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Depression Specialist

HT Family Physicians

Family Medicine located in Stockton, CA & Lodi, CA

Depression isn’t always a case of simply “having the blues,” and it isn’t always something you can just “snap out of,” at will. Clinical depression is a serious medical illness that affects one in 15 adults at any given time. From two convenient office locations in Stockton and Lodi, California, the compassionate team at HT Family Physicians provides comprehensive care for patients in the greater San Joaquin, California area who find themselves dealing with depression. To find out more, call or book your appointment online today.

Depression Q & A

What is depression?

Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a mental condition that can have a powerful, negative effect on how you feel, what you think, and the way you behave. It can also interfere with your ability to perform everyday tasks or get through your normal daily routine.

Left untreated, depression can cause a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral problems that can take a further toll on your health.

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling empty, hopeless, sad, or worthless
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Tiredness, exhaustion, or general lack of energy
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Anger, irritability, and frustration
  • Dramatic decrease or increase in appetite
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

What causes depression?

Depression can affect anyone, regardless of their individual set of circumstances. As is the case with most mental disorders, researchers haven’t discovered any one thing, or even specific combination of factors, that are known to cause depression.

There are certain factors, however, that may make depression more likely. Because people affected by major depression appear to have physical changes in their brains, it’s possible that biochemistry may play a role in the illness.

People with depression also are more likely to have a close family member who has also experienced the problem, which means that depression could have a genetic component.

Other factors that may help trigger depression include:

  • Traumatic or stressful events
  • Hormonal changes
  • Problems with substance abuse
  • Serious chronic illness, such as cancer
  • Certain prescription medications

How is depression treated?

Left untreated, clinical depression almost always worsens. The good news is that depression is one of the most treatable mental disorders: Approximately 80-90% of people with depression respond well to treatment and eventually recover.

A successful treatment plan may include antidepressants to relieve symptoms, and psychotherapy, or talk therapy, to help work through issues and give you the tools you need to deal with setbacks.   

Before depression can be treated, however, it must be accurately diagnosed; an accurate diagnosis also helps rule out other medical conditions with similar symptoms, such as a vitamin deficiency. At HT Family Physicians, depression is diagnosed through a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, including a physical exam and a psychological evaluation.

When should I see a doctor?

If you’re feeling depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor at HT Family Physicians as soon as possible. If you feel hesitant about seeking professional treatment, you can start by talking to a friend, family member, faith leader, or someone else you trust.