Licensed Clinical Psychologist located in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA
Around 16 million Americans experience major depressive disorder every year, making it one of the leading causes of disability. If you’re finding it hard to make it through your everyday routine and have less interest in things you normally enjoy, it’s time to talk with a specialist. As As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Daniel Kaushansky, PsyD, offers expert diagnosis and personalized treatment for depression at his practice, Kaushansky Psychology, in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. If you’re interested in treatment for major depressive disorder, please call or email Kaushansky Psychology to set up a free initial phone consultation or to schedule an appointment today.
Major Depressive Disorder Q & A
What is major depressive disorder?
Major Depressive Disorder, often referred to simply as depression, goes by many names: sadness, irritability, worthlessness, guilt, hopelessness and anger. However it is known, it is an unwelcome, often unexpected part of one's life. Depression can interfere with our relationships, job performance, energy, creativity, and the ability to actively pursue and work towards our goals.
Depression can take different forms in different people: Some people experience chronic, low-level depression over the course of years, while other people experience acute bouts of depression at specific times, such as during certain seasons or after the birth of a child. Depression can also often occur alongside other illnesses or health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, or substance use, to name just a few.
Your brain chemistry also contributes to depression susceptibility. For example, individuals have a higher risk of depression if they have a family history of depression, mental health issues, or a personal history of poverty, abuse, or neglect. If left untreated, symptoms of depression may increase or become prolonged. The earlier you seek treatment, the better the odds that you’ll successfully recover.
What are the common symptoms of major depressive disorder?
In addition to continuous feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness, you might also experience:
- Feelings of emptiness
- Lost interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Low frustration tolerance and angry outbursts
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in appetite
- Physical symptoms like back pain and headaches
- Reduced concentration and indecisiveness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you are thinking about suicide or hurting yourself, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.
When should I talk to a psychologist about depression?
While we all experience these feelings from time to time, if you find yourself sad or depressed for more than two weeks or if your depressed mood interferes with your ability to complete day-to-day tasks or your quality of life, it may be wise to seek treatment.
How is major depressive disorder treated?
First things first: Depression is treatable, and you’re not alone. There is hope. Following an initial diagnostic evaluation, you’ll typically meet with Dr. Kaushansky on a weekly basis. Utilizing a combination of traditional psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral (CBT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction, Dr. Kaushansky will help you explore the thoughts, feelings, and underlying issues or experiences that are contributing to your depression, while teaching you techniques and strategies for improving your daily mood. Understanding these connections is a powerful antidote to depression, as understanding how your past experiences have shaped you can help you approach life’s future challenges in a new and healthier way.