If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken an important first step, realizing that you (or a loved one) have depression and need help. However, if you’ve spent even a little time investigating your treatment options, you quickly realize that getting the help you need may be a bit overwhelming.
You may discover that there are countless medications and therapies — and even more opinions online — about how to handle your mental health. It’s best to get your advice straight from an expert.
Dr. Michael Skardasis and our team at Optimal Performance Medicine in Woodstock, Georgia, specialize in diagnosing and treating depression. We know it’s never a one-size-fits-all process, so we offer more than one path to help treat depression.
But more importantly, we walk alongside you through every step, explaining in detail your options so you can feel confident in your treatment plans. Here’s a closer look at four ways we can help you manage your depression.
1. Genetic testing
This may seem like a strange place to start when it comes to depression, but your genetic makeup plays a key role in helping you overcome your mental health issues. Your genes can reveal how you’ll metabolize certain medications used in mental health treatment before you even open a pill bottle.
Not everyone processes depression drugs the same way, so understanding how your body will react is crucial information. Genetic testing is especially beneficial for you if you’ve tried medications in the past and haven’t gotten relief.
The procedure is simple: We only need a quick cheek swab, and we send your sample to a lab. When the results come back to us, we help you select the most appropriate therapy.
Antidepressants are an effective but still largely misunderstood depression treatment. There’s evidence that antidepressants work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain, such as serotonin and noradrenaline, which are responsible for mood and emotion.
It’s important to know that antidepressants may help you manage your depression symptoms, but they don’t address the root cause. That’s why we often pair prescriptions with other therapies and treatment approaches.
3. Talk therapy
Everyone needs someone who will listen and respond to their troubles, but if you have depression, you also need that person to have extensive training in mental health. Enter psychotherapy.
The process is the same whether you call it therapy, psychotherapy, or talk therapy. You meet with a professional who listens closely and helps you identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
Through therapy, our patients have gained a better awareness of their depression and what causes it, finding ways to better cope when depression symptoms spike.
4. Lifestyle changes
This is often one of the toughest approaches to depression management, but it can have the greatest impact. You’d be surprised how setting a daily routine, getting more exercise, quitting bad habits, strengthening your relationships, meditating, and even trying a new hobby can help you make small but important steps toward improved mental health.
Depression is much more complicated than feeling sad from time to time. It’s a condition that affects virtually every aspect of your health and wellness, from your sleeping and eating habits to your mental and emotional well-being. That’s why it often requires more than one treatment approach.
Don’t go it alone. Instead, turn to Optimal Performance Medicine for help, support, and tailored-to-you treatment plans. When you’re ready to get started, contact us to schedule an appointment by calling our friendly staff or booking online.