What is Depression?
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. Major depression can lead to serious impairment in daily functioning, including change in sleep patterns, appetite, concentration, energy and self-esteem. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria for diagnosing major depressive disorder, a person must experience five or more of the symptoms below for a continuous period of at least two weeks.
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Change in weight or appetite (either increase or decrease)
- Change in activity: psychomotor agitation (being more active than usual) or psychomotor retardation (being less active than usual)
- Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or sleeping too much
- Feeling tired or not having any energy
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulties concentrating
- Thoughts of death or suicide
What is recommended care for Depression?
Depression can be successfully treated by working with a primary care provider and/or a behavioral health provider. It is important to follow treatment and medication recommendations (if prescribed). Going to follow-up appointments is important to successful treatment. It allows your provider to assess whether the treatment is effective, as well as identify and handle any possible side effects from the medication. Talk therapy is another type of treatment that may also be recommended by your provider. Specialized care by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional may be recommended for moderate to severe cases.
What do the reports tell me?
About 63% of people in the Kentuckiana region with a diagnosis of major depression remained on an antidepressant medication for at least 84 days (12 weeks) and about 47% remained on an antidepressant for at least 180 days (6 months). You can use the quality reports on this site to compare how well doctors’ offices give the recommended care for persons with major depression. The report shows what percentage of patients with major depressive disorder adhered to medication treatment plans.
Where can I learn more?