Depression

Find relief and take control of your life

Our approach to depression care

We understand that depression is more than feeling down. It’s a serious mental illness that can have a profound impact on your physical and emotional well-being.

Our compassionate team of mental health professionals is here to provide personalized, evidence-based care tailored to your unique needs. We’ll work closely with you to create a treatment plan that helps you get back to leading a full and happy life.

Signs and symptoms of depression

Here are some signs and symptoms of depression to look out for:

  • persistent sad, anxious or empty feelings
  • feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • irritability, restlessness or anxiety
  • feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • fatigue and decreased energy
  • difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • insomnia, waking up during the night or excessive sleeping
  • overeating or appetite loss
  • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that don't ease even with treatment

When to seek care for depression

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to talk to your doctor or mental health professional. Depression is a treatable illness, but it's important to get help as soon as possible. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can start feeling better.

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if:

  • You or someone you know is thinking seriously about or has attempted suicide.
  • You have decided how to kill yourself, such as with a weapon or medicines.
  • You have set a time and place to do it.
  • You think there is no other way to solve the problem or end the pain.
  • You feel you will hurt yourself or someone else.

Call a doctor now if:

  • You hear voices.
  • You have been thinking about death or suicide a lot, but you don't have a plan to harm yourself.
  • You’re worried that your feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide aren't going away.
  • You’ve been treated for depression for more than three weeks, but you’re not getting better.

Steps to diagnosing depression

Depression can feel overwhelming. Know that our experts are here to support you on your journey to diagnosis. Here’s how the process usually goes:

  • Getting started: If you think you may be depressed, make an appointment with us.
  • We listen: We’ll ask about your symptoms, including when they started, how severe they are and if they've occurred before. We may also ask about:
    • any family history of depression
    • your drug or alcohol use
    • whether you're thinking about death or suicide
  • Physical exam: We’ll do a physical exam. We may order tests to rule out other medical conditions.
  • Psychological examination: We may refer you to a mental-health professional for a psychological evaluation.

Treatments for depression

We take a personalized approach to treating depression. We understand that your symptoms and risks are unique to you, so we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and concerns.

  • Psychotherapy (or talk therapy): Working with a mental health professional, you address the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that contribute to depression. It can help you develop coping mechanisms and strategies for managing your symptoms.
  • Medication: Antidepressant medications can help alleviate the symptoms of depression by affecting the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. They can take several weeks to become fully effective, and it’s important to take them as prescribed.
  • A combination of psychotherapy and medication: For many people, a combination of psychotherapy and medication offers the most effective treatment for depression. This approach allows you to address both the psychological and biological aspects of the condition.

In addition to these primary treatment options, several lifestyle changes can help support your recovery from depression:

  • Regular exercise: Physical activity has been shown to have positive effects on mood and can help reduce symptoms of depression.
  • Healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can provide essential nutrients that support mental health.
  • Adequate sleep: Getting enough restful sleep is crucial for overall well-being and can help improve symptoms of depression.
  • Stress management: Learning relaxation exercises or meditation can help reduce the impact of stress on your mental health.
  • Social support: Connecting with friends, family or support groups can provide emotional support and a sense of belonging.
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Compassionate individualized care

When you're depressed, you need the right care to feel your best again. We offer you a compassionate, comprehensive approach to treating your illness. Our experienced team will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your individual needs.

Convenience

With locations throughout South-Central Pennsylvania, we make it convenient for you to get the care you need when you need it. We even offer telehealth appointments so you can meet with your provider from the comfort of your own home.

Crisis care

Our crisis hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can always get the help you need.