The old definition of depression was ‘learned helplessness.’
You know you have depression when you don’t feel right even if nothing is wrong, and you can’t find a solution when something really is wrong.
Effective management and treatment of depression is crucial for long term wellbeing. Here at Gaba Telepsychiatry, we offer a wide range of depression treatments including therapy, nutrition, hormone evaluation, and medication. Our Board Certified Psychiatrists are committed to helping you find the right treatment and supporting you through the recovery process.
What is Depression?
Depression, also referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression is one of the most common conditions with over 80% of Americans reporting one or multiple symptoms of depression.Most people do not know that depression is treatable, and suffer in silence for years before seeking treatment.
Likewise many individuals are afraid to start treatment, because of fear of stigma, or because of failed treatments in the past, or because they have been prescribed the wrong medication.
Untreated depression, apart from making you feel miserable, can create problems at work, interfere with academic success, career progression, and can also cause health and relationship difficulties. It is important to get the right treatment to alleviate symptoms, and reduce suffering.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression can present in many different ways. Apart from mood, depression can affect cognition, thoughts, and body sensations. In severe cases depression can cause paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. Symptoms of Depression can usually be categorized as follows :
Physical Symptoms of Depression
Cognitive Symptoms of Depression
Thought Distortions with Depression
Mood Symptoms Associated with Depression
Psychotic Symptom Associated with Depression
Causes of Depression
Depressive disorders are often characterized by an intense feeling of sorrow, emptiness, loneliness, and irritable mood. Individuals suffering from depression often wonder ‘why me, or why is this happening to me, or why am I feeling like this?’
It is important to understand the different causes of depression, because in order to treat depression effectively, we first need to understand the underlying cause. The most common causes of depression include:
- Congenital or idiopathic : Sometimes depression can occur without an identifiable cause.
- Genetic : Those with a family history of depression, are more likely to develop symptoms.
- Developmental : Prolonged exposure to trauma during formative years.
- Chronic/Acute illness : HIV, cancer, any illness associated with chronic pain can increase risk.
- Heavy metal poisoning : Including lead, iron, mercury, arsenic can all cause mood symptoms.
- Prolonged poverty
- Psychodynamic Conflict : Can be a cause of depression.
- Academic stress : Pressure, undiagnosed ADHD, uncertainty about the future.
- Hormone imbalance including : Thyroxine, estrogen, progesterone, growth hormone, testosterone.
- Sleep disturbance, including : sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy.
- Situational anxiety :
- Nutritional deficiencies (eg. B12, vitamin D , magnesium, zinc and iron deficiency).
- Workplace stress: Overwork, burnout and toxic workplace environments.
- Trauma, especially : Prolonged trauma is recognized as a cause of depression.
Neurotransmitters and Depression
There are many theories with regards to how neurotransmitters affect mood. The main neurotransmitters associated with depression are serotonin, dopamine and glutamate. However the role of gaba and acetylcholine is also being researched, and more is understood. Most medications for depression are the most accepted treatments for depression.
Untreated depression can cause difficulties with academic performance, careers, relationships, and physical health. Depression is almost always treatable, and symptoms almost always improve with effective treatment. Depression treatment involves:
- Treating underlying medical illness
- Addressing nutrition deficiencies
- Psychotherapy for the treatment of depression such as psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, family therapy and group therapy
- Treating hormone imbalance
- Addressing external stressors, including housing, work life balance
- Addressing relationships and interpersonal stressors
- Treat insomnia
- Medication such as SSRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, MAOIs, Serotonin modulators, mood stabilizers, and atypicals
- Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, medication
‘A holistic approach to depression treatment, simply means, considering, screening, and addressing all the different factors which can cause depression.’
Why is it important to get treatment for depression?
Untreated depression can cause difficulties with academic performance, careers, relationships, and physical health. Depression treatment involves:
Supplements For Depression
It is well known that common nutritional deficiencies can cause depression. For example iron deficiency, B12 deficiency, and vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of depression. Dietary changes and supplement regimens are known to help in the treatment of depression. Supplements for depression treatment include:
Your psychiatrist will talk to you, and may accordingly prescribe you depression medications which include SSRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), serotonin modulators, mood stabilizers, neuroleptics, anxiolytics and atypicals.
Dr. Valeria Serban
Neurology Residency Training
Master of Philosophy (M.Ph.) - Neuroscience
Internal Medicine Residency
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) - Neuroscience
Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship
Board Certified Psychiatrist with Multiple State Licenses MBBS (MD)
Dr. Valeria Serban is an experienced, Board Certified geriatric psychiatrist practicing general adult psychiatry and specializing in Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Valeria Serban has a background in neuroscience and has completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the NYS Institute for Basic Research, City University of New York. She also obtained a Fellowship in Neurophysiology from Massachusetts General Hospital – Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
As a geriatric psychiatrist, Dr. Serban can help individuals between 18 to 120 years, with age-related cognitive decline like delirium, depression, dementia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and other medical conditions resulting in psychiatric symptoms.
Dr. Tony Issac
Board Certified Psychiatrist in New York & New Jersey (MD)
Dr Tony Isaac is a double Board certified Psychiatrist with nine years experience practicing psychiatry. He provides compassionate discreet psychiatric evaluations, and psychiatric care services including medication management, and psychotherapy. Dr Isaac treats a wide range of psychiatric conditions including insomnia, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He conducts suicide assessments, and acute stabilization and will work with your family and employer to provide support.
Dr Issac also provides follow up appointments, and psychiatric services including psychotherapy and sensitive medication titration. Dr Issac can work with you to achieve a collaborative treatment plan and work towards recovery and healing.
Dr Issac is available for same day appointments during emergencies and is available for weekend appointments to ensure that you receive the care and the folow up which you deserve.
Dr. Gundu Reddy
Board Certified Psychiatrist with Multiple State Licenses MBBS (MD)
Dr. Gundu Reddy is a board-certified psychiatrist with fifteen years of experience practicing clinical psychiatry and ten years of experience practicing forensic psychiatry.
Dr Reddy has a special interest in treating depression, including postpartum depression and treatment resistant depression. Dr Reddy has worked at Manhattan psychiatric Center where she spent three years treating patients with treatment resistant depression.
She has trained in Medication Management, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, and integrative psychiatry. When treating depression she states it is important to evaluate why treatment has failed in the past, and what needs to be done differently.
Dr. Reddy believes that multiple factors should be considered when providing depression treatment, including genetic factors, developmental factors, medical illness, nutrition, and hormones, as well as environmental and dynamic factors.
Dr. Reddy emphasizes that the decision to take psychiatric medication,, should not be taken lightly and depression medication should be prescribed with the utmost care. The goal of medication management is to achieve maximum efficacy with minimum side effects, and gentle titration is required.
Dr. Reddy believes that in most cases depression is treatable, and most people can achieve significant improvement in symptoms, as well as social and occupational functioning, with high-quality and consistent care, including the expertise of a postpartum depression psychiatrist. Her goal is to provide the best possible treatment to patients in a telepsychiatry or online psychiatry setting, utilizing her expertise as a postpartum depression psychiatrist, and achieve the same standards of care as if seeing the patient in person.
Please schedule online or call +1(833)312-4222 if you wish to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reddy.
Schedule an Appointment with one of our Online Psychiatrists.
Clinical Services: California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee
Forensic Psychiatry Services: All of the US and Canada
How much does it cost to see an online psychiatrist at Gaba Telepsychiatry?
Your first online appointment with one of our psychiatrists will cost $400. The follow-up appointments will be $250. If you have out-of-network benefits, we can submit claims on your behalf.
The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D or HDRS) are most commonly used to assess symptoms of depression and also to accurately measure its severity. These two methods have been used successfully in several studies of depression and for its treatment.
What Are The Types of Depression?
Some of the common types of depression include:
Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is usually referred to as clinical depression, and is often characterized by:
As per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), for a person to be diagnosed with MDD, he/she must exhibit at least five or more of the mentioned symptoms, of which one must be a depressed mood or anhedonia that causes moderate to severe social or occupational impairment.
Persistent Depressive Disorder or Chronic Major Depressive Disorder, and Dysthymic Disorder
Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia or chronic major depressive disorder, is a long-lasting form of depression. The symptoms of dysthymia include:
As per the DSM-5, for a person to be diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia, during the 2 year period of the disturbance, the person should not be without symptoms from the above two criteria for more than 2 months at a time. The symptoms can cause clinically significant distress or impairment in critical areas of functioning.
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is characterized by:
As per the DSM-5, for a person to be diagnosed with DMDD, the individual must exhibit two or more of the depressive symptoms mentioned above. Furthermore, the symptoms must exist for 12 or more months, with no more than 3 consecutive months of symptom-free period. The symptoms can cause severe impairment in functioning.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is an abnormal reaction to hormone changes that take place at all menstrual cycles. Individuals suffering from PMDD exhibit the following symptoms:
As per the DSM-5, for a person to be diagnosed with PMDD, at least 5 symptoms must be present in the final week before the onset of menses, which start to improve within a few days after the onset of menses, and become minimal or absent in the week postmenses. Further, 5 or more depressive symptoms must show for a duration of two consecutive menstrual cycles with these symptoms causing severe impairment in functioning.
Substance and Medication Induced Depressive Disorder
An individual may experience substance and medication induced depressive disorder in response to the physiological use and abuse of substances and medications. The symptoms of substance and medication induced depressive disorder include:
As per the DSM-5, in order for a person to be diagnosed with substance and medication induced depressive disorder, the individual must show at least 5 or more depressive symptoms for a 2 weeks period with moderate to severe impairment in functioning.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
According to DSM-5, seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a recurrent major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern usually beginning in fall and continuing into winter months. The symptoms of SAD include:
As per the DSM-5, for a person to be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, the symptoms will begin and end during a specific season every year (with full remittance during other seasons) for at least two years. The individual will exhibit mild to moderate impairment in functioning and severity.
Depressive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition
A variety of medical and neurological conditions can produce depressive symptoms such as:
However, these symptoms are not due to any mental disorder. Instead, it is because of medical conditions not necessarily connected to depression.
Other Specified Depressive Disorders
What Are Antidepressants?
Antidepressants are a type of medication used for depression treatment. Antidepressants help in the treatment of major depressive disorder, chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and addiction.
Antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are usually used to treat several depressive and anxiety disorders. Other types of antidepressants include SNRI’s.
Does Exercise Help as a Treatment for Depression?
Regular exercise relieves stress and helps reduce depression. It releases feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis (endogenous cannabinoids) and few other natural brain chemicals that aids in improving your sense of well-being. Further, it helps in removing negative thoughts that lead to depression and also improves self-esteem.
How Can Depression Affect Your Relationship?
Depression can cause stress to those close to the sufferers since they see their loved ones suffer, but feel helpless at the same time. You will tend to push away your partner, friends and family members when you are highly depressed. People undergoing depression typically want to spend more time by themselves and also struggle to engage in conversation.
How Long Does Depressive Symptom Have to Last in Order to Qualify as Depression?
If you are experiencing feelings of persistent sadness, anxiety, irritability, frustration, restlessness and hopelessness continuously for at least 2 weeks, you could be suffering from depression.