Major Depression

Major Depression services offered in Colorado Ohio, Florida, and Massachusetts

Up to 8% of Americans (about 21 million people) have major depression or treatment-resistant depression. At Sound Psychiatry and Wellness, a virtual psychiatry practice that serves Boston, Massachusetts, and Littleton, Colorado, Drew Pittman, PMHNP, specializes in diagnosing and treating major depression. Drew uses genetic testing to identify contributing biological factors and help guide treatment. Call Sound Psychiatry and Wellness today to receive treatment for major depression, or book your appointment online. 

I don’t feel like myself. Could it be major depression?

Clinical depression, also known as major depression, is a condition that causes you to feel intense feelings of sadness or disinterest for months or even years. Without treatment, it can seep into every aspect of your life, affecting your sleep, appetite, and ability to focus.

What are the symptoms of major depression?

Symptoms of major depression include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities
  • Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling worthless or excessively guilty
  • Increased or decreased appetite

As the condition progresses, you might experience thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

What causes major depression?

Scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes major depression, but several factors are thought to contribute, including brain chemistry and genetics.

For example, if your brain doesn’t produce normal amounts of neurotransmitters like dopamine, you’re more likely to feel low. Likewise, if you have a parent or sibling with major depression, you’re three times more likely to develop the condition yourself.

How is major depression diagnosed?

Drew reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle. Then, he has you fill out a series of psychological questionnaires that inquire about your mood, outlook, and behavior. 

Drew compares your responses to the criteria for major depression in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). If you have five or more of the symptoms of major depression and they last nearly all day every day for two weeks or longer, your diagnosis is confirmed.

Before making treatment recommendations, Drew may order genetic testing. The results of your test help him determine which psychiatric medication will most benefit you.

How is major depression treated?

At Sound Psychiatry and Wellness, Drew treats major depression using a conservative approach that combines healthy lifestyle changes and prescription medication. He might recommend:

  • Establishing a healthy sleep schedule
  • Managing stress with relaxation techniques (e.g., yoga or deep breathing)
  • Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and other substances
  • Exercising regularly
  • Treating underlying medical conditions
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Talk therapy (psychotherapy)
  • Antidepressants through medication management

It might take some trial and error at first to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. Follow Drew’s instructions and make sure to attend each of your telepsychiatry appointments.

Call Sound Psychiatry and Wellness today to schedule a telepsychiatry appointment for major depression, or book your visit online.