Depression Diagnosis & Treatment in Pleasanton, CA

Medical Concept: Depression - Text on Black Chalkboard with Blue Stethoscope. Medical Concept: Depression Handwritten on Black Chalkboard. Top View of Blue Stethoscope on Chalkboard. 3D Rendering.

Depression is a mental state characterized by persistent low mood, loss of interest and enjoyment in everyday activities, sleep and appetite disturbance, and reduced energy, causing varying levels of social and occupational dysfunction. Depressive disorders are common, and they are the fourth highest cause of disability worldwide. Patients with depression often have a personal or family history of depression; have experienced a recent stress, trauma, or loss; or have a comorbid medical illness. In people ages 18 to 44, depression is the leading cause of disability and premature death, and it is predicted to be the second leading cause of disability in people of all ages by the year 2020.

Depressive disorders may be divided into minor depression, dysthymia, and major depressive disorder, depending on the length and number of symptoms, the degree of functional impairment, and the severity of symptoms. In bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder is accompanied by or interspersed with one or more manic or mixed episodes.

Depression Symptoms

Symptoms of depression can range, but primarily include:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Lack of energy or fatigue
  • Irritable moods
  • Changes in weight and/or appetite
  • Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all activities
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping excessively
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain, headaches, or digestive problems

If you are suffering from some or all of those symptoms, you are not alone. Depression is treatable with proper help. A psychiatrist can fully assess your condition and help determine the best course of treatment for you. Dr. Anastasiou has years of experience treating depression in the East Bay Area.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Anastasiou to discuss your depression symptoms, please call our office at 925-425-0191.

Treating Depression

Most patients respond well to psychotherapy, antidepressants, or a combination of both. Dr. Alex Anastasiou specializes in treating adults with depression in the Pleasanton area. If you believe you may be suffering from depression, contact our office to schedule a new patient appointment. Dr. Anastasiou is able to assess and diagnose depression, as well as prescribe treatment.

For a professional depression assessment and treatment in the East Bay area, choose Dr. Alex Anastasiou. Call our office at 925-425-0191 during regular business hours to schedule. Visit our services page to learn more.

Types of Depression in Adults

Minor depression is characterized by two to four depressive symptoms, such as depressed mood or inability to feel pleasure, of greater than two weeks' duration.

Dysthymic disorder is characterized by at least two years of three or four dysthymic symptoms for more days than not. The symptoms are not as severe as those in major depressive disorder.

Major depressive disorder is characterized by at least five symptoms and may be further categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. The greater the number of symptoms, the more severe the depression. Psychotic features (e.g., hallucinations or paranoia) may be present.

Postpartum Depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression generally develop within four weeks of birth and are present every day for two weeks or more. Characteristics of postpartum depression include guilt about the depressive symptoms, ambivalent feelings toward the infant, impaired bonding, and obsessive ruminations, including intrusive thoughts about harming the infant. Postpartum depression should be distinguished from postpartum blues, also known as the "baby blues,” in which the symptoms generally resolve within two weeks.

Premenstrual Syndrome & Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by cyclical physical and behavioral symptoms occurring in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (the period between ovulation and onset of menstruation). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe variant that includes at least one affective symptom. Depression may coexist with PMS or PMDD in up to 50 percent of cases. A diagnosis of PMS or PMDD may predate a diagnosis of depression. Those with PMDD and depression can benefit from seeking treatment with a psychiatrist, as well as a primary care doctor or gynecologist.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a subtype of major depression, occurring with seasonal change. SAD occurs more commonly in high latitudes. Lifetime estimates for depressive and bipolar disorders with a seasonal pattern average between 0.4 percent and 2.9 percent in U.S., Canadian, and U.K. community studies. Some estimates may be as high as 9.7 percent. However, these differences are probably due to differences in the sampling and diagnostic criteria used.

Bipolar Disorder in Adults

Bipolar affective disorder is major depressive disorder accompanied by, or interspersed with, one or more manic or mixed episodes. Repeated episodes of hypomania or mania only are also classified as bipolar disorder.

Suicidal Ideation

Suicidal ideation may constitute part of a number of mental disorders, or it may be more isolated as a symptom of an emotional state. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. In people ages 15 to 44 years, self-inflicted injury is the fourth leading cause of death and the sixth leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, making suicide a significant public health concern.