Each year more than three million people are diagnosed with depression. Doctors say depression can be serious if left untreated but there are symptoms to look for it you suspect a loved one needs treatment.
Dr. Daryl Tanski, a psychiatrist with Lee Health, says the clinical definition of depression is unnatural sadness. Patients often feel lonely, hopeless, and have a loss of interest. “It is more severe in terms of intensity, it’s more impactful, in terms of a person’s quality of life and their ability to meet their roles and responsibilities and it’s longer in duration. So this is sadness, tearfulness, hopelessness, life isn’t worth living, going on for days, weeks, and sometimes months.”
Patients may also experience difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, a change in appetite, lack of concentration, and difficulty thinking. “Depression has significant impact on the ability for people to care for themselves, take care of other chronic medical conditions, so ignoring it has a lot of consequences,” said Dr. Tanski.
Doctors say depression is a common diagnosis affecting one in six adults. “Women are more affected than men by a two to one ratio and that might have 25 percent of women experiencing depression at some point in their lifetime and about 12 percent of men,” said Dr. Tanski.
Treatments can range from professional counseling to medication like anti-depressants. But there are things loved ones can do if they suspect someone is depressed. “It may be the reassurance, reaching out, phone call, or stopping by, that can help a person realize this doom and gloom and loneliness that they’re experiencing may not be reality but this depression has clouded their perception,” said Dr. Tanski.
That perception can lead to serious health problems if let unaddressed, making it important to address any concerns with your doctor.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.