Dr. Mayberg shares how a woman can advocate for her health if she thinks she may have depression.
I think what’s very important for any person who thinks they may have depressive symptoms is that they go to a doctor and get evaluated. Everyone has bad days, everyone under tremendous stress can have a low mood. You know, someone dies, you have a financial loss, one withdraws, and then when one looks at the list of symptoms for depression, everybody looks at the list of symptoms and says, “Hey, that’s me.”
But, in fact, it really is a diagnosis that really needs to be made by a physician because, in fact, it isn’t just the normal variations in mood, in reaction to extreme stress. It’s not normal to feel guilty about something that isn’t your fault. It isn’t normal to feel as though there’s nothing I can do about it even though in these days life can be very tough and we can feel very powerless.
But depression is a low mood in a state that is unlike normal sadness, unlike normal stress, and it’s really important that someone hears the symptoms, listens to the symptoms, and makes an educated and informed diagnosis and that that can lead to a work-up that can ensure that there isn’t a reversible cause that’s a medical condition, but also that treatments can be instituted. No one should suffer from this. There are approaches to alleviate symptoms and alleviate suffering.
About Dr. Mayberg, M.D., FRCPC:
Helen Mayberg, M.D., FRCPC, if a Professor of Psychiatry Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology from the University of California and her medical degree from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. Her research concerns the characterization of neural systems mediating mood and emotions in health and disease using functional neuroimaging. Defining brain mechanisms underlying major depression is the primary goal, with an emphasis on development of algorithms that will discriminate patient subgroups, optimize treatment selection, and provide markers of disease vulnerability.