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Depression Specialist

Advanced Psychiatric Associates

Tina Okonkwo, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC

Psychiatric Mental Health Care for Children, Adolescents and Adults located in Charlotte, NC

Depression also puts you at risk for a wide range of other health conditions, including sleep disorders and substance abuse. If you struggle with depression, effective treatment is available at Advanced Psychiatric Associates. At the practice in Charlotte, North Carolina, Justina Okonkwo, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, and her team provide depression diagnosis and treatment using holistic health care that encompasses your mind, emotions, mood, and body. If you have symptoms of depression, contact Advanced Psychiatric Associates or make an appointment online.

Depression Q & A

What is depression?

Depression is a mental disorder that affects your mood. It’s more than a fleeting feeling of sadness. When you have depression, your low mood affects your life significantly and persists even when you try to make yourself feel better.

What causes depression?

Scientists haven’t identified the exact cause of depression, but they believe it occurs because of a combination of factors. Some of the factors that may contribute to depression include:

  • Genetic traits
  • Hormonal changes or imbalances
  • Problems with brain chemistry
  • Physical changes in the brain

Certain risk factors may also increase the likelihood of depression. For example, depression may be more likely if you have a serious illness or have recently experienced a traumatic event. Having other mental health disorders or abusing drugs can also raise your risk of depression.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression causes different symptoms for different patients. However, some of the symptoms you may experience with depression include:

  • Deep feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Tearfulness
  • Irritability and angry outbursts
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Reduced or increased appetite
  • Unexplained physical symptoms
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Talk to the Advanced Psychiatric Associates team if you experience any of these symptoms.

How is depression diagnosed?

To confirm if you have depression, the team at Advanced Psychiatric Associates performs a physical exam and conducts a psychiatric evaluation. 

What treatments are available for depression?

Treating depression can be difficult, and it often requires ongoing effort. Fortunately, a variety of treatments may be effective if you have depression. 

Your provider at Advanced Psychiatric Associates may recommend medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, atypical antidepressants, and tricyclic antidepressants. You may need to try several medications before you find one that works well.

In addition to medication, the team may also recommend psychotherapy. Depending on your needs, you may benefit from individual therapy, group therapy, or family therapy.

To schedule an evaluation, call Advanced Psychiatric Associates or book an appointment online today.