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medications for depressive disorders

Evidence-Based and Patient-Focused Depression Care

Depression is a complex condition, but it is treatable. With expert support, holistic care, and a personalized approach, you can embark on your journey toward healing, resilience, and mental well-being.

Whether through therapy, medication, or a combination of both, our team is fully equipped and dedicated to delivering a comprehensive treatment specifically tailored to effectively address your diagnosed depression.

Medicine plays a crucial role in the overall treatment of major depressive disorder by addressing the biochemical imbalances that often contribute to it.

Since each person’s response to medication can differ, we use a tailored approach that considers the nuances of your condition. This ensures your medications align with your symptoms while we closely monitor potential side effects and your overall well-being.

Start your journey to compassionate and comprehensive depression treatment by reaching out to our San Diego-based psychiatric providers.

When it comes to treating depression, medication is not a standalone solution. Supportive therapy, such as counseling or psychotherapy, is also integral to effective treatment.

As major depressive disorder specialists, we follow a holistic and individualized therapy approach that addresses the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of your condition

By offering easy-to-use and HIPAA-compliant telepsychiatry services, we can ensure every patient can quickly and conveniently have healing conversations with their providers—even from the comfort of their homes.

Evidence shows that when treating depressive disorders, the combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy (the use of medications) performs significantly better than each intervention alone.

Because depression often involves a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors, patients tend to experience better outcomes and long-term success when we take a holistic approach to treatment.

We not only offer supportive therapy and medication management separately, but we also design treatments that incorporate both, giving our patients access to comprehensive and individualized programs to help overcome depression.

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Mental Health Condition: Understanding Major Depressive Disorder and Depression

Individuals living with depression often navigate a challenging journey that extends beyond the visible symptoms, and they may find daily tasks more daunting than usual.

Understanding depression is essential for fostering empathy, support, and effective intervention. By providing tailored therapeutic treatments, psychiatric care providers can help individuals reclaim and rediscover joy in their lives.

What Is Major Depressive Disorder?

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), commonly known as depression, is a mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and a range of other emotional and physical symptoms.

According to Gallup, 29% of adults in the United States admit to having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lifetime.The exact cause of depression is complex and often involves a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

The signs of depression can vary among individuals, and their onset may differ. Here is a list of major depressive disorder symptoms:

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Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness

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Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy

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Changes in sleep patterns—having difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much

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Changes in appetite

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Loss of energy or increased fatigue even after adequate rest

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Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions

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Feelings of worthlessness, excessive guilt, or helplessness

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Restlessness or noticeably slowed movements and speech

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Thoughts about death or suicide

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Unexplained aches and pains, headaches, or digestive issues

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Increased irritability, particularly in children and adolescents

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Avoidance of friends, family, and social activities

Every person responds differently to stressors, so experiencing one or more depression symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have MDD. However, if your symptoms persist and significantly impact your daily life, you should seek the help and advice of mental health professionals.

Our San Diego-based psychiatric nurse practitioners (NPs) conduct a thorough assessment to determine if you’re experiencing depression and can help recommend appropriate treatment options, which include therapy, medication, or a healthy combination of both.

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Who We Are:

Genuine and
Compassionate Experts

Having been in the mental health and psychiatry fields for several decades, our team of seasoned psychiatric NPs and psychiatrists has discovered that one-size-fits-all treatments for major depressive disorder simply aren’t effective.

We strongly believe every patient deserves a personalized treatment plan that meets their unique wants, needs, and life circumstances.

Our holistic approach to providing care goes beyond treating symptoms and instead aims to create sustainable changes that support individuals in their ongoing journey toward recovery.

Get the level of major depression treatment and support you deserve. Our San Diego-based mental health professionals are here to provide that.

How This Works

Get consistent and quality care anytime, anywhere. Our online treatment services for depression can make that happen.

One-on-One Online Consultations

We create a safe and confidential space where you can share your feelings, receive targeted support, and collaborate with your provider to find the most effective treatment plan.

Uninterrupted Support via Messaging

Openly discuss questions or concerns about your treatment with your dedicated provider. Our HIPAA-compliant messaging system keeps communication lines open in between video appointments.

Continuous Progress Monitoring

Depression is a dynamic condition with fluctuating symptoms. By closely tracking your progress, our team can identify patterns, assess your treatment plan’s impact, and make informed adjustments as needed.


  • Seasoned psychiatry providers who understand the complexities and multicausality of depression
  • One-on-one video check-ins anytime you need them and from anywhere you feel comfortable
  • Uninterrupted support from your dedicated mental health provider via direct messaging
  • Patient-centric and evidence-based prescription of medications for depressive disorders
  • Continuous evaluation of progress and results to maximize intervention impact
  • Transparent billing with support staff readily available
  • Easy, on-demand, and flexible patient scheduling process
  • Supportive telepsychiatry that offers the same services as an in-person office visit

Standard Care

  • Generalists with limited training and experience in major depressive disorder treatments
  • 15-minute appointments scheduled weeks in advance that could delay intervention efforts
  • Off-the-shelf treatment approach that could overlook unique patient needs and personalized care
  • Guess-work depression medication prescribing
  • Inadequate outcome assessment and evaluation
  • Disorganized billing with instances of unexpected medical fees
  • Overly complicated appointment scheduling process
  • In-office appointments that involve stressful commutes and long wait times

Frequently Asked Questions About Major Depressive Disorder

Whether you're seeking information about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, or treatment options for major depressive disorder (MDD), this section can help you better understand this complex and often misunderstood mental health condition:

According to the American Psychiatric Association, major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as depression, is a common and serious medical condition. It negatively impacts how you feel, think, and act, significantly affecting your daily life, relationships, and overall well-being.

It causes feelings of sadness or a loss of interest in activities you once found enjoyable. Depression often leads to emotional and physical problems, which impact your performance at work and home.

Depressive episodes can be classified as mild, moderate, and severe depending on the number, type, and severity, as well as the degree of functional impairment.

    While each person may experience symptoms differently, here are the most common major depressive disorder symptoms:
  • Depressed Mood. Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Loss of Interest or Pleasure. Anhedonia or a diminished ability to find joy or interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns. Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (excessive sleep)
  • Changes in Appetite or Weight. Significant changes in appetite, weight loss, or weight gain
  • Fatigue and Loss of Energy. A persistent sense of tiredness and lack of energy, even after adequate rest
  • Difficulty Concentrating. Problems with focus, concentration, and decision-making
  • Feelings of Worthlessness or Excessive Guilt. Pervasive feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, guilt, or self-blame
  • Psychomotor Changes. Agitation (restlessness) or psychomotor retardation (slowed movements and speech)
  • Suicidal Ideation. Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts
  • Physical Symptoms. Unexplained aches and pains, headaches, or digestive issues
  • Irritability. Increased irritability or restlessness, particularly in children and adolescents
  • Social Withdrawal. Avoidance of friends, family, and social activities.

Because everyone responds differently to stressors, it’s important to note that experiencing one or several symptoms doesn't automatically indicate a depression diagnosis.

Diagnosing MDD involves a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified psychiatric care professional, and the process includes the following key components:

  • Clinical Assessment
    The provider conducts a thorough clinical interview to gather information about the individual's symptoms, medical history, and relevant family history of mental health issues.
  • Diagnostic Criteria
    The provider refers to established diagnostic criteria, such as those outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), to determine if the individual's symptoms align with the criteria for depression.
  • Psychological Assessment
    Psychological assessments, questionnaires, or standardized scales may be used to gather additional information about the severity and impact of the individual’s symptoms.
  • Rule Out Other Conditions
    Because several medical conditions can mimic or contribute to symptoms of depression, the provider may conduct physical examinations and order laboratory tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions or substance-related issues that could contribute to the symptoms.
  • Duration and Persistence
    Symptoms must persist for at least two weeks and significantly impact daily functioning. The duration and persistence of symptoms are important factors in the diagnostic process.
  • Collateral Information
    Information from family members, close friends, or other caregivers may be considered to gain insights into the individual's behavior and functioning in different settings.

We want to emphasize that self-diagnosis is not a substitute for a professional evaluation. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, seek help from an experienced mental health professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend an appropriate treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs.

Early intervention is key to effective management and recovery from depression.

While the exact cause of major depressive disorder is unknown, the Mayo Clinic states that depression could stem from a variety of factors, including:

  • Biological Differences
    People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
  • Brain Chemistry
    Changes in the function, effect, and interaction of naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters likely play a significant role in depression and its treatment.
  • Hormones
    Changes in one’s hormone balance may play a role in causing or triggering depression. Hormone changes can result from pregnancy, postpartum, thyroid problems, menopause, or several other conditions.
  • Inherited Traits
    Depression is found to be more common among people who have blood relatives with the same condition. Genes may be involved in causing depression.

Because of MDD’s multifaceted nature, its treatment typically involves a multidimensional approach that addresses the condition's biological, psychological, and social aspects.

Treatment options should ideally be individualized based on the severity of symptoms, the patient's preferences, and any coexisting health conditions. According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, the common approaches to treating depression include:

  • Medications

    Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), are often prescribed to regulate neurotransmitters in the brain and alleviate depressive symptoms.

    The choice of medication depends on factors such as the individual's symptoms, medical history, and potential side effects. You may also need to try several different antidepressants before finding the one that works best for you. This process involves balancing the medication’s effectiveness in improving your symptoms and its manageable side effects.

    If you want to find the best medication for major depressive disorder, you must seek the help and expertise of a licensed psychiatric care provider. That may sound intimidating, but our San Diego-based psychiatry practice is committed to making depression care as convenient and accessible as possible.

    Take the first step toward healing and recovery by scheduling a one-on-one video appointment with one of our experienced major depressive disorder specialists.

  • Psychotherapies

    Various forms of psychotherapy (also called talk therapy or counseling) are effective in helping individuals understand and manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

    Major depressive disorder therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and psychodynamic therapy provide a safe and supportive space for patients to explore and understand the underlying factors contributing to their depression. This helps identify and address the root causes of the patient’s depression and can help the provider find appropriate and effective treatment options for them.

    Psychotherapy empowers patients to actively participate in their own healing process. It encourages self-reflection and increased self-awareness, helping individuals with depression better understand their emotions, behaviors, and interpersonal dynamics. It also helps teach patients new ways of thinking and behaving and how they can change habits that contribute to depression.

    We are advocates of continuous and consistent psychiatric care. We offer ongoing supportive therapy services where individuals experiencing depression can continue to receive support, refine coping skills, address any emerging challenges, and effectively reduce the risk of relapse. To learn more about our psychotherapy services, schedule an online appointment with one of our mental health providers today!

  • Brain Stimulation Therapies

    Brain stimulation therapies involve the targeted stimulation of specific brain areas to alleviate symptoms of MDD. While many are experimental and still being investigated for treating depression, some have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

    Three notable brain stimulation therapies include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and deep brain stimulation (DBS).

    Experts generally consider brain stimulation therapies when depression is severe, recurrent, or resistant to conventional treatments. They are often administered under the careful supervision of a multidisciplinary team, including psychiatrists, neurologists, and other specialists.

  • Yes, it is. In fact, evidence shows that combining psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy (the use of medications) performs significantly better in treating depression than each intervention alone.

    Our flagship program—holistic treatment—addresses the multifaceted nature of the condition, recognizing that depression involves a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors.

    Our psychiatry practice takes pride in its patient-centric and holistic approach to treating mental health conditions. We are committed to treating the whole person rather than simply managing the symptoms of your depression.

    Whether it involves psychotherapy, medication for severe depression, or an effective combination of both, we’re ready to walk the extra mile with you on your journey toward sustainable and long-term freedom from depression.

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    Holistic Treatment That Works

    Our decades of combined experience in psychiatry have found that a mind-body-spirit approach opens the door to the healing process.
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    Passionate Providers Who Care

    A cut above the rest, our psychiatric providers go beyond symptom management. We help you achieve peak wellness.
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    Innovation That Removes Barriers

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