Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. When these feelings last for a short period of time. It is normal to experience these feelings from time to time, but when such feelings last for more than two weeks and when the feelings interfere with daily activities such as taking care of family, spending time with friends, or going to work or school, it's likely a major depressive episode.
Major depression is a treatable illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and functions.
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many. Several persistent symptoms in addition to low mood are required for a diagnosis of major depression, but people with only a few – but distressing – symptoms may benefit from treatment of their “subsyndromal” depression. The severity, frequency and duration of the symptoms will vary depending on the individual and their particular illness. Symptoms may also vary depending on the stage of the illness.
Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age, but often begins in adulthood, although many chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high levels of anxiety in children.
Risk factors for depression include:
Depression can also co-occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease. These conditions are often worse when depression is present. Sometimes medications taken for these physical illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression. Dr. Koller can help work out the best treatment strategy taking into account the effects of other medications.