Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression
Dr. Gardner’s first book, Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Depression; New Ways to Regain Your Confidence, came out in January of 2000. As one of the first books to be published in the new millennium, it spoke with hope and encouragement to those with a depression at a time when there was still much negative stigma, shame, and misunderstanding in the general community when it came to emotional illness.
Dr. Gardner felt it was especially appropriate to start the new age on the right foot when it comes to taking responsibility for emotional health and not being afraid to seek help armed with good insight and information. None of us lives in a vacuum, so when we suffer, others suffer with us. Unfortunately, it is most often those who love us most, or our young children who are so sensitive to our emotional reactions.
Up to 35% of those who seek care from a primary care physician are really there because of an undiagnosed depression. It may present as headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations weigh gain or loss, insomnia or hypersomnia, or simply fatigue. But if the doctor treats the initial complaint but fails to recognize that the patient is depressed, he has missed a valuable opportunity to really get to the root of the problem and change the person’s life.
Self-medication with alcohol or drugs is too often the choice of those who seek relief and a break from the feelings of doom, helplessness and hopelessness. But we then dig ourselves into a deeper hole of despair and isolation.
Dr. Gardner’s first concern with a depressed patient is too stop any further loss. You don’t need to loose your marriage, job, or financial stability because of inaction and self-medication. Reach out for help by reading Dr. Gardner’s book or coming in for an appointment. You won’t be pushed in any particular direction, and you will always be put in control of your medical regimen.
One of the first goals of an evaluation is to differentiate a unipolar versus bipolar depression, and to diagnose any other overlapping conditions, such as anxiety or panic disorders, attention deficit disorder, medical problems, personality disorders, and substance abuse. Don’t worry; no matter how hopeless you feel, there is reason to have great faith and hope in a rapid return to functionality and gradual return to a full recovery of your emotional well-being.