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When you think of depression, I am guessing you think of issues associated with the brain, correct? Sometimes this is correct, sometimes it isn’t as many medical problems can also be linked to a depressed mood and fluctuation in mood. Research indicates that medical illnesses, and medication side effects, could be the cause of up to 15% of cases associated with depression.
Problems with thyroid, heart attack survivors, people affected by cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and people affected by physical injuries will regularly report signs of depressed mood and feeling hopeless. People who are struggling with depression have been found to have a slower recovery from medical conditions and it may be a negative indicator towards future risk of medical problems as well.
It is important to scan for hormonal and nutritional deficiencies. We often have clients come in who exhibit signs of bipolar. One of the first things we ask clients is whether they have had a physical or blood work to check their thyroid recently. Thyroid problems can often look very similar as people will show signs of mania or depression depending on the state of their thyroid disorder (hyper or hypo). A full medical exam and a comprehensive examination of your medical history can help to rule things out. If you have insurance, a yearly exam is free and if you don’t have insurance, a number of sliding scale facilities should be around a $100. I often suggest that people call around and talk to friends about sliding scale options if they don’t have insurance. In Austin, I commonly recommend Central Family Practice.
If you are concerned about depression, you can also buy the special report from Harvard Medical School on Understanding Depression. Additionally, if you feel that you or a loved one needs help with depression, you can contact us to make a counseling appointment or read more about depression counseling to find out more. Life during depression is difficult, but we are here to help. Brought to you by Just Mind, counselors in Austin who are working to provide their clients with the best care possible.