What a difference medical treatment has made for Mario Patlan.
Out of work periodically for nearly a year, and growing more anxious, his grown children convinced him to see a doctor just after Christmas.
"I was kind of depressed because of not having enough finances to make enough of a good holiday," Patlan admitted.
Patlan said his finances got so tough in 2011, he couldn't afford the electricity for Christmas lights.
"It makes you feel less of a man or a provider for your family. And that really gets you down," he said.
"This year it seems like it's a lot worse," said Texas Health Plano Dr. Arash Tirandaz. "And the economic issues associated with it are tremendous."
Dr. Tirandaz said he's never seen so many cases, and patients aren't always the ones to mention their depression.
"Somebody's blood pressure is 200 over 100 and you wonder why, and they tell you they haven't been taking their medicines because they can't afford it," Dr. Tirandaz said. "You see their sugars are out of control because they lost their job and are not able to get their prescriptions filled."
Symptoms of mild depression include:
- appetite changes
- concentration changes
"I might not be able to help with the car payment or the mortgage," Dr. Tirandaz said, "but what your physician can do is they can help you have more energy, better sleep, better concentration... and that can help you deal better with those problems."
Mario Patlan was grateful for the diagnosis and some free medication samples that have also helped ease the stress of paying for treatment.
"I feel so different now. I'm calm. I'm more assured of the things I'm doing," he said. "It's good. It's good."