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When Does Depression Warrant Medical Intervention? Learn to Recognize the Signs

Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States, affecting 7.1 % of adults in the United States and more than 13% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. 

No two people suffer the same way from depression — some only have one mild episode during their lifetime while others suffer from regular, and debilitating, bouts with the mood disorder.

At Southlake Counseling, our compassionate and experienced team of mental health experts, under the guidance of Kimberly Krueger, MSW, LCSW, understands the many faces of depression and when the illness should be treated.

To help get you started, we’ve pulled together some of the more common signs that your depression (or your loved one’s) may warrant a higher standard of care.

Signs of depression

Depression is defined as experiencing at least two weeks of depressive symptoms, which include:

In more extreme cases of depression, there may be suicidal thoughts, which brings us to the next part: determining when you should seek medical intervention for depression.

When to seek help for depression

We just mentioned suicide, which is closely associated with depression. However, the link isn’t as simple as saying that depression always leads to suicide or suicide attempts. The primary drivers behind suicide are widely varied, but mental illness often plays a role, especially depression.

If you have suicidal thoughts, whatever the circumstances, we urge you to seek out help right away.

Aside from suicide, depression is also strongly tied to substance abuse, which is a serious complication that can have life-altering consequences.

Moving away from these extremes, depression is often broken down into two categories: 

Without severe impairment

Among the more than 17 million American adults with depression, 36% report that the disorder isn’t interfering with their daily lives in significant ways, meaning they’re able to function somewhat normally.

With severe impairment

In this same group, 64% experienced symptoms that created serious disruptions and problems in their lives, whether socially, professionally, or physically.

While we use these numbers to paint a clearer picture of just how much depression can affect your life, be it in small or large ways, the bottom line is that depression of any kind can rob you of your happiness and wellness. 

If you want to break the bonds of your depression, the best course of action is to seek help. We offer a number of effective solutions to help you get back on your feet, including medications, talk therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.

To learn more about how we can help you overcome depression, contact one of our three locations in Charlotte, North Carolina, Davidson, North Carolina, or Hickory North Carolina to set up a consultation today. 

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