Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Caldwell MD
Internal Medicine located in Houston, TX
More than 17 million American adults suffer from depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The team at Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Caldwell MD has extensive training in depression treatment. At the office in Houston, Texas, Dr. Johnson-Caldwell, a board-certified internal medicine specialist, and her team provide individualized care for teens and adults with depression. To schedule an appointment, call Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Caldwell MD, or book online today. Telemedicine appointments are available.
Depression Q & A
What is depression?
Depression is a mental health disorder that causes repeated feelings of sadness and hopelessness. More than just feeling sad, depression can interfere with every aspect of your life. It affects the way you feel, think, and behave. Depression can even diminish your physical abilities, resulting in headaches, insomnia, or slowed body movements.
What are the symptoms of depression?
While this mental health disorder affects everyone differently, common signs and symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent sadness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Low libido
- Weight fluctuations
- Muscle aches
- Slowed thinking
- Angry outbursts
Without treatment, depression can interfere with your ability to work, go to school, and maintain relationships. For many people with depression, simply getting out of bed can feel like a chore.
What causes depression?
Doctors don’t know the exact cause of depression, but they do believe certain factors can trigger the disorder, including:
- Chemical changes in the brain
- Hormone fluctuations
- Mental health conditions, like anxiety
Those with close relatives who have a history of depression are more likely to develop this condition. Stressful life events, such as financial turmoil, divorce, job loss, or the death of a loved one, can also trigger depression.
How do doctors diagnose depression?
Diagnosing depression typically requires a physical exam to rule out an underlying health problem. Along with a comprehensive physical, you may need lab tests and a psychiatric evaluation before receiving an accurate diagnosis of depression.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is a list of depression criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association that helps physicians make this diagnosis.
How do doctors treat depression?
Depression typically requires an individualized, multifaceted approach to care. Depending on the severity of your depression, Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Caldwell MD may recommend a combination of treatments.
Medications, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help alleviate many of the symptoms of depression. If you have an underlying condition that’s influencing your mood and behavior, your provider may prescribe additional medications.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is another common depression treatment. CBT aims to replace your negative thoughts and behaviors with positive, more helpful ones.
For comprehensive depression management, call Dr. Jennifer Johnson-Caldwell MD, or schedule an appointment online today.