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LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 669
Experience:  10 years post-MSW experience
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I have struggling mentally the past view months with what I

Customer Question

I have struggling mentally the past view months with what I believe is major depressive disorder. I have a bachelors in psychology so I understand the DSM. I know that being between jobs is a factor but I just can't seem to get my head together. I feel hopeless and I am a very ambitious person so I can usually get past adversity but this has been tough and don't know if I need medicine temporarily or if I should talk to someone so here I am
JA: How long have you been dealing with this? Is there anything in particular that makes your head feel worse or better?
Customer: The past 4-5 months or so. Thinking about all things I want to accomplish seems to make it worse because I can't seem to compartmentalize it all. Certain stimulating conversations can help at times because I like using my abilities and engaging in intellectual conversations where I can teach people things and also learn from them
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the Psychologist should know?
Customer: I was diagnosed with chrohns and arthritis a few years ago and was starting to flare up again but just started back on my remicade infusion but that doesn't seem to be changing how I am feeling
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 6 months ago.

Hello and thanks for writing. My name is***** am sorry you have been down these last several months. If you know about MDD and have been having associated symptoms for the past 4-5 months, then it is very likely you will benefit from treatment for these feelings of hopelessness and general stagnation. In general, symptoms need to only last consistently for 2 weeks to warrant evaluation and treatment so while many people are of the mind they can and will get better on their own, continued "ignoring" of lingering depression symptoms can make it worse. It sounds like you are starting to really see this may not suddenly resolve so I appreciate your strength in writing here as a first step.

The ideal treatments for depression includes a combination of a medication (an SSRI/antidepressant) and counseling although some people will feel better trying one or the other. I believe a good place to start would be to talk to your primary care doc about starting on an antidepressant because these take 6-8 weeks to begin to help own with symptoms. Generally, antidepressants can help regulate your sleep, appetite, libido, restlessness, irritability, ups and downs in mood, concentration, memory, anhedonia, down mood, fatigue, etc. While these medications are not "happy pills", when we think about them regulating the areas I just listed, we can understand how that could make us feel better overall. These medications are safe for short term use (generally recommended to stay on them a minimum of 6-8 months) so if you do start to feel better, then tapering off them is absolutely conceivable and there is not consequences for doing so. there are also no ramifications of long-term use of these medicines meaning they are overall very safe and well-tolerated regardless of how long they are prescribed.

While a medication is ramping up in your system, you can do some work talking to a professional counselor about your life including your perception of things with a goal of seeking some cognitive and behavioral strategies to make things head in the right direction again. Consider looking here for counselors in your area... http://therapists.psychologytoday.com.

I hope this helps and am here to chat more if you'd like!

-Leah