Depression

Affected by Depression? Find Out How We Can Help.

Depression is a common yet complex mood disorder characterized by continuing feelings of sadness, lethargy, and loss of interest in virtually all normal life activities. It can cause difficulty in doing day-to-day tasks and can cause sufferers to lose sight of the value of their lives.


This disorder is not just sadness. It is not a weakness, and it is not something people can just "get over." Long-term treatment may be necessary to treat depression, which can be mild, moderate or severe. Medical treatment, medication, psychological therapy, or a combination of these can help.


Major depression is the most common form of depression. Some other forms include:



  • Persistent depressive disorder, in which depression lasts for two years or longer

  • Bipolar disorder, which features mood swings from very low to very high

  • Seasonal affective disorder, which involves major depression that typically occurs during the winter as days grow shorter and sunlight lessens

  • Psychotic depression, which involves psychoses such as hallucinations, delusions or paranoia

  • Postpartum depression, in which women have major depression after childbirth

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, whose symptoms arise at the start of an affected woman's period


Typical symptoms of depression can be mixed with other factors such as catatonia and atypical symptoms.


Women are much more likely to seek treatment for depression than men are, and depression in men is significantly underreported because of this. Men are much more likely to try to hide or ignore depression, which can make the condition much worse.


The following symptoms are commonly reported by people who have been diagnosed with depression. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your symptoms to determine if depression is the correct diagnosis.



  • Feelings of sadness or emptiness

  • Outbursts of anger, often over small issues

  • Feelings of irritability

  • Inability to sleep

  • Sleeping too long

  • Fatigue

  • Lack of energy for even small tasks

  • Slowness of thought, speech or movement

  • Difficulty in thinking and concentration

  • Difficulty in making decisions and remembering things

  • Changes in appetite, whether lowered appetite and weight loss or obsessive cravings for food and associated weight gain

  • Persistent and unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headache

  • Feelings of anxiety

  • Obsessive worrying

  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt and self-blame, even for things that were not your fault

  • Frequent thoughts of death

  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Depression can be caused by multiple factors and usually more than one at the same time. Genetic, biological, environmental, psychological and physical factors can all contribute to depression.


Past abuse -- sexual, physical, emotional, or psychological -- can lead to depression later in life.


In people who are predisposed to depression, difficult experiences, such as conflict with others, can lead to depression. The grief of death or a broken relationship or major life changes (good or bad) that cause stress can also trigger a depressive episode.


Alcohol and drug abuse are often linked to depression. The abuse can lead to depression or can be a symptom of it. Certain medications can also increase the risk of depression.


Serious illnesses and injuries, such as chronic pain, can also often lead to depression.


Physical conditions like the following can be associated with depression:



  • Thyroid disorders

  • Sleep disorders

  • Infections such as AIDS, influenza and viral hepatitis

  • Heart and lung problems

  • Brain tumors

  • Head injuries

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Stroke

  • Pressure on the brainstem from misaligned vertebra causing hormones and chemicals to be out of balance



Researchers have also observed differences in the brains of people who are depressed and those who are not. Injury to the brain stem, which helps regulate brain chemistry, or upper cervical spine can trigger immediate mood disorders, such as depression.


The spine's upper two vertebrae, the atlas and the axis, are easily susceptible to misalignment, which can disrupt communication between the brain and the rest of the body and cause mood changes. Through upper cervical care, proper communication between your brain and the rest of your body can be restored, helping to get your brain chemistry and mood changes back on a more normal level.


Contact our office to speak to one of our specialists about how upper cervical chiropractic care may help you manage your depression.