The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 21 million adults in the United States have depression. Perhaps more startling, over 4 million teens ages 12-17 also struggle with this complex mental health disorder.
Poonam Malhotra, MD, is a female family medicine specialist at Central Clinic in Spring Hill, Florida. Dr. Malhotra is well-known throughout her community for combining the best integrative, allopathic, holistic, and evidence-based medical services to treat chronic and acute illnesses.
Her expertise includes custom, individualized treatment plans she creates for her patients, including strategies for meeting the daily challenges of depression.
Read more about helping a loved one who may be experiencing depression.
Depression is a pervasive sense of sadness and hopelessness that can eventually alter the way you feel about the past, present, and future.
Day-to-day signs and symptoms of depression include:
Your loved one may also develop unexplained physical symptoms such as frequent headaches, muscle aches, or joint discomfort. Anxiety disorder is a common complication of depression.
People with depression often believe everyone feels the way they do, so they miss the symptoms themselves. The signs, though, are usually apparent to their close family and friends.
If you suspect depression, Dr. Malhotra recommends having a compassionate conversation with your loved one about your concerns. Don’t accuse, demand change, or launch a pep talk about making the best of life.
Instead, discuss the signs and symptoms of depression, its effects, and the treatments available. Ensure them that depression is a medical illness, not a signal that they’re weak or overly emotional.
One of the first steps in overcoming depression is recognizing it’s more than feeling sad or disappointed. It can take control of every aspect of a person’s life and requires professional care.
So, support the process and encourage your loved one to schedule a visit with Dr. Malhotra.
The ongoing support you might provide during your loved one’s treatment for depression includes:
Because suicide is a risk, it’s essential that you learn the warning signs and alert a medical professional immediately by calling 911.
And remember to take care of yourself by finding time for hobbies, social events, exercise routines, and other healthy habits you enjoy.
Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Malhotra at Central Clinic for more information about depression and available treatments. Call the office or request an appointment online.