What is the cause of depression?

Similar to anxiety, there is no single cause of depression. Instead both genetics and the environment likely play a role. Depression can be triggered by a medical illness, a stressful situation, or the loss of an important person. Sometimes especially in children, it can be hard to identify the triggering event.

 What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

Feelings of sadness or guilt may be “normal” emotions. However it may be indicative of an underlying problem if those symptoms last more than two weeks and/or there is:

  • Withdrawn behavior ( i.e. now wanting to be with from friends , family, or participate in previously enjoyable activities)
  • Changes in appetite, with associated weight changes
  • Major changes in sleeping patterns, (i.e. sleeping more or less than usual)
  • Appearing to be physically sped up or slowed down
  • Increase in tiredness and/or decrease in energy
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self –harming behaviors
  • Irritability

It is very important to note that in children, the presenting system may be irritability, physical complaints, or dramatic decline in academic performance.

 Why should I see Dr. Tinney?

Dr. Tinney understands how depression impacts family, friends, and overall functioning. In very severe cases depression may lead to self-medicating with substances and impulsive behaviors including suicidal gestures/attempts. She believes that there is hope for a return to previous and even improved functioning. Dr. Tinney will provide a comprehensive evaluation that considers medical causes for depression as well as biological and environmental influences. In some situations medication is an appropriate treatment, so she will present you with a variety of options and education about medications. However, she also believes in teaching healthy ways to manage mood fluctuations that don’t include medications. Dr. Tinney is trained in a variety of psychotherapy techniques including evidence-based form known as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), supportive psychotherapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

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