Depression

Stephen Payne, MD -  - Family Medicine

Stephen Payne, MD

Family Medicine located in Williamstown, MA

Feelings of profound sadness that disrupt your life can be an indication of clinical depression, but Stephen Payne, MD, can offer relief. Dr. Payne is an experienced family physician providing treatment for mood disorders like depression and anxiety in Williamstown, Massachusetts. If your depression or anxiety is reducing your ability to function, call Dr. Payne or schedule a visit online today.

Depression Q & A

What is depression?

Depression is a common, yet serious, disorder that affects how you feel, think, and function. While it’s normal to feel sad from time to time, clinical depression symptoms persist for at least two weeks and decrease your ability to function.

Clinical depression isn’t the same as grieving or having periods of sadness. While these feelings can be intense and lead to withdrawal, they usually come in waves, and your self-esteem remains intact.

There are several types of depression, such as:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychotic depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)

The symptoms of major depression are usually continuous and disrupt daily life for an extended period.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression symptoms can vary in severity. Besides profound sadness, symptoms typically include:

  • Withdrawal or isolation
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Increased fatigue or loss of energy
  • Lack of focus or difficulty concentrating
  • Self-loathing, guilt, or feelings of worthlessness

People with depression might also think of death or suicide.

Who is at risk for developing depression?

Depression can affect anyone at any age; one in six people experience depression during their life. Your risks of depression increase based on several factors, including:

  • Chemicals in your brain
  • Family history of depression
  • Having low self-esteem or being pessimistic
  • Environmental factors like violence, abuse, or neglect

People with anxiety disorders often have symptoms of depression as well. An anxiety disorder is an abnormal reaction to stress. In some cases, your anxiety can be severely debilitating.

How is depression treated?

Depression responds very well to medical treatment with 80-90% of people finding relief from their symptoms.

Based on your physical exam and medical history, Dr. Payne might recommend blood tests to rule out other medical conditions with similar symptoms like vitamin deficiencies or thyroid disorders.

When your diagnosis is confirmed, Dr. Payne creates a therapy approach tailored to your individual needs. It might include antidepressant medications to help modify your brain chemistry or talk therapy to focus on problem-solving and develop behavioral changes to improve your condition.

To find relief from depression or anxiety disorders, call Stephen Payne, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.