Depression Treatment in Knoxville
Effective Treatment for Depression in Tennessee
Major depression, often referred to simply as depression, is a serious mental health disorder that can affect nearly every aspect of the individual’s life. Those with major depression often struggle to manage symptoms, leading to an array of physical, social, and emotional problems.
If you are struggling with depression, or if someone you love is having difficulty managing their condition, help is available. Depression is an illness, and, like any other disease, professional treatment is often critical to managing its effects. We provide effective and personalized depression treatment in Knoxville in a welcoming, judgment-free environment.
What Is Depression?
Major depressive disorder, or depression, is a medical condition that negatively affects a person’s emotions, thought processes, and behaviors. Depression is fairly common and, most importantly, treatable.
Depression can range from mild to severe and may occur along with various specific features, including:
- Mixed depression and mania
- Melancholic features
- Pregnancy/birth of a child
- Seasonal changes
Major depression can also co-occur with other behavioral and mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder (I and II), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (primarily affecting children), recreational drug use, prescription drug misuse, drug addiction, alcoholism, and more.
Whether depression is mild, moderate, or severe, those affected can struggle to cope with symptoms and may experience numerous negative effects in their lives. With the right treatment, however, it is possible to change thinking patterns and develop tools for effectively managing depression.
Symptoms of Major Depression
Because depression affects everyone a little differently, its symptoms can also vary depending on a range of factors. Additionally, symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe and may last for a period of a few weeks to months or years.
Some common symptoms of depression include:
- Feeling sad, “down,” or depressed, often without a specific “reason”
- Losing interest or enjoyment in previously enjoyable activities, hobbies, or goals
- Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Sleeping too much/more than usual
- Feeling fatigued, drained, or lethargic
- Thinking about death or suicide
- Having trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks
- Experiencing increased restlessness, e.g. an inability to sit still, pacing, etc.
- Struggling to make decisions
- Feeling easily overwhelmed
- Slowing movements and/or speech to a degree that is noticeable by others
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, purposelessness, or hopelessness
- Eating significantly less or more than usual/experiencing unintentional weight changes
- Engaging in “numbing” behaviors
If you are experiencing any symptoms of depression, it is important that you see a doctor and receive a professional diagnosis. Certain physical ailments and behavioral health conditions—including brain tumors, thyroid issues, and drug/medication withdrawal—can mimic depressive symptoms. It is important that you receive a correct diagnosis so that you can begin your journey to overall health and well-being.
How Is Depression Diagnosed?
Receiving a professional diagnosis from a qualified medical doctor is important. Your doctor will want to rule out other potential health conditions and can refer you to a mental health specialist for further diagnosis and/or treatment.
Often, depression is diagnosed using the following methods:
- Physical Examination: Your doctor may conduct a physical exam and ask you questions about your overall physical and mental health. This is because depression can be a symptom or indicator of several other health conditions. Depression may also be linked to genetics, so your doctor may ask if there is a history of mental health disorders in your family.
- Laboratory Tests: If your doctor believes you may have an underlying physical condition, such as a thyroid disorder, they may order laboratory testing. This can be used to rule out or properly diagnose physical health conditions that may be connected with depression or depression-like symptoms.
- Psychiatric Evaluation: After ruling out underlying physical conditions, your doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist for a psychiatric evaluation. During this evaluation, your specialist will ask you questions (or ask you to fill out a form) about your symptoms, as well as your thinking and behavioral patterns. It is important that you are completely honest during this evaluation; do not downplay any symptoms you are experiencing or withhold information that could be used to provide a proper diagnosis.
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After receiving a diagnosis, your specialist may recommend treatment for your depression. Depression treatment varies, but it is essentially designed to help you manage your symptoms through a process of identification, self-reflection, trigger avoidance or management, and behavioral changes.
There is a wide range of available depression treatments, including but not limited to:
Therapy: Often referred to as “talk therapy” or “psychotherapy,”
therapy is one of the most effective methods of treating and managing
depression. Therapy is highly personal. During therapy, you meet with
a trained, professional therapist who helps you recognize patterns in
your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Your therapist will also provide
you with powerful tools for changing how you think, feel, and act, including
methods for recognizing unhealthy patterns and taking steps to correct
them. At Tennessee Wellness Center, we offer several forms of therapy,
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Medication: In some cases of moderate to severe depression, medication may be a useful tool to help combat and manage symptoms. Antidepressants can help when an individual’s brain chemistry is a contributing factor in their depression. According to medical professionals, antidepressants are not habit-forming. Typically, doctors begin by prescribing a type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as these are generally considered the safest type of antidepressant and typically have the least side effects. Common SSRIs include Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa. Doctors may also prescribe other types of antidepressants, including serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), among others.
- Intensive Outpatient Care and Partial Hospitalization: When depression symptoms become unmanageable or significantly affect the individual’s life, intensive outpatient treatment and/or partial hospitalization may be helpful. In contrast to residential programs or hospitalization, in which people stay full-time in an appropriate facility, individuals who take part in an intensive outpatient program or partial hospitalization program still live at home and travel to the facility each day or each week to attend therapy and receive treatment. At Tennessee Wellness Center, we offer both an intensive outpatient program and a partial hospitalization program for those struggling with major depression.
- Combination Treatment: Sometimes, individuals benefit from a combination of depression treatments, including various forms of therapy and medication. Used together, these treatments can be effective in helping individuals manage all aspects of depression and achieve whole-person wellness.
Reach Out to Our Team Today to Learn How We Can Help You
Major depression is one of the most treatable mental health disorders. With the right team by your side, you will be equipped to effectively manage your condition and develop skills that are critical for leading a healthy, happy, and productive life.
If you would like to learn more about our Knoxville depression treatment programs, or if you are ready to get started with the admissions process, please do not hesitate to reach out to our family of behavioral and mental health specialists today. We are available to answer your questions, whether you are seeking treatment for yourself or on behalf of a loved one.