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Did you know that depression is one of the most common mental health disorders among adults in the U.S.? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 21 million people have reported having at least one major depressive episode. And yet many cases of depression go unreported. That means many people don’t get the care they need.

October is Depression Awareness Month. And to help address this incredibly important issue, CareWell Health is taking extra steps to educate our family of patients on the signs of depression – and how to get the help that can lead them to recovery.

To help our community gain a better understanding of depression, this post shares some insights into what depression is. It describes symptoms of depression to watch for. And it discusses some available treatments for depression – including a new option called SPRAVATO®, the first FDA-approved nasal spray for adults with hard-to-treat depression. The more we know, the more we can help each other – and ourselves – get through difficult times.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that affects how a person feels or thinks and interferes with their ability to handle day-to-day activities such as sleeping, eating and working. Depression can also negatively impact their personal relationships.

There are different types of depression, including:

  • Major depression, when symptoms are regular for more than 2 weeks and interfere with a person’s daily life
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), when symptoms begin with the changes of the season, typically starting in the fall and winter when there is less daylight and disappearing in the spring and summer
  • Perinatal depression, when symptoms occur during pregnancy or after giving birth
  • Persistent depressive disorder, when a person has less intense feelings of depression, but they last over a much longer period of time (years)
  • Depression with psychosis, when a person with depression also experiences things such as delusions (disturbing false beliefs) or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)

Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. If you have been experiencing some of the following symptoms almost every day for at least 2 weeks, you may be suffering from depression and should seek help.

Depression symptoms can include:

  • Feeling sad or anxious
  • Feeling helpless, hopeless or negative
  • Loss of energy
  • Having a hard time making decisions or staying focused
  • Changes in appetite, such as overeating or not eating enough
  • Feeling irritable or easily frustrated
  • Loss of enjoyment in activities that you used to look forward to
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, please schedule an appointment with CareWell Health’s Behavioral Health Services at 973-266-8440, or call the CareWell Health Psychiatric Emergency Crisis Hotline at 973-266-4478.

Getting Treatment

Depression can be treated with oral antidepressant medications and psychotherapy (talk-therapy), or a combination of the two. There is no shame in getting treatment for depression.

According to The World Health Organization, depression affects an estimated 280 million people worldwide, impacting their relationships, quality of life, and earning potential. Much like taking care of other parts of your body, your mind deserves the same medical treatment as the rest of you.

A New Treatment Option

Sometimes, a person suffering from depression does not respond to typical treatment even after being prescribed different medications, leading to treatment-resistant depression. People who suffer from major depressive disorder with acute suicide ideation (suicidal thoughts) may also not respond to typical treatments for depression. If you are being treated for depression and it is not working or if you suffer from major depressive disorder, there is hope. CareWell Health’s Behavioral Health unit now offers SPRAVATO®, the first FDA-approved nasal spray for adults with treatment resistant depression and major depressive disorder.

How Does SPRAVATO® Work?

SPRAVATO® is a prescription medication nasal spray that you take along with your oral medication under the direction of your doctor. It typically acts quickly (within hours) to relieve symptoms of depression. Learn more about SPRAVATO® treatment by calling 973-414-3448.

We’re Here to Help

If you or someone you know may be depressed, please don’t wait to reach out for help. Our Adult Outpatient Behavioral Health Services Program is here for you – and we offer both in-person and telehealth options.

CareWell Health’s compassionate behavioral health team includes a world-class team of psychiatrists, advanced practice psychiatric nurses, licensed psychotherapists, registered nurses, and clinical case managers who are dedicated to finding the right treatment for our family of patients.

Contact our Adult Outpatient Behavioral Health Services at 973-414-6827 or 973-221-8481 or schedule your appointment today.