Depression and Related Conditions

Research reveals something very important about how to treat depression. If we want to heal depression effectively and with lasting effect, we need to target all aspects of depression: biological, psychological, and psychosocial causes. 

MindWell Psychology offers specialized treatment for:

 

  • Major depression
  • Persistent depressive disorder (Dysthymia)
  • Postpartum depression 
  • Seasonal depression
  • Situational depression
  • Depression related to OCD, PTSD, eating disorder, and panic disorder
  • Depression with persistent somatic symptoms
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Depression related to interpersonal conflict (individual, family, or couples therapy)
  • Depression related to another medical conditions
  • Atypical depression

Depression is a serious condition that causes a variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. Effective treatment for depression focuses on the biological, psychological, and psychosocial contributions that underlie depression.

Depression facts:

  • Depression is multifaceted and takes on many forms.
  • All age groups are affected by depression. 
  • Biological factors explain why some people are more vulnerable to developing depression.
  • Biological factors can’t predict whether or not someone will become depressed.
  • Antidepressant medication is not a cure for depression but may reduce symptoms within 2 to 6 weeks. 
  • Psychological causes underlying depression can be effectively treated using evidence-based interventions, such as emotion-focused therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Psychosocial factors such as social isolation and a lack of close connections to others increase the risk for depression

 

Science tells us that there are alterations in chemical substances in the brain, called neurotransmitters, that are in part responsible for clinical depression. Yet, not everyone who experiences low levels of depression-related neurotransmitters develops depression. And many forms of depression are resistant to pharmacological treatment. Between 65% to 80% of people who take antidepressants experience a subsequent episode of depression within 12 months. Therefore, biological factors of depression explain a vulnerability to develop depression and nothing more. 

 

If we want to understand what causes depression we need to look at the bigger picture. There has been a steady increase in depression worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 264 million people are currently suffering from depression and are in need of professional treatment. A significant contributing factor is moving towards a more individualistic society, in which a lack of traditional roles and structures create opportunity but also uncertainty. Over one third of Americans experience loneliness and a lack of deep connection to the self and others. This may seem astonishing given the widespread use of social media and communication technologies. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found a link between social media use, loneliness, and depression. Excessive social media use is certainly a driving factor for anxiety, social isolation, and loneliness. This is reflected in a recent survey by market research firm YouGov, revealing that 1 in 5 millennials do not have a single friend. Three in 10 millennials say they always or often feel lonely, making this age group the loneliest generation in the United States.