Chronic depression is a medical condition that causes persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair, even without a specific, definable cause or reason such as a death or other loss. Also called clinical depression, the condition occurs as a result of an imbalance in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters which help regulate mood, among other functions.
Chronic anxiety is a condition that causes feelings of worry, panic and even fear which are out of proportion to any underlying cause. Chronic depression and chronic anxiety often occur together.
Chronic depression and anxiety are associated with issues like:
Both depression and anxiety are diagnosed using specific criteria developed to differentiate these conditions from other issues that may cause similar symptoms. A physical exam and lab tests also can help rule out other conditions and determine if any issues like hormonal imbalances or nutritional deficiencies are contributing to the disorders. Because depression can run in families, a family medical history is also important.
Depression and anxiety require ongoing management to ensure treatment remains optimized. Naturopathic approaches to care rely on treatment options designed to tap into the body’s ability to heal and may include:
Treatment can vary substantially based on the individual patient’s needs and other factors. Ongoing visits help ensure treatment remains optimized as the patient’s needs or symptoms evolve.