A Treatable Illness
Depression is a serious but treatable medical condition that affects your body, mood and thoughts. It can impact eating and sleeping habits, how you feel about yourself, and how you think.
This medical condition can occur at any age, but later in life, physical and social changes can increase its likelihood. If you’re affected, the trusted caregivers at Enloe Behavioral Health are ready to help.
These specially trained caregivers can help you overcome depression using individualized treatment plans that include medications and counseling.
A social worker will meet with you to determine your needs and come up with your care plan. During your stay, you will participate in group and individual therapy, and have access to several resources to help you feel better.
Your care team will also help you connect with counselors and resources you can use once you leave our inpatient facility, so you can continue your path to wellness.
Depression can be mild, moderate or severe. If affected, you may develop a few — or many — of these symptoms:
- Trouble sleeping, early-morning awakening or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Persistent sadness, anxiety or feeling empty
- Lower energy levels and fatigue
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness
- Restlessness and irritability
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering and making decisions
- Losing interest in the activities you once enjoyed
- Persistent headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain that don’t respond to routine treatment
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. Symptoms can last for weeks, months or years. It is not a sign of weakness, or a condition that will go away on its own. If you’re affected, contact Enloe Behavioral Health for help.
Depression is caused by a combination of biological, genetic and environmental factors. Usually, it accompanies other medical illnesses, such as:
- Heart disease
- And Parkinson's disease
Having a chronic medical illness increases the risks of depression. Painful losses can also trigger the condition.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression. It happens during certain times of the year, often fall and winter.
Experts note that shorter days and less daylight may trigger a chemical change in the brain that leads to symptoms. If you’re suffering from SAD, you may:
- Feel sad, grumpy, moody or anxious
- Lose interest in your usual activities
- Eat more and crave carbohydrates
- Gain weight
- Sleep more but still feel tired
- And have trouble concentrating
Symptoms come and go around the same time each year. Most people with SAD start to have symptoms in September or October and feel better by April or May.
Up to 80% of older adults with a depressive disorder can improve when they receive treatment. The first step is a physical examination by a doctor to rule out other causes for symptoms.
Next, the caregiver should conduct a diagnostic evaluation for depression or refer you to a mental health professional for this evaluation.
Treatment usually involves medication or counseling. Sometimes a combination of medication and counseling provide the greatest relief.
It usually takes a few weeks to feel the full effects of treatment. Once you improve, treatment may need to continue for several months or — in some cases — indefinitely to prevent a relapse.