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When Does Depression Warrant Medical Intervention?

Feb 20, 2023
When Does Depression Warrant Medical Intervention?
Depression is a serious condition that affects many people. Everyone feels sad sometimes, but significant depression requires medical care. Learn when you or someone you care about should seek treatment.

Depression is a very common mental health condition. An estimated 8.4% of adults in the United States experienced at least one episode of major depression in 2020, the most recent year for which data are available.

It’s very important to seek medical intervention for depression, because leaving depression untreated could result in serious consequences, such as self-harm or suicide. Suicide is a top cause of death in the US, with 45,979 suicide deaths in 2020.

At Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic ER Care, we take depression and mental health care very seriously. When people with depression come to our clinic, our carefully trained health care professionals evaluate them and create a follow-up plan that addresses their symptoms.

Here, we offer information about when depression warrants medical intervention.

Impact on daily life

Like many other conditions, depression can have symptoms that range from mild to severe. Everyone feels down once in a while. But when you experience major depression, your symptoms are serious enough to warrant medical intervention.

Major depression symptoms are serious enough to interfere with the activities of everyday life, such as working, eating, and sleeping, for at least two weeks. Another form of depression that can cause serious symptoms is postpartum depression, which occurs in new mothers.

Symptoms of depression

Depression can have a range of symptoms. They include:

  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Feelings of irritability or restlessness
  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or emptiness
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of interest in activities you typically enjoy
  • Problems with memory or making decisions
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Unexplained weight changes or changes in appetite

When to seek medical care

If you feel depressed or have a friend or family member struggling with depression, you may be unsure whether you should seek medical attention. That’s understandable. It can be difficult to gauge how seriously someone is affected by depression.

But many people wait too long to seek care because they mistakenly believe they or their loved one will get better on their own, without medical intervention. 

We urge you not to wait to seek care if you or someone you care for is struggling with depression. It’s better to have an evaluation and let an experienced provider determine whether follow-up care is needed than to try to figure out the seriousness of depression on your own.

Suicidal thoughts are an emergency

If you or someone you care about is thinking of self-harm or suicide, take those thoughts seriously. Contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 998, or seek emergency care immediately. 

A full range of care

At Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic ER Care in Orlando, Florida, we’re open seven days a week for walk-ins. To make an appointment or for telemedicine services for babies, children, and adults, call us at (407) 974-7501 or request a visit online.

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