the only constant in life is change. In 2020, amidst the global pandemic, his career took a different direction. This change led him to collaborate with Dr. Wong and Dr. Sharma and they founded Advanced Wellness and Pain (AWAP). Their mission is to provide a variety of state-of-the-art procedural services that improve patients’ quality of life and overall physical and mental well-being.

Dr. Leathem believes that we are all a work in progress and that each day, one should strive to make positive changes in their life. He is here to help empower each patient on their journey to be their best self and live their best life. When you are being cared for by Dr. Leathem, you can be assured that he will give you his undivided attention and time.

Gregory Wong, MD

Dr. Wong is a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of both the American Society of Anesthesiology and the Arizona Society of Anesthesiology. He did his undergraduate training at the University of California at Davis, Davis, California; doctorate training at The University of Health Sciences of the Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL; and his post-doctoral training at the Integrated Program at the University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ. He has spent his whole 24-year career practicing in Arizona.

Dr. Wong grew up in the Bay Area of California. He is married and is raising three daughters. At the early age of 12 years old, he knew he wanted to become a physician. His love of the human spirit, intrigue of human physiology, and compassion for human suffering led him to the path of anesthesiology and pain medicine.

Today, Dr. Wong realizes patients need a holistic biophysical-mental-spiritual care. This philosophy has brought him to the studies of regenerative medicine and infusion therapies. He has firsthandily witnessed the overwhelming success of these therapies for treating chronic pain and depression and the return of patients of “life-functionality.”

“There has never been a time more important than now to advocate for our patients in these difficult times. We owe it to our patients to offer these state-of-the-art treatment modalities that weren’t available before.”

Deepak Sharma, MD, MBA

Dr. Sharma is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He completed three degrees at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA: a Bachelor in Finance, a Master in Business Administration, and a Doctor of Medicine. He went on to complete residency at the Mount Sinai Morningside-West Hospital System in New York, NY and post-graduate fellowship at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA.

Dr. Sharma is committed to treating his patients as a whole with a comprehensive biophysical-mental-spiritual approach. He is a lifelong learner and is constantly researching cutting-edge therapies backed by scientific studies. He has taken a particular interest in regenerative and infusion therapies after witnessing firsthand their significant benefits on those suffering from chronic pain and depression. In his free time, Dr. Sharma enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, traveling, reading, and meditation.

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