Depression Treatment Program Options
Major depression, also commonly referred to as clinical depression, major depressive illness, unipolar disorder and major affective disorder, is a serious medical illness that is sometimes brushed aside as being less severe than it actually is. Major depression goes beyond the typical feelings of sadness or occasional blue periods. Depression affects your thoughts, feelings, mood, behavior and physical health.
Depression is a lifelong condition that has periods of remission and relapses. Approximately 25 million Americans suffer from depression each year, with women 70 percent more likely to be affected. Symptoms of depression include:
- Depressed mood (sadness)
- Agitation or irritability
- Poor concentration
- Becoming withdrawn or isolated
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Appetite disturbances
- Excessive guilt or self-hate
- Thoughts of suicide
When left untreated, depression can seriously impair your ability to function and can even lead to suicide. Fortunately, there is help. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, please call our helpline at for assistance in finding a treatment center.
What Causes Depression?
Depression is most likely caused by a combination of things, including genetic, biological, psychological and environmental factors. Researchers have long believed that depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals, or neurotransmitters, in the brain, although this theory has been difficult to prove. However, brain-imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have shown that the brains of people with depression look different than those without depression, or more precisely, the parts of the brains that control mood, thinking, behavior, sleep and appetite appear to be different. As interesting as this discovery is, however, it cannot explain why the depression has occurred, nor can it be used to diagnose depression.
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Scientists are still researching what causes depression. Certain genes may be responsible for depression, as depression seems to run in some families; however, many people without a family history of depression also live with this illness. For some people with depression, a depressive episode is triggered by life events, including:
- The loss of a loved one
- Difficult home life or relationship issues
- Stressful situations
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Certain medical conditions, such as underactive thyroid, cancer, or constant pain
- Certain medications
However, for many people, depressive episodes occur without an obvious trigger.
Is There a Cure for Depression?
Unfortunately, there is no established cure for depression. Depression differs from person to person, so when seeking treatment, what works for one person may not work for another. Fortunately, depression can be treated and made manageable through a combination of therapies, medication and lifestyle changes, such as exercise, nutrition and stress reduction.
Therapies for Depressive Disorders
Various therapies are available to treat depression. Some of the most effective are talk therapies, which include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and group therapy. Medically assisted therapy, such as the use of antidepressants, is another type of treatment. For assistance in deciding which type of therapy is right for you or your loved one, call us at .
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment for Depression Disorders
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective form of talk therapy used to treat depression. The core concept of CBT is that mood is directly related to the way a person thinks. CBT teaches you how to fight off negative thoughts while becoming more aware of your symptoms and recognizing triggers that make your depression worse in order to avoid them.
The method and focus used for cognitive behavioral therapy sets it apart from other forms of therapy through cognitive restructuring and behavioral activation. With CBT, the therapist and patient work together to change, or rewire, thinking patterns. The patient then learns to overcome obstacles by participating in activities that are enjoyable. CBT focuses on the present, including what and how a person thinks, rather than why a person thinks the way he does.
CBT is goal-oriented, educational and proactive. When undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy, the patient is expected to play an active role in the treatment. CBT focuses on an individual’s specific problems, identifying problem thinking and behaviors and ways in which to change them. Patients are actively involved in defining goals for each therapy session as well as goals for the long-term.
CBT utilizes various strategies:
- Socratic questioning
- Guided discovery
- Behavioral experiments
Typically, cognitive behavioral therapy treatment is time-limited, lasting 14 to 16 weeks.
Medically Assisted Depression Treatment
Short-term depression treatments don’t necessarily work for everyone. Sometimes medication is needed to relieve depression symptoms. Medically assisted treatment implements the use of antidepressants to treat depression. Antidepressants work by bringing the imbalanced chemicals in your brain back into balance, which can help to relieve symptoms.
When taking medication for your depression, it’s vital to keep your healthcare provider informed about any other medication you’re taking, even natural herbal remedies. Some medicines, including herbs, can interfere with how antidepressants work in your body.
When undergoing medically assisted treatment, it’s important to give your medicine time to work. Some antidepressants can require a month or two to take full effect. It’s also vital to always take your medication as instructed, as missing a dose can disrupt the therapeutic effect of the antidepressant.
When starting medically assisted treatment, it’s normal to have to try out different antidepressants at first. Different antidepressants work differently for each person, so it may take a while to find the right one that works for you. If you feel as though your medication is not working, tell your healthcare provider. The dosage might need to be adjusted, or perhaps another type of medication would be a better fit for you. Under no circumstances should you stop taking your medication on your own.
Other Therapeutic Methods
CBT and the use of medications are not the only ways to treat depression. There are many therapeutic methods used as effective treatments for depression. These include:
- Psychotherapy, which helps you understand underlying issues which may be the cause of your thoughts and emotions
- Group therapy, where you share with others with similar problems
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formally known as electroshock therapy, which implements electrically induced seizures for a therapeutic effect for those with severe depression or suicidal thoughts
- Light therapy, which helps treat depression during the winter months
Sometimes depression can be treated simply by changing your diet, getting enough exercise and sleep, or by making other lifestyle changes.
Residential Inpatient Treatment Centers for Depression
Sometimes depression gets so bad that it requires checking into a residential inpatient treatment center. These are facilities specifically designed for individuals with severe depression. These types of facilities range from the traditional psychiatric hospital to luxurious resorts designed to provide you with a pleasant escape from your problems. For help locating a residential inpatient treatment center for yourself or a loved one, call us at .
The Benefits of Residential Depression Treatments
Residential depression treatments offer many benefits. Residential treatment centers have a home-like environment, where you live among other patients with similar mood disorders. Other inpatient facilities, such as psychiatric hospitals, may have impersonal environments, which can contribute to patients’ sense of alienation. A residential treatment center provides an intensive program similar to that of a psychiatric hospital but in a comfortable, personal and caring environment. Detox is provided for the patient if an addiction is present. Medication is professionally administered, and multiple forms of counseling are available. Residential treatment centers allow you to work through your depression on your own time, without any pressures from the outside world.
Luxury Depression Disorder Facilities
Luxury depression disorder facilities provide you with a comfortable, beautiful environment while enabling you to focus on beating your depression. Luxury depression treatment centers provide you with everything you need to successfully recover from your depression, while making the process as painless as possible.
Executive Depression Disorder Programs
With all the demands executives face in the corporate world, professionals are becoming more prone to depression. Executive depression disorder programs are specially designed to treat the mental health of business professionals. Executive mental health (EMH) programs have the goal of maximizing the potential and enhancing the mental health of corporate personnel by providing:
- Stress reduction
- Corporate retreats
- Teambuilding activities
- Personal and professional coaching
- Organizational development
Each client undergoes a comprehensive mental health examination, followed by specialized evaluations as needed. These can include:
- Chemical dependency
- Pain management
- Neuropsychiatric evaluation
- Short-term intensive outpatient treatment (including medication management and psychotherapy)
Outpatient Depression Rehab and Treatment Programs
Outpatient rehab and treatment programs are recommended if your depression is less severe or if you require additional help after completing a residential program. Outpatient care usually provides the same intensity of care as an inpatient program while enabling you to return home after your therapy sessions. Outpatient treatment is ideal for those who cannot leave their daily responsibilities behind or if the cost of treatment is an issue, as outpatient therapy is more affordable than inpatient treatment.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
There are a wide variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications available to help treat depression. Before starting any type of antidepressant treatment, it’s important that you consult with your healthcare provider. Once you have been officially diagnosed as having depression, your healthcare provider will likely recommend a combination of therapy and prescription medication. Medication can help relieve your depression systems. Some common antidepressants that are used to treat depression are Prozac, Effexor XR, Lexapro, Limbitrol, Paxil, Symbyax and Zoloft.
The most common over-the-counter medication used to treat depression is St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort is an herbal supplement that is used to treat the condition and the symptoms that accompany it, such as anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and change in appetite.
Never mix an over-the-counter medication with a prescription medication. Consult your doctor before starting any over-the-counter medications in case they affect how your antidepressant works with your body.
How to Find the Best Depression Treatment Facility
There are many depression treatment facilities designed to help those who have been diagnosed with depression. For help finding the best depression treatment facility for you or a loved one, call us at . Our professionally trained treatment coordinators will help you find a nearby facility that meets your specific individual needs. Depression is a serious illness, but it can be treated. The first step to getting well is simply reaching out for help.