Depression and Neuropsychology

Nearly everyone has felt depressed, blue or down at one time or another during his or her life. A depressed mood can be a normal reaction to life’s struggles, but when a person’s level of depression intensifies, persists and prevents them from functioning well in multiple areas of life, their depression is a possible diagnosis. There are many different kinds of depression, all of which are treated in different ways. The best place to start is with a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation to pinpoint your ‘flavor’ of depression and generate targeted recommendations to help put you on the path to recovery.

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling extremely sad or empty
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless and worthless
  • Either an increase or a decrease in the need for sleep
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Loss of enjoyment in things that were once enjoyed
  • Anxiety
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

Sometimes depression can have more physical symptoms such as a persistent stomach ache, indigestion, body aches and pains, headaches or sexual problems. Depression is particularly common in mothers after the birth of a baby, during winter months, among those who abuse substances and in some medical and neurological conditions.

Because there are many different kinds of depression and there are other neurological and medical disorders that mimic depression, it is essential that treatment begin with a comprehensive evaluation. A combination of counseling and medications has been shown to be the single most effective treatment for depression. A neuropsychological evaluation can pinpoint the best approaches that a therapist can take. This same evaluation can help inform the choices your physician makes when deciding on medications. Please contact us to learn more about the evaluation of depression or to make an appointment for your evaluation.

If you are currently wishing that you were no longer here or are having thoughts about killing yourself, please call the good people at the National Suicide Prevention Helpline. Their number is 1-800-273-8255. They are warm, nonjudgmental people who are ready and willing to listen to the pain you are feeling.

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