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How to Address Chronic Depression

Have you ever felt permanently sad, hopeless, and withdrawn for weeks or even months without any obvious reason? Do you find it difficult to go about your daily tasks and maintain healthy relationships with friends and family? Chronic depression is not just a temporary mood swing or feeling low. It’s a serious mental health condition that can keep you from not only feeling like yourself but also living your life to the fullest.

Columbia Associates offers depression treatment services in Reston that support clients as they find better ways to manage chronic depression. If you or someone you know is struggling with chronic depression, call 703.682.8208 today to schedule an appointment.

Chronic Depression vs. Major Depression

How are chronic depression and major depression different? While both can have similar symptoms, there are some key differences. Chronic depression is also known as dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder, and it’s characterized by a continuous low mood that lasts for at least two years. On the other hand, major depression is an intermittent episode of severe sadness or despair that can last from weeks to months.

In chronic depression, the symptoms are less severe but last longer, while in major depression, the symptoms are more intense but typically don’t last as long. Another difference is that major depression can be triggered by a specific event or stressor, while chronic depression may not have an obvious cause.

Both chronic depression and major depression can keep you from functioning normally and may require professional help to manage. It’s important to seek treatment for either type of depression to prevent it from getting worse or leading to more serious mental health issues.

Causes of Chronic Depression

The exact cause of chronic depression is not fully understood, but it’s believed that a combination of factors can contribute to its development. These may include:

  • Biological factors – Changes in brain chemistry and genetics can play a role in chronic depression.
  • Environmental factors – Traumatic events, major life changes, or ongoing stressors can trigger chronic depression in some individuals.
  • Childhood experiences – People who experienced neglect, abuse, or other traumatic events during childhood may have a higher risk of developing chronic depression later in life.

It’s also possible for chronic depression to occur without any specific cause or trigger. Each individual’s experience with chronic depression is unique, and it’s essential to work with a mental health professional to determine the underlying causes and develop an effective treatment plan.

Treatment Options for Chronic Depression

Treating chronic depression typically involves a combination of therapy, medication, and self-care. Therapy can help people identify and address underlying issues that may be contributing to their depression. Talking with a therapist can help you see things from a different perspective and learn strategies for managing symptoms.

Medications, such as antidepressants, may also be prescribed to help regulate brain chemistry and improve mood. It’s important to work closely with your healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage for your individual needs.

Spravato®, a nasal spray medication approved by the FDA, has shown to be effective in treating chronic depression when used in combination with oral antidepressants.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a minimally invasive intervention that can also help relieve the symptoms of depression.

Self-care is another crucial aspect of treating chronic depression. This can involve activities like exercise, relaxation techniques, and healthy lifestyle habits. It’s also essential to have a strong support system of family and friends who can provide emotional support and understanding. Depression can make it difficult to connect with others, but having a support system can make a significant difference.

Contact Columbia Associates Today for Help with Chronic Depression

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.