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When Does Depression Require Medical Intervention?

Jun 07, 2023
When Does Depression Require Medical Intervention?
It is certainly possible to overcome the profound effects of depression. However, success typically requires a multifaceted approach that often requires medical intervention. Learn the signs and symptoms that indicate you need a doctor’s help.

Depression is a complex mental health condition that impacts millions in the United States. It can affect people of any age and is a growing problem for America’s teens. Mild depression may respond to self-help strategies and support from loved ones. However, many people require medical intervention to overcome the daily challenges of depression.

Gerard Acloque, Jr., MD, at Florida Concierge Medicine & Wellness in Hollywood, Florida, offers superior medical care to patients 16 and older. Dr. Acloque’s specialties include primary care services and preventive care for chronic conditions, including depression and anxiety.

Check this guidance from Dr. Acloque regarding when depression requires medical intervention and how to spot the signs in yourself or a loved one: 

1. Prolonged and persistent symptoms

One of the primary indications that depression may require medical intervention is the duration and persistence of symptoms. If you or a loved one are experiencing depressive symptoms consistently for more than two weeks, it may be a sign that the condition requires professional attention.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little)
  • Appetite disturbances (eating too much or too little)
  • Low energy
  • Persistent sadness
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of motivation

These symptoms can all be part of a depressive episode that may necessitate medical intervention.

2. Impairment in daily functioning

Depression can significantly affect your ability to carry out everyday tasks and responsibilities, even those you previously enjoyed. When your symptoms begin to interfere with work, school, relationships, and personal care, it may be time to seek medical help.

If depressive feelings make concentrating, completing assignments, or maintaining regular social interactions challenging, Dr. Acloque can provide medical support and referrals to help you improve your functioning.

3. Suicidal thoughts or self-harm

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, swift medical intervention is crucial.

Reach out for mental health guidance via your local emergency room (911) or state helpline to ensure you or your loved one receives help immediately. Nationally, you can call 988 to connect with the suicide prevention lifeline. 

Remember that depression is a treatable condition, and seeking medical attention is a vital step toward recovery and support. Once the crisis has passed, ongoing counseling, medical management, and a lifestyle focused on physical and emotional health can restore balance and overall well-being. 

4. Lack of improvement with self-help strategies

While self-help strategies such as exercise, a healthy diet, social support, and relaxation techniques can help manage depression, they may not always be sufficient. If you are struggling despite these efforts, schedule a visit with Dr. Acloque today.

During your initial evaluation, he will carefully assess your symptoms, perform a routine physical exam to look for underlying physical causes that could be contributing, and offer appropriate treatment options, including a referral for therapy or medication as necessary.

5. Co-occurring physical conditions

Depression often coexists with other physical or mental health conditions. For example, certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, chronic pain, or neurological disorders, can contribute to or exacerbate depression. Additionally, some medications include adverse side effects that may affect your mood.

Dr. Acloque also performs a medication review and may recommend various lab tests to determine whether an underlying condition is contributing to your depression or anxiety. Treating these conditions can reduce your symptoms.

Don’t allow depression to manage your life. Take charge today by scheduling an evaluation at Florida Concierge Medicine & Wellness. Call the office or request an appointment online.