Depressive Disorders

What Is Major Depressive Disorder?

Depression is a common condition characterized by persistent feelings of intense sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, and apathy; it is more than just feeling blue on a cloudy day. Major depressive disorder is a mental health condition caused by changes in the brain chemistry that affect the transmission of the chemicals and neurotransmitters used in emotional responses. There are multiple variables that can influence a person’s probability of developing depression, such as difficult life events and surrounding stressers, genes, changes in hormone levels, and specific medical conditions.

What Are the Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder?
​When a patient has depression, his or her emotions, thought patterns, and behavior are all affected. Symptoms include but are not limited to:
● Irritability● Difficulty with decision making● Memory and focus issues● Helplessness and hopelessness● Weight gain or loss● Changes in sleep structure● Decreased energy● Changes in appetite● Sexual difficulties● Substance abuse

That being said, depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and nearly one in ten American adults experience these feelings at some point in their life. Fortunately, depression can be treated with the right plan.

How Is Depression Treated?
​Following a comprehensive bio-psycho-social-spiriutal psychiatric assessment, Dr. Mitchell creates an individualized treatment plan for each of her patients. She often uses a customized combination of treatments such as lifestyle changes, psychotherapy, and medication management if needed. During therapy sessions, Dr. Mitchell guides her patients in finding relief from symptoms to help bring meaning back into their lives. Patients may also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, where they learn to recognize unhelpful thought patterns and adjust their behaviors and emotional responses. Dr. Mitchell may provide advice and support to encourage her patients to increase their physical activity, improve sleep hygiene and eating patterns, as well as various stress reduction tools. She may also prescribe medication if appropriate. With compassionate, professional care, you can enjoy better mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Dr. Mitchell specializes in finding effective treatment plans for depression as well as the following mental illnesses:
● Young adult and teen depression● Bipolar disorder● Clinical depression in adults● Grief recovery and coping with loss● Major depressive disorder● Mood swings and mood disorders● Women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder or postpartum depression● Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)