Treatment of depression with medications and psychotherapy is common. This is because depression is both a biological and psychological illness. There is a heritable side to depression. Many people affected by it also have relatives who had a similar illness. Depression can last for short or long periods of time. It is often made worse by drugs or alcohol. Symptoms of depression include:
- Depressed mood
- Decreased interest or pleasure in activities
- Low energy
- Poor concentration
- Changes in appetite (eating too much or not enough)
- Thoughts about suicide
- Feelings of guilt
- Sleep problems
- Physical restlessness or anxiety
Dr. Fehling is a medical doctor who is trained to treat both sides of depression (the biological and the psychological side). The biological side of depression is treated with medications. Examples of meds that treat depression include Zoloft and Prozac. These meds are often taken daily. They help to improve the balance of chemicals in the brain. Dr. Fehling will often discuss with patients if they have common side effects to meds. Side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, or sexual side effects. The meds used to treat depression are safe and effective and can help alleviate patient suffering. They are also inexpensive and available through all pharmacies.
Dr. Fehling also focuses on the psychological treatment of depression. Examples of psychological factors that cause depression include grief and loss, past trauma, and difficult relationships. Those issues do not typically improve with meds. This is where we use psychotherapy. Psychotherapy involves both the patient and therapist working to develop trust and establish common goals. Sessions in psychotherapy usually last 45 minutes. Many patients meet with Dr. Fehling weekly for psychotherapy.
Sometimes therapy involves keeping journals or listing thought patterns. This is called ‘cognitive behavioral therapy.’ A course of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) usually lasts for 2-3 months. It has the patient doing tasks and homework in between sessions to put the ideas to use. It is a very effective therapy for depression. Other forms of therapy are less structured. These involve the patient working to express emotions as freely as possible. This process helps the patient to feel supported by the therapist. It also helps us learn what thoughts and emotions are “under the surface”.
If depression is not treated, it can lead to problems at work, poor relationships, and even suicide. A provider such as Dr. Fehling has the tools to help. If you are having the symptoms listed above, please contact this office to schedule an appointment.