Am I Depressed? Symptoms & Treatment

Everyone has experienced sadness at some point in their life, but not everyone has experienced depression. So, how do you know if you are depressed? In recognition of Depression Awareness Month, we will uncover the symptoms of depression and the different treatment options available.

According to the National Institute of Health, depression (also known as major depression, major depressive disorder, or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder which can cause severe symptoms that affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.

About 21 million U.S. adults—8.4% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in 2020 according to The National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Symptoms of Depression

The National Alliance on Mental Health says that depression can present different symptoms, depending on the person. But for most people, depressive disorder changes how they function day-to-day, and typically for more than two weeks. 

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Hopelessness or guilty thoughts
  • Changes in movement (less activity or agitation)
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts

While depression does not have a single cause, it can be triggered by a life crisis, genetics, brain changes, drug/alcohol misuse and other medical conditions. For example, people who have a history of sleep disturbances, medical illness, chronic pain, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to develop depression. 

Treatment Options

Treatment for depressive disorder is available for those who have experienced a depressive episode lasting longer than two weeks. The first step to treatment is contacting your primary care doctor, a psychiatrist, or a psychotherapist for an evaluation. 

Psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy, family-focused therapy and interpersonal therapy), medications (antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications) and exercise can help with depressive disorder. These are highly effective treatments for those suffering from depression.

If you suspect you have depression, or if you’re feeling troubled by your symptoms, have suicidal thoughts, or just need to talk, SouthEnd Psychiatry is here for you. Our amazing team of licensed therapists are ready to walk along side you in this journey. 

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get you on your way to a better place.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

I Feel Better… Why Should I Stay in Therapy?

Seasoned therapy patients will be the first to advocate for consistent scheduling…meaning, they don’t stop attending therapy when a crisis is over. We, at Southend Psychiatry, agree. It is in our human nature to want that “quick fix” however we soon realize that therapy isn’t just for moments of crisis. Therapy is an opportunity to develop coping skills, understand ourselves better and so much more.

Typically, the reason or motivation for starting therapy can change over time. We grow and begin to understand the value of what therapy gives us. Therapy provides opportunities to live and feel better!

Let’s dive into what therapy has done for our Southend patients:

1. Coping Skills

Coping skills are tools that help us deal with discomfort. Therapy provides a window into ourselves. What are we afraid of? What is holding us back? These developed skills give us confidence and reassurance as we navigate life’s challenges and changes.

2. A Safe Place

Therapy should be safe. A place to open up to someone who you can trust. It can be scary to talk about our past traumas and current fears. Therapy gives us a chance to sit back and reflect in an atmosphere of love and safety. Guided by a licensed therapist, they can offer a different perspective for us and insight into how we can handle certain situations.

3. Better Communication

Relationships can be hard! Whether they are professional or personal, therapy helps us build trust, communication and empathy into those relationships. A therapist can be a huge support in building healthy communication skills.

4. Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem and self-awareness are vital to being the best version of yourself. A therapist can help us identify our insecurities, where they actually come from and a roadmap to healing. Most of us have insecurities and feelings of inadequacy ~ therapy is a great tool to conquer those areas of our life. 

5. Guidance & Direction

Life is full of changes. Life also brings new ideas and opportunities. Therapy helps us uncover what is most important to us and figure out what we feel is missing. We can explore new career paths, hobbies and ambitions. A therapist once described therapy with this analogy: “I see therapy as a preventative measure. You wouldn’t fireproof a house during the fire. Similarly, you want to have the appropriate skills and self-work in place to navigate any future situations.”

Our team of licensed therapists at Southend can guide you toward deeper relationships, better coping skills and essentially prepare you for life’s ups and downs. You have a team ready to walk along side you in this journey called life. We are here and we welcome you to come and have a conversation with us.

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get you on your way to a better place.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

4 Qualities to Look For in a Dependable Psychiatrist

Finding a dependable psychiatrist is essential to receiving proper care. These doctors can manage medication, provide resources, oversee various therapies, and help manage mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 22.8% of adults lived with a mental illness in the United States in 2021. Before heading to the first person you find, look for these qualities.

1. Qualifications

A doctor cannot practice without a license, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying. You’ll also come across people who advertise that they specialize in mental illness but are counselors, meaning they are not allowed to prescribe medication. Before heading in for your first appointment, take the time to research the doctor online and ask about qualifications.

2. Specialization

Some doctors specialize in certain mental illnesses or populations. For example, a psychiatrist may specialize in working with people with bipolar disorder or people with multiple disorders. Work with a doctor that specializes in the area of concern. This ensures they will continuously be updated on the latest treatment options and information regarding your condition.

3. Respect

Many doctors believe that they know what’s best, and that’s true to an extent. Doctors have a wealth of knowledge that most of us do not. However, a doctor should still listen carefully to patients and address their concerns. Avoid doctors that ignore your concerns, talk over you, and don’t respond respectfully. This behavior can hurt the practitioner/patient relationship and lead to poor quality of care.

4. Accessibility

Finding a doctor that is accessible is essential to receiving quality care. When you are concerned about certain things, you should back in a timely manner. Doctors should provide various communication avenues, including an email and phone number. Patients must be able to contact the office to schedule appointments, too. When a doctor is unavailable, patients must have another doctor they can reach, and their psychiatrist should provide this information.

The first step to mental wellness is to find a knowledgeable and reliable medical professional. Be sure to look for these qualities during your search. With the help of the right person, you can feel better and accomplish your goals. SouthEnd Psychiatry understands the importance of a collaborative relationship with patients and never mind discussing problems with you. Give us a call when you’re ready to schedule your first appointment.

Helping Kids Overcome School-Related Anxiety

There are many different kinds of anxiety. School anxiety, a condition that can affect children of all ages, manifests as an excessive fear of school and the activities associated with it, such as making friends, speaking in public, or taking tests. Neurologist and former teacher Ken Schuster, PsyD, says that anxiety “tends to lock up the brain,” making school hard for anxious kids.

Know the Symptoms explains that symptoms of anxiety in children who are 10 and under may include: 

– irritability, crying, yelling, or having a tantrum

– refusal to participate in the process of getting ready for school 

– loss of appetite or nausea as it draws close to time to leave for school 

– nightmares or difficulty sleeping

– headache

– increased heart rate and/or rapid breathing

As students grow older, their anxiety may show itself in the form of external school-avoidance behaviors. Signs of anxiety in children who are in middle and high school will vary across cultures and individual families, but may include

– truancy/excessive absence from class 

– refusal to participate in school activities

– rapid breathing and/or quick heart rate 

– loss of appetite, nausea, or headache

– self-harm behaviors

How to Help

There are many ways to help and support your child through school anxiety. Acting with empathy and compassion, rather than establishing strict rules and punishments is a great place to start. 

Talk openly about feelings and mental health. Make sure to ask questions about school at times when your child is calm. You don’t want to make your child feel interrogated, instead simply give them a chance to make their feelings known so that they feel understood.

Check your Priorities

This is a big one. Sometimes the source of school anxiety may start at home. Take a real honest look at what your parental attitude toward academic success is. This can greatly help children who are afraid of failing.

Get Help From an Expert

Reach out to SouthEnd Psych right away if your child’s anxiety is causing distress or interfering with daily life. Untreated anxiety can lead to other problems, such as depression, substance use disorders, and social isolation. 

Southend Psychiatry is also here to help you navigate conversations with your child’s school personnel to develop a plan. This may include making adjustments to your child’s schedule, providing support in the classroom, or involving your child in social activities outside of school.

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get your child on their way to a better place.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

Culture, Community and Connection

July Is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, Also Known As BIPOC Mental Health Month

This month, we are joining the efforts of Mental Health America’s 2023 BIPOC Mental Health campaign: Culture, Community, & Connection. Our lives are deeply intertwined with our environments, and these surroundings impact our mental health and overall wellness. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) populations are faced with disproportionate amounts of historical trauma and displacement that can challenge their ability to thrive in their environments. However, culture, community, and connection are pillars that support and uplift BIPOC individuals in the face of oppression and systemic racism. Let’s take a look at how we can love and support our fellow brothers and sisters.


Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities have always been at the forefront of social change. Even when displaced, underserved, and oppressed by systems not built for them, there have always and will always be ways that individuals find connection with one another and embrace traditions.

The cultures of BIPOC communities are born from the richness of ancestral wisdom, survival practices, and support systems that have not only sustained life but allowed it to thrive and bloom in even the most hostile of environments. BIPOC communities look out for one another and ensure survival, and in cultural hubs, BIPOC communities remind their loved ones of cultural practices that may have otherwise been forgotten. 

It is through Moore Campbell’s devotion to the mental health of minoritized communities that we are able to celebrate each July and continue to build a better future for individuals of all backgrounds.
Throughout her work, Moore Cambell did not shy away from the realities of what it meant to live as a Black person in America. Her book, “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine,” was inspired by the murder of Emmett Till and deemed as one of the most influential books of 1992 by The New York Times. Moore Cambell continued to write of real events that impacted Black and marginalized communities, such as her work in “Brothers and Sisters,” which takes place in Los Angeles following the Rodney King riots. By highlighting these issues, Moore Cambell brought themes of environmental impact, race, and community connections to the forefront of American literature. 


Our lives are deeply intertwined with the environments around us. Who and what we are surrounded by impacts our mental health and overall wellness. In particular, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) populations are faced with disproportionate amounts of historical trauma and displacement that have challenged how these communities remain sustainable and continue to thrive. Despite countless attempts to take away power, erase histories, and diminish future successes, BIPOC communities continue to prosper. 

BIPOC communities have been powerful, unyielding, and revolutionary in combating these attempts to diminish their worth and value. In addition, historically, the mental health narrative around BIPOC communities has been defined by disparities, trauma, and oppression – but what could BIPOC stories and lives look like if the narrative was changed? Imagine a narrative that instead uplifted and accepted community-created systems of support as fundamental cornerstones connecting one another and providing a safe haven. 

BIPOC communities throughout history have carved out systems of support in order to sustain collective wellbeing. These systems have centered around community and connection, deeply rooted in sustained cultural traditions, language, stories, food, art, and more. Community has been an anchor, allowing connection in a world that is seeking to ostracize and isolate. It is the power of community that has brought forth movements and social change, health and wellness, knowledge, and strength. 


When we reach out for help, we not only begin to heal ourselves, but we heal our communities. If trauma and displacement have been illnesses, then connection is our medicine. Connection allows us to be known and to know others. We can lean on one another. We can support each other and get support in return. We challenge each other to be better. We challenge each other to keep going. 

No one knows a community better than those within the community itself. In order to move toward a more mentally healthy future, community-led action must be prioritized and sustained. There is power in numbers. When individuals get together to unite under a common goal, they increase their chances of enacting change that could promote overall wellness, a sense of purpose, and connection. 

Connection to others may exist either in person, in virtual spaces, or through other means of communication. Recognize that “community” can be more than in-person support and can especially be impactful for those who may be physically isolated from others in their culture. Prioritize access for all when advocating for mentally healthy environments. Strong community support requires an overall understanding that every person is deserving of a healthy environment and has a role in the wellness of those around them.

We hope you choose to help support and raise awareness for the well-being of our BIPOC community. 

Southend Psychiatry is here as you navigate this journey. We can come alongside you to offer support and help. Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get on your way to a better you.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

Why We Love Pride Month

Here at Southend Psychiatry, we fully embrace all of the celebrations and awareness that takes place during Pride Month. This month is for everyone, from all walks of life no matter where they are in the world, to honor who they are.

Did You Know? The New York Pride Parade is one of the largest and most well-known parades with over two million people estimated to participate in any given year. New York City also held the very first pride march in 1970. Way to go NYC!

Why We Love to Celebrate

  • It Raises Awareness – This month provides us with a great opportunity to think about, support and discuss issues related to the gay rights movement. With gay marriage, adoption and transgender rights on the line, the LGBTQ+ community needs our support more than ever.
  • It Is Positive – Pride Month is all about loving and accepting everyone for who they are. It is an opportunity to celebrate how colorful we are as humans and meet other like-minded people. Attending a parade, festival or event in our community brings us together!
  • It Is For Everyone – No matter what our sexual preferences are, we all come together and celebrate our diversity during Pride Month. People of all ages, especially children can join in on the fun that is had! By teaching our youth about sexual diversity, we are passing on a spirit of acceptance and inclusion.

How We Love to Celebrate

  • Learn Something New – Now is a great time to learn about the people who helped bring this movement together. Our history is full of bravery and trailblazers! There are also informative movies and documentaries that shed light on Pride Month.
  • Join a Pride Parade – Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun of supporting gay rights and equality. You don’t have to identify as LGBTQ+ to attend. Click here to find out how NYC is celebrating Pride Month.
  • Represent the Rainbow – Grab a flag, t-shirt, scarf or cape designed with the rainbow in mind and represent with pride! Get creative on how you can show your support all month long.

We hope you choose to help support and promote the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community and preserve its rich history.

Southend Psychiatry is here as you navigate this journey. We can come alongside you to offer support and help. Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get on your way to a better you.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

What to Expect From Your First Psychiatrist Appointment

Working with a mental health professional can help you overcome various emotional challenges and live happier lives. However, many people are intimidated by their first psychiatrist appointment. Perhaps that’s why, according to Mental Health America, only 28% of American youths with severe depression get consistent care and 57.3% never get any. Knowing what to expect at this appointment can prepare you for its unique demands.

Proper Paperwork

Your psychiatrist will ask you for various paperwork and payment before you begin, such as your contact information, medical insurance, and medical history. You may be asked to provide information about the medical history of close relatives in addition to your own. These details help the doctor better understand your mental health and make providing better care easier.

An In-Depth Screening

One of the other things your doctor will do at your psychiatrist appointment is screen you for mental health concerns. They’ll start by collecting any previous mental health diagnoses and hospitalizations you’ve experienced. Then, they’ll examine your current physical and mental medications and check for diseases that can affect your mental health, like thyroid problems. They do this to rule out any physical issues for your imbalances.

After completing your screening, they’ll ask you questions about your current mental health and why you came to their office. These in-depth queries help them understand you better as a person and make it easier to diagnose further treatment methods.

Feedback Opportunities

While talking to you, your doctor will open the floor to you. You’ll get to list any of your concerns, such as paranoia or anxiety, and discuss how they affect your life. They’ll take note of these concerns so you can discuss them further in later appointments. Being open and honest is important because your therapist will need accurate and reliable information to diagnose your care options.

Understanding these important factors can ensure you get through your psychiatrist appointment properly and with minimal challenge. As importantly, it can provide you with the long-term support you need for your mental health. Please reach out to SouthEnd Psychiatry today if you need help with your psychological health and a team you can trust to help you out in this way. We’ll work to connect you with a helpful, qualified psychiatrist.

You Are More Than Enough

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we are excited to join the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in promoting this year’s theme, “More Than Enough” which is meant to be a message of hope and inclusion.

No matter where you are in your mental health journey, you are deserving of support, resources, fulfillment and a community that cares about you… no matter what you look like or what you are able and not able to do.

Build Connection and Community 

People living with mental health conditions need to know and feel valued and supported by their communities. It is important to start conversations and share resources to raise awareness of how critical this topic is. 

“While some are lucky to have a community that understands the reality of mental illness, that doesn’t mean that everyone we encounter has risen above the pervasive stigma. Sometimes, making progress requires having tough conversations.” Margot Harris, Associate Editor of Marketing at NAMI

Education and Advocacy

This month, help us educate people on mental health issues and challenges as well as help empower new and current advocates to help advocate for the rights people affected by mental health conditions deserve. Here are a few statistics to help bring this concept to reality:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience a mental health condition each year. 

Annually, mental illness affects:

  • 16% of Asian adults
  • 21% of Black/African American adults
  • 18% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander adults
  • 21% of Hispanic adults
  • 27% of American Indian/Alaska Native adults
  • 24% of White adults
  • 35% of multiracial adults
  • 50% of LGB adults 

Creating Awareness and Driving Action

We can increase awareness of mental health support and advocacy by taking real action this month! By continuing to learn more about this topic and getting involved in local events and initiatives, we can make a difference.

  1. ACT: send an email, share a story, or post on social media to urge your elected officials to support mental health. Visit for details.
  2. VOTE: commit to understanding how your vote impacts people with mental health conditions. Visit: to get started.
  3. JOIN: Many virtual and in-person NAMIWalks will be taking place throughout the country during the month of May to help bring awareness and spread the message of Mental Health for All! Promote NAMIWalks events taking place in your local areas. Encourage people to use their creativity, create teams and participate however they can. Visit to find events in your area.

Together, we can make a difference and realize our shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives. Help us spread the word through awareness, support and advocacy activities. 

Southend Psychiatry is here as you navigate this journey. We can come alongside you to offer support and help. Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get on your way to a better you.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

5 Ways to Help Your Kids Learn About Mental Health

Mental health concerns aren’t just adult problems. However, many young people who are struggling with their mental health never receive proper care. For example, about 59.8% of young people in America with major depression don’t receive any mental health treatment, according to Mental Health America. This statistic proves that it’s vital to educate your kids about this topic so they can seek help if they need it. If you’re unsure how to begin this process, check out these tips for guidance.

1. Educate Them About Mental Health Terms

Kids should understand terms like depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related words. You can also discuss professionals that work in the field who might be able to help them, like a local psychiatrist. You can teach them by talking about these topics and offering books and online resources that explain mental health in a way that is age-appropriate.

2. Model Mental Health Conversations

Modeling conversations about mental health can show children that it’s an important topic to discuss openly rather than something to be ashamed of. This will prepare them to open up about their mental health and encourage them to speak up if they think someone else might be having difficulty.

3. Help Them Identify Triggers

Identifying triggers is an important component of managing mental health. Some people may have certain events or situations that can instigate episodes of depression, anxiety, or other issues. Teaching your kids about these triggers and warning signs can empower them to recognize when they need to take a step back from a situation and ask for assistance.

4. Encourage Self-Care

Self-care is essential for mental health. Talk to kids about strategies that can care for their emotional well-being. Kids should know it’s good to take time for themselves and do things they find calming or enjoyable. By understanding how sleep, nutrition, and physical activity are connected to mental well-being, kids can protect their mental and emotional health with their daily routines.

5. Seek Professional Help

If you sense that your child might need professional assistance, offer to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. It’s important to discuss these resources in an open manner so they know they can use them without judgment.

Today’s kids have more mental health stressors than ever before. From cyberbullying to dealing with the effects of a pandemic, American youth have many potential triggers. Starting these conversations about mental health early ensures they have the tools and resources they need. Contact us at SouthEnd Psychiatry so a psychiatrist can help today.

Let’s Talk About Alcoholism

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and we are specifically drawing attention to this campaign to point out the stigma that still surrounds alcoholism and substance abuse. We are joining the efforts of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence’s (NCADD) to raise awareness to the causes of alcoholism, the signs and effects of the condition, how to talk to a loved one about a drinking problem, and how to find treatment options.

The Causes of Alcoholism

According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism is when one can no longer control their use of alcohol, compulsively abuse alcohol, despite its negative ramifications, and/or experience emotional distress when they are not drinking. states that alcoholism is believed to have a strong heritable component, with between 40–60% of the variance of risk being attributable to genetic factors. However, there is no cut-and-dry formula to explain alcoholism. It is a multifaceted and complex disease, so while someone may inherit a predisposition to the disorder, genes do not fully determine a person’s outcome.

The way genes are affected by environmental factors plays an important role in alcoholism. For example, being around parental figures who abuse alcohol, being exposed to peers who are heavy alcohol users, and using alcohol for the first time at an early age, can all influence the development of alcoholism.

The Signs and Effects

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism tells us that physical effects associated with alcohol addiction can include:

  • Heart problems like cardiomyopathy (enlarged, inefficient heart muscle), arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Liver disease, including steatosis (fatty liver), alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • Pancreatic problems like pancreatitis, an acutely painful inflammatory condition that can progress to a chronic disease. Pancreatitis can affect a range of pancreatic functions, including the normal release of digestive enzymes.
  • Certain types of cancer, including head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
  • A weakened immune system, which can increase your risk of infection and contraction of diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Potential psychological and cognitive effects associated with alcoholism include:

  • Cognitive problems, such as memory loss or problems thinking clearly.
  • Blackouts (periods of time in which you cannot recall events).
  • Serious brain damage and disorders like Wernicke–Korsakoff Syndrome, which leads to confusion, impaired optic nerve function, profound movement deficits, and problems with memory recall and consolidation.
  • Mood disorders, like major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.
  • Anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder and social phobia.

How to Talk to a Loved One

It takes courage to talk to a family member or friend about a drinking problem. These tips from can help.

  • Be prepared. Before you talk, take some time to accept your own feelings. It’s normal to feel nervous or upset, but try to be calm when you talk with your loved one. Practice what you’ll say and plan to keep it brief. Try focusing on just 1 change that could help your loved one.
  • Keep it positive. Use positive language and try to focus on the benefits of making change.
  • Make a plan together to seek help. Work together to make a list of goals. Choose 1 goal as a first step — like taking 2 nights off from drinking each week. Make sure it’s something you can measure easily. Encourage your loved one to make an appointment with a professional licensed counselor.

How to Find Treatment Options

If you feel you or a loved one may be struggling with alcoholism, you’re not alone. We at Southend Psych understand how overwhelming it can be to consider seeking help for addiction and we’re here to take that burden off your shoulders.

Southend Psychiatry is here as you navigate this journey. We can come alongside you to offer support and help. Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get on your way to a better you.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

Book Appointment