Major depressive disorder (MDD) or depression is a common, yet, a serious mental illness that has a negative impact on how a person thinks, feels, and acts. Because of depression, one may feel sad and lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy before. It can cause a variety of emotional and physical ailments and compromise an individual’s capacity to functional properly at home and at work. Fortunately, with the right treatment, therapy, self-care, and support systems, it can be treated at a reputed treatment facility for depression.
Depression can be of different types. These include:
- Major depressive disorder or MDD – This could be a one time or a recurring form of depression. It is characterized by feelings of guilt or worthlessness, impaired concentration, restlessness, fatigue or loss of energy, significant weight changes, and recurring suicidal thoughts.
- Persistent depressive disorder – Also known as dysthymia, it is characterized by chronic depression as it continues on most of the days for a minimum period of two years. This type of depression can last a lifetime as well. It is characterized by indecisiveness, poor self-esteem, poor appetite or overeating, insomnia or hypersomnia, fatigue, and poor concentration.
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder or DMDD – This is a childhood condition marked by excessive irritability, anguish, and intense temperamental outbursts.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PDD – This condition is associated with a female’s menstrual cycle in which erratic mood swings and behavioral changes manifest a few days before the start of menstruation and subside a week after the onset of the menses. This type of depression is characterized by a feeling of overwhelm, depressed mood, anxiety, extreme sadness, and physical symptoms like weight gain, bloating, and muscle ache.
- Seasonal affective disorder or SAD – This type of depression sets in during the onset of winters when natural sunlight reduces. It is usually accompanied by increased sleep, weight gain, and social withdrawal, among others.
- Bipolar disorder or BD – This condition is characterized by episodes of extremely low moods alternating with the episodes of extremely high, euphoric, or irritable moods called mania, or a less serious form known as hypomania.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression can vary from mild to severe. Some of these symptoms are:
- Increased fatigue or loss of energy
- Feeling low or very sad every now and then
- Losing interest and pleasure in activities that one used to enjoy before
- Weight changes resulting from changes in appetite
- Sleeping too much, too less, or having a disturbed sleeping pattern
- Feeling disoriented or worthless
- Difficulty in thinking and focusing on something
- Plagued by feelings of death or suicide
These symptoms need to persist for at least two weeks to enable a mental health therapist to establish a diagnosis of depression. In order for the diagnosis to be correct, physical disorders like a vitamin deficiency, a brain tumor, or thyroid problems, which mimic the symptoms of depression, must be ruled out.
Risk Factors for Depression
Depression can affect anyone, even a person who lives in ideal conditions and seems to be happy. A majority of factors play a role in making a person susceptible to depression. Some of these risk factors include:
Depression can be determined by genes as it can run in families. If one of the identical twins has depression, the other has a very high chance of developing it at any stage in life.
Some people may become susceptible to depression due to long-term exposure to negative environmental factors such as poverty, abuse, neglect, or violence.
Disturbances in the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain may also lead to the development of depression.
People grappling with low self-esteem, who get easily worked up, take too much stress are also prone to developing depression.
Treatment for Depression
Depression is a mental illness that responds well to treatment at an inpatient rehab for depression. Before arriving at a treatment plan, it is imperative to conduct an extensive diagnostic assessment, including a physical evaluation and an interview so that a proper plan of action can be devised. A combination of medication and psychotherapy have been found to be the most effective in the management of chronic, severe, and complex cases of depression.
Antidepressant medications are effectual in alleviating depressive symptoms. It might take some time for a physician to devise the best suited inpatient program for depression as different antidepressants take different time durations to successfully exert action. Also, medications that help a close family member might also be beneficial to an individual struggling with depression. Over time, antidepressants start improvising concentration, sleep patterns, appetite, and mood. These medications could also exert some side effects which subside in due course of time. Some people discontinue the treatment once they start experiencing positive effects, however, it is important to speak to the mental health therapist before doing so as these medicines, if withdrawn abruptly, may cause adverse side effects and put an individual at the risk of relapse, making the subsequent treatment process lengthier and more intensive.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
People resistant to depression medications and who feel suicidal or behave psychotically respond well to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The onset of action of this therapy is fast and the results may be visible within a week of the commencement of treatment. ECT is an advanced therapy, however, there could be some side effects like short-term memory deficits and postictal confusion.
This includes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy.
CBT – People struggling with depression often have a dysfunctional thought pattern. They consider themselves incapable, perceive others as critical, and feel negative about their future and life in general. CBT helps these people correct their maladaptive thought patterns. It is also effective in preventing the incidence of relapse.
Interpersonal therapy – This is a time-limited therapy for the management of depression. By improving a patient’s social functioning and interpersonal relationships, it strives to alleviate the depressive symptoms.
Self-help and Coping Strategies
Depression is a real mental illness afflicting millions of people worldwide. However, there are a few things which one can do to alleviate the symptoms. Simple things like incorporating some form of physical activity, like brisk walking, in the daily routine, eating nutritionally-dense food, keeping a tab on stress levels, indulging in self-pampering, like going for a massage or a pedicure, socializing with people with a positive outlook towards life, can help a great deal in managing and overcoming depressive symptoms.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, the symptoms and underlying causes of depression can be managed well. One should be receptive to help that is available in abundance. Reaching out to a treatment facility for depression and getting connected to a mental health specialist can be a great start to one’s journey of attaining lasting mental health recovery.
Depression Treatment at Medical Concierge
At Medical Concierge, a dually-licensed treatment facility for depression, we provide evidence-based treatment for the various types of depressive disorders. After an intense and rigorous pre-assessment, each patient is offered a customized depression treatment program by a team of trained clinicians and certified psychiatrists. The initial assessment not only helps detect any underlying co-occurring conditions but also enables our multi-disciplinary treatment team to develop a tailor-made treatment program as per the need and medical history of the patient. We offer medication, individual and group psychotherapy, CBT, and therapeutic activities like yoga, meditation, and art therapy as part of both our outpatient and inpatient services.
For more information about our holistic residential depression treatment center, call our 24/7 helpline number (877) 636-0042 and speak with a member of our admissions team. You can also chat online with our representative for further assistance.
Medical Concierge offers quality, innovative and compassionate care for mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders. We also offer alumni services and continuing care to ensure sustained recovery.
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656