Slepian Smith, PLLC

3 ways medical care can help sufferers of depression

In recent weeks, the topics of depression and mental illness have been at the forefront of our national discussions. Unfortunately, serious illnesses like depression affect millions of people in the U.S., and sufferers don't always seek the medical care they need.

While there are myriad reasons why a person may not seek medical attention for mental illnesses like depression, it is perhaps the most critical step in treating these troubling conditions. If you or a loved one suffers from depression or has suicidal thoughts, we urge you to seek immediate medical help. Doing so can help in many ways.

Securing a diagnosis

There is a difference between thinking you have a mental illness and receiving an actual diagnosis. A medical diagnosis can give a person a place to start, in terms of treatment and prognosis. It legitimizes the condition and is something a person can point to as an explanation for his or her symptoms, which may not make sense otherwise.

Identifying causes

Numerous factors can cause or exacerbate depression. For instance, medications for other conditions like high blood pressure can increase risk of depression. In fact, researchers for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently identified more than 200 medications in the U.S. that have depression as an adverse effect.

Other potential causes could include genetics, brain injuries and trauma. Identifying a cause can help sufferers and medical workers treat the depression by treating the cause, if possible.

Providing an outlet and support

Speaking to a doctor about symptoms of depression can help people get on the road to recovery. It gives people the opportunity to talk about their symptoms in a confidential, private environment, making it easier to be open and honest.

And despite their best efforts, loved ones may not be capable of providing the kind of help a person suffering from depression needs. This is why it is so important to seek out trained medical attention.

Depression can be a life-threatening, disabling condition that affects every aspect of a person's life. As such, it is crucial not to dismiss it or hope it goes away on its own. Instead, take it seriously and don't hesitate to get medical help if you or a loved one is depressed.

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