Depression is a mood disorder in which overwhelming feelings of sadness, feeling down or empty, loss of pleasure, guilt, and hopelessness interfere with daily life. Depression is treatable through psychotherapy and medications.
- Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
- Groups, Classes & Support
- Research & Clinical Trials
- Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook
Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Our team - consisting of psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and nurses - has extensive experience in diagnosing, evaluating, and treating patients with depression, and we are firmly committed to improving the care and quality of life for their patients. We offer inpatient, partial (day) hospital, and outpatient services. Our strong commitment to research means that we have the latest tools and techniques available.
Everyone experiences periods of temporary unhappiness and emotional pain. However, when sadness persists and impairs daily functioning, it may indicate a depressive disorder.
Severity, duration, and the presence of other symptoms are the factors that distinguish normal sadness from clinical depression. A psychiatrist will make the diagnosis of depression based on official criteria from the American Psychiatric Association based on the evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, exam, and careful evaluation of any contributing causes from physical disease.
Additionally, we use validated tools to assist in diagnostic evaluation, and measure the outcome of treatment with standardized instruments. This allows our team to track improvement over time, and make more informed decisions about when treatments need to be adjusted.
Depression is a treatable illness, with many evidence-based treatment options available, including psychotherapy and medication. Most people with depression can be treated in an office setting by a psychiatrist.
We also offer neuromodulation evaluation and treatment, including electroconvulsive therapy, which can be a life-saving treatment if medications are not effective.
In general, treatment choice depends on the degree and type of depression and other conditions the patient may have. At Penn State Health, patients are fully involved in the treatment decision-making process.
Groups involved in treating depression include:
Penn State Medical Group - Psychiatry
22 Northeast Drive, Entrance B
Hershey, PA 17033
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (PPI) Adult Outpatient Services
2501 N 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 866-746-2496 or 717-782-6493
Groups, Classes & Support
Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other parents and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.
Research & Clinical Trials
The Department of Psychiatry is committed to clinical research and deepening our understanding of quality mental health care. See current clinical trials.