Depression Specialist

California Coast Family Practice

Family Medicine located in Atascadero, CA

Constant sadness doesn’t have to be a part of your life. If you struggle with depression, mental health specialists at California Coast Family Practice in Atascadero, California, are here for you. Adult medicine provider Cameron Grant, DNP, FNP, MPH, MSN, and his expert staff can diagnose and treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health challenges. Call the office to book an appointment or schedule one online today.

Depression Q&A

What is depression?

Depression is a common mental health disorder that causes ongoing or extreme sadness. PTSD is a similar mental health disorder that occurs after experiencing a traumatic life event, such as an accident, physical or mental abuse, a natural disaster, or military combat. 

Seeking treatment for depression, PTSD, or other mental health struggles can dramatically improve your quality of life.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Common symptoms you may experience if you are depressed include:

  • Ongoing or extreme sadness
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Thoughts of self-harm
  • Substance misuse
  • Lack of motivation
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt or shame
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Physical aches and pains

You might have situational depression because of a traumatic experience or depression that lingers long-term for no apparent reason.  

If you struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, you could have frequent flashbacks or nightmares. You might startle easily and avoid certain situations that trigger PTSD. 

Regardless of the cause of your depression, treatment offers you symptom relief. 

What are the risk factors for depression?

The cause of depression isn’t always known, but some factors increase your risk of developing it. Examples include a family history of depression, being overweight, drug or alcohol misuse, hormone imbalance, some medications, and traumatic life events.

A death in your family, divorce, job loss, chronic illnesses or diseases, or other difficult life situations can also contribute to depression. 

How does my provider diagnose depression?

To find out if you have depression and develop an effective treatment plan, the experts at California Coast Family Practice ask about your medical history and symptoms. They check your vital signs, complete a physical examination, and could order blood tests or other diagnostic tests if needed to assess your overall health and wellness.

During a comprehensive psychiatric assessment, your specialist asks you a series of questions about your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and lifestyle.

What are common treatments for depression?

Common treatments for depression and PTSD include:

Counseling 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other types of counseling teach you ways to better cope with depression, PTSD, anxiety, or other mental health challenges. 

Lifestyle changes

Adopting healthy habits reduces your risk of ongoing depression. Examples include eating nutritious foods, getting regular exercise, keeping stress levels low, and maintaining a healthy body weight. 

Medications

Taking medications can reduce depression symptoms and give you the best quality of life possible. 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

TMS uses magnetic energy to stimulate nerve cells in your brain and improve your mood. 

To learn more about depression or get treated for it, call the California Coast Family Practice office or schedule an appointment online today.