It’s okay to say the “D” word – Living through Depression

By T.J. DePaola, PharmD

Living through Depression Do you find yourself feeling sad, empty or hopeless for long periods of time, nearly every day? Have you lost interest in the things

that you once loved or feel the constant need to be alone? Have you noticed a change in your diet or how well you sleep at night? If the answer is yes to a majority of these questions, you may be experiencing clinical depression or a depressive disorder. Although not often talked about, depression is a serious mental disorder that can make your life unbearable if not discussed, diagnosed and properly treated.

Depression is a mood disorder, causing some people to experience distressing symptoms that affect their daily lives including how they feel, process information, eat and interact with others. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 350 million people around the world have been diagnosed and are suffering with depression. While considered to be a continuous disorder, there are many people who will experience intermittent depression throughout the course of their lives. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 16 million adults in 2012 had at least one severe depressive episode.

More commonly diagnosed in women, depression affects people in different ways. According to NIMH, women are biologically more susceptible to having depression due to excess hormones. Women who are experiencing depression usually have a feeling of sadness, guilt and insignificance. It is common for men with depression to feel tired, short-tempered

and at times upset, and it is also common for many men to fail to identify their depression, and as a result, don’t seek help. In addition to these feelings, people also experience anxiousness, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, appetite or weight changes and thoughts of death. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), there isn’t a single trigger that activates depression. The onset of depression can be caused by trauma, genetics, life circumstances, brain changes, medical conditions and drug and alcohol abuse. If you have been experiencing any depression-related symptoms for more than two weeks, it is important to visit your physician to determine if you have a mental health condition that requires medical care.

With early detection and diagnosis, physicians are able to create a personalized plan that includes medication and healthy lifestyle changes that will help you to feel and function better. Physicians usually

prescribe an antidepressant to treat depression, which can take up to four weeks to feel an initial effect and six to eight weeks to feel the full effect of the treatment. Consider adding more active hours throughout your week and set aside time to spend with family and friends. If your depression has caused significant weight gain or loss, discuss a diet change with your physician that can help alter the negative results caused by your disorder. For optimal health, consider adding supplements like Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, Amino Acids and Melatonin to aid your treatment.

Cypress Pharmacy offers a Wellness Program, providing you with personalized consultation services and recommendations to create a customized supplement program that takes into consideration your current medical conditions and medications. Our pharmacists can help those being treated for depression decide which supplements and vitamins will best accommodate their lifestyles and aid in increasing their overall health.

Cypress Pharmacy values the national efforts to support mental health awareness by organizations such as NIMH, and encourage local residents to visit a physician if they are experiencing any symptoms related to depression or any other mental health disorders. To learn how the wellness and supplement programs offered at Cypress Pharmacy could assist your physician-guided mental health treatment, call 239-481-7322 or visit

Cypress Pharmacy has been providing pharmaceutical and health care services in Fort Myers for more than 40 years. The entire staff, including pharmacists T.J. DePaola and Justin Ceravolo, are dedicated to providing the best possible service to every customer.


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