Depression services offered in Fairfield and Pleasant Hill, CA

Depression has always been a common problem, but its impact increasingly affects youth, with 17% of people between 12-17 years and 8% of adults spending days feeling sad and hopeless. When you need help overcoming depression, you get exceptional care at HumuHealth Psychiatry: Olukemi Kuku, DNP, PMHNP. Dr. Kuku offers personalized therapy together with antidepressant medications when needed to improve your mood. If you can’t get out from under depression, call the office in Fairfield or Pleasant Hill, California, or request an in-person or telepsychiatry appointment online today.

Depression Q & A

When should I seek help for depression?

Many people put off seeking help, believing their depression will get better or that they should be able to get over it. But depression isn’t the blues, and it seldom improves on its own.

Major depressive disorder may begin after a traumatic, stressful, or sad event. Women can also develop perinatal depression, a type of major depression that begins during pregnancy and after delivery.

Your risk may be higher if you have a family history of depression. However, depression is a medical condition associated with imbalanced neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that carry messages between nerves).

Without treatment, mild symptoms can get worse, and moderate to severe depression can last for months or years. If you feel sad or down for two weeks or longer, it’s time to seek help from the team at HumuHealth Psychiatry: Olukemi Kuku, DNP, PMHNP.

What symptoms does depression cause?

The earliest symptoms often include low energy, fatigue, and not feeling motivated to do anything. But you will have other symptoms that occur nearly every day.

If you’re depressed, you may:

  • Feel sad, hopeless, and worthless
  • Feel nervous, anxious, and irritable
  • Avoid family and friends
  • Lose interest in activities you enjoy
  • Eat too much or too little
  • Gain or lose weight
  • Sleep too much or not be able to sleep
  • Find it hard to concentrate or make decisions
  • Think about suicide or harming yourself

Depression often causes physical symptoms. Many people develop digestive problems, backaches, aching muscles, and chronic pain.

How is depression treated?

The team at HumuHealth Psychiatry: Olukemi Kuku, DNP, PMHNP, typically treats depression with a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication. The severity of your symptoms determines if you need antidepressants. 

Though antidepressants can improve your mood by balancing your brain chemistry, it’s also important to start therapy because these medications take a few weeks to start working.

During therapy, you learn new ways of thinking and behaving. You identify and change negative thoughts and habits that may contribute to your depression. When you participate in therapy, you also stimulate and engage your brain. As a result, you rewire new nerve connections and rebalance brain chemicals.

If you have severe depression that doesn’t improve with treatment or suicidal thoughts, your provider may recommend electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). During ECT, mild electrical currents go through your brain. The treatment improves neurotransmitter levels and often leads to immediate relief of severe depression.

If you feel depressed, don’t wait to seek help. Call HumuHealth Psychiatry: Olukemi Kuku, DNP, PMHNP, or book an appointment online so you can get the treatment you need.