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Feeling Depressed? Here's How We Can Help

Today, we are shedding light on a topic that affects millions of people around the world: depression. As your trusted healthcare provider, it's our mission to ensure you have the information you need to understand depression and know when it's time to seek help from an internal medicine doctor.


Signs & symptoms of depression


Depression is more than just feeling sad or having a bad day. It's a serious medical condition that affects your mood, thoughts and overall function. When left untreated, depression can make everyday activities feel overwhelming, impact your relationships and diminish your quality of life. Depression can manifest in different ways, and it's important to recognize the signs early. Common symptoms include:


  • Consistently feeling sad, numb, empty or hopeless

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed

  • Significant weight loss or gain

  • Decrease or increase in appetite

  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping

  • Feeling tired and having little energy

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things

  • Unexplained aches and pains, headaches or digestive problems

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Frequent thoughts about death, suicidal ideation or attempts


It's important to remember that depression is not a sign of weakness or something you can simply "snap out of". It's a medical condition that requires attention and treatment.


When to see a doctor


Many people assume that only a psychologist or psychiatrist can support your mental health care. However, an internal medicine doctor can also play a crucial role in diagnosing and managing depression. Here are a few reasons why you should consider seeing an internal medicine doctor for depression:


  • Initial Evaluation: If you're experiencing depression symptoms, your internal medicine physician can conduct a comprehensive evaluation. This includes a detailed medical history, physical exam and any necessary lab tests to rule out other medical conditions that might contribute to depression (such as thyroid disorders or vitamin deficiencies).

  • Existing Medical Conditions: Many people with chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease or chronic pain also experience depression. An internal medicine doctor can manage both conditions simultaneously, ensuring a coordinated and comprehensive approach to your health.

  • Medication Management: Internal medicine doctors are well-versed in prescribing and managing medications for depression. They can help determine the most appropriate medication, monitor your responses and adjust your treatment as needed.

  • Holistic Care: Internists focus on the whole person, not just a single aspect of your health. They consider how your mental health impacts your physical health and vice versa, providing a holistic approach to your care.

  • Referrals and Coordination of Care: If your depression is severe or requires specialized care, your internist can refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. They can also coordinate care among different providers to ensure you receive the best, most comprehensive care.


What to expect during your visit


When you visit an internal medicine doctor for depression, you can expect a comprehensive assessment. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history and any medications you're currently taking. Be prepared to discuss your mood, sleep patterns, appetite, energy levels and any thoughts of self-harm. You may also need a physical exam and/or lab tests to rule out any underlying health issues that could be causing your symptoms, such as thyroid problems, anemia or vitamin deficiencies.


Your doctor may also use a standardized questionnaire or screening tool to assess the severity of your depression. Based on the assessments, the physician will then discuss treatment options with you. This may include lifestyle changes, therapy, medication or a combination of these. After you begin your depression treatment, your doctor will often require regular follow-up visits to monitor your progress, adjust your treatment and provide ongoing support.



We're here to help

Depression is a common but serious condition that requires special attention and care. As your trusted internal medicine team, we are here to help you navigate this challenging time. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, don't hesitate to reach out to us for support. Early intervention can make a significant difference in managing your mental health and improving your quality of life.


Remember, you are not alone, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Schedule an appointment with our office today, and let's work together towards better mental and physical health.


 

About Odessa Medical Enterprises

We are the office of Dr. Khavar Dar, MD and Janette Ornelas, FNP-C, providing pulmonary, critical care and primary care to patients in Odessa, TX. At Odessa Medical Enterprises, we believe that compassion is crucial for effective treatment. Together, we consider it our mission to serve our community and beyond with the utmost care.



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