• Depressive Disorders

    Depressive Disorders Treatment, Management, and Counseling, Leslie Terner, Chevy Chase, MD

    Everyone feels sad once in awhile. But the sadness of depression is more intense and lasts longer than is normal. There will be negative thoughts and moods, as well as low energy, difficulty sleeping and functioning overall.

    Depression can range from mild to severe. When depression lasts for several weeks, you should see a psychotherapist. You may need help understanding the source of depression, and guidance in getting your life back to normal.

    Who is at risk for depression?

    Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and is the result of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

    Depression can happen at any age, including childhood and teenage years — where the primary symptom may be irritability rather than low mood. For many adults, their chronic mood and anxiety disorders can be traced to childhood. Older adults can develop depression along with serious medical problems like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson’s. In other cases, medications for these disorders can cause side effects that trigger depression.

    Signs and Symptoms of Depression

    • Sad, anxious, or hopeless mood that persists
    • Feelings of pessimism and irritability
    • Sense of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
    • Loss of interest hobbies and activities
    • Decreased energy or fatigue
    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
    • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
    • Appetite and/or weight changes
    • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
    • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems

    Types of Depressive Disorders

    Several types of depression are very common. Events in your life can cause depression. Chemical changes in your brain can trigger other types of depression. Even a positive change in your life can trigger stress and symptoms of depression if you feel overwhelmed by the change.

    Common types of depressive disorders include:

    Major Depressive Disorder

    When depression lasts for 2 years or longer, you may have chronic major depression. Symptoms are difficulty sleeping, lack of energy, trouble concentrating, feeling hopeless, and having low self-esteem. People with major depression benefit from psychotherapy, medication, and especially from a combination of the two.

    Perinatal Depression

    While some women feel the “baby blues,” a mild depression or anxiety after delivery, perinatal depression is much more serious. Women with perinatal depression have full-blown major depression during pregnancy — or the depression may occur in the weeks and months after delivery (postpartum depression). Psychotherapy and antidepressant medications can help.

    Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

    This form of major depression happens during the winter months when there is little sunlight during the shorter days. Very often, it disappears in the spring and summer. While antidepressants can help with SAD, light therapy is another effective option.

    Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

    Women with PMDD have depression and other symptoms at the start of their periods. Besides feeling depressed, you may also have mood swings, anxiety, irritability, lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating. Antidepressants can help, as can oral contraceptives.

    Psychotic Depression

    Psychotic depression is a form of severe depression and includes symptoms of psychosis. There may be delusions (false beliefs). Some people have hallucinations — hearing or seeing things that aren’t real. Paranoia is often a symptom, with the belief that others are trying to harm you. Antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs can treat psychotic depression, as can electroconvulsive therapy.

    Lifestyle changes will help

    Your lifestyle can have a big effect on your emotional health. Research shows that these changes can help relieve depression:

    • Start getting a little regular exercise like walking.
    • Spend time with other people, like a friend or relative.
    • Eat a healthy well-balanced diet that includes fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats like olive oil — not fast food.

    While all these options can help depression, they don’t always work. In that case, doctors may suggest Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to stimulate specific areas of the brain — which helps your brain control your mood.

    It may be difficult to take the first steps toward getting help for depression. But it’s worth the effort to talk with a psychotherapist. When you get the right treatment, you can move on with your life — and enjoy your life more. When your depression has lifted, you will look back and feel grateful that you took those steps.

    Contact the office

    To find out more about Depressive Disorders Services, contact Leslie Terner’s office located at 5480 Wisconsin Avenue Suite LL8 Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815. Leslie Terner provides Depressive Disorders counseling in Chevy Chase, MD, and its surrounding areas.

    Book an appointment by calling 301-718-1758
  • Our Location

    5480 Wisconsin Avenue
    Suite LL8
    Chevy Chase, MD 20815


    Mon-Thu 12:00PM-8:00PM
    Sat: 12:00AM-5:00PM
    Fri and Sun: Closed


    (301) 718-1758


    (301) 718-1767

    About Leslie Terner, MS, PMHCNS, BC

    I am a Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist in Chevy Chase, Maryland. I have been in private practice since 1999. I help clients to heal and gain insight into why they have developed their behaviors.