The holidays are a joyous time, but for many they can be daunting, overwhelming or even sad. Dr. Elizabeth Douglas spoke about depression during the ARH Lunch and Learn session on Dec. 8.
Douglas has been a family practice doctor with Middlesboro ARH for several years. She explained that during her time in medicine, she has seen several different cases of depression which have required many different types of remedies.
“It’s a very treatable condition that you can and should talk to someone about,” said Douglas.
Common emotional symptoms of depression can include crying easily without reason, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, feelings of restlessness, irritation, sadness, numbness or hopelessness, losing interest in things you used to enjoy, contemplating death or suicide. Common physical symptoms include changes in appetite, tiredness, aches and pains, having trouble with memory, recall, concentration or decision making, having trouble sleeping or unintentional weight fluctuation.
Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain which could be linked to genetics, a medical condition, life events or medicine, drugs or alcohol.
“This is a very treatable condition, and I try to keep up with the latest and greatest studies, and with counseling or medication, it can do a lot for depression. There’s always new research coming out about what might be able to help someone’s depression,” said Douglas.
Depression can commonly be treated with not only medicines or counseling, but many physicians will also suggest eating a healthy diet, exercise, and avoiding alcohol, drugs or an excessive amount of caffeine. Treatment can start helping depression in as little as 8 to 12 weeks.
“Sometimes you have to try multiple medications or different treatments or even a combination of both to see what works best for you. Everyone is different and it can sometimes take some work or time to figure out what can help each situation,” said Douglas.
She also urged that it is important to confide in someone, be it a mentor, physician, pastor or someone close to you, if you think you are suffering from depression.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.