Depression Specialist

Allied Health Solutions Medical Group -  - Family Medicine Physician

Allied Health Solutions Medical Group

Family Medicine Physicians located in Los Angeles, CA

Depression is much more than just a prolonged feeling of sadness, for unlike other blue moods, there’s often no logical explanation for the heavy weight you feel. Dr. Joseph Pierson and the healthcare professionals at Allied Health Solutions, with offices on Wilshire and Santa Rosalia Drive in Los Angeles, can diagnose, treat, and connect you with other healthcare professionals to relieve your burden of depression. Book online or call today for an appointment.

Depression Q & A

What is depression?

Though the heavy feelings of sadness that typify depression may be shared with other conditions, such as grief and bereavement, depression is much more persistent, with few periods of relief. Though it’s not fully understood why, when you suffer from depression, there are typically physical changes to your brain.

There are often hormonal connections to depression, as women are more likely to suffer from the condition than men. The changes in hormone levels associated with pregnancy, including the postpartum period, menopause, and thyroid conditions often have associations with depression.

Depression can happen to you at any age. You’re more at risk if there’s a family history of depression, or if you’ve undergone traumatic events, such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Alcohol and drug abuse increase the chances for developing depression, as do certain prescription medications, such as some sleeping pills and high blood pressure drugs.

What are the symptoms of depression?

There are both emotional symptoms of depression as well as physical symptoms, though these may be vague or difficult to connect directly with depression. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Feelings of profound sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness that persist for extended periods
  • Irritability, frustration, and anger in response to minor annoyances
  • Sleep disturbances, including both insomnia and excessive sleep
  • Low energy, tiredness, and lack of motivation
  • Eating disorders with accompanying weight gain or loss
  • Weak mental acuity, such as lack of concentration, inability to make decisions or remember things
  • Feelings of low esteem, guilt, self-blame, failure
  • Thoughts of self-harm, suicide, and death
  • Headaches, back pain, or other physical problems that have no obvious cause

How is depression treated?

Typically, there are two general therapeutic paths used to treat depression. As a primary care facility, Allied Health Solutions provides diagnosis and treatment through medications. Since many depression patients also benefit from mental healthcare, Allied can connect you with mental health professionals, if it’s appropriate for your treatment.

A class of antidepressant medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are usually the starting point with a new diagnosis. These drugs are regarded as the safest alternatives, offering the best chance to avoid side effects. If these aren’t effective in your case, there are many other medications proven to reduce feelings of depression.