The world’s leading cause of disability, depression impacts more than 300 million people globally. Depression is a serious but treatable illness characterized by intense feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, anger or apathy. When a person is clinically depressed, persistent and unrelenting patterns of hopelessness and despair interfere with their ability to function on a daily basis. While many people respond to a combination of medication and psychotherapeutic interventions, as many as one-third of the 16 million U.S. adults with depression do not respond adequately to treatment (called treatment-resistant depression).
Signs of Depression
Everyone experiences depression in their own unique way. Sadness is a primary symptom, however, depression can manifest as numbness, lifelessness, anger or restlessness. Common depression symptoms include:
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions or completing basic tasks
- Feeling hopeless, empty or worthless
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Inability to control negative thoughts
- Irritability, aggression, restlessness or anger
- Loss of energy or fatigue
- Reckless behavior (e.g., substance abuse, compulsive gambling or unsafe sex)
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities (e.g., hobbies, sex or socializing)
- Thoughts of suicide/death or feeling life isn’t worth living
Depression Risk Factors
The exact cause of depression is unknown, however experts have identified potential causes and risk factors. Genetics, stressful major life events (e.g., loss of a loved one or divorce), physical or chemical imbalances in the brain and childhood trauma (e.g., abuse, neglect or loss of a parent) have been identified as potential contributing factors. While anyone can develop depression, the following factors increase the risk:
- Age: 13 to late 20s
- Gender: Female
- Family history of depression or suicide
- Lack of a social support network
- Recent childbirth
- Serious medical illness (e.g., heart disease or cancer)
- Co-occurring mental health disorder (e.g., anxiety or personality disorder)
- Low self-esteem
- Relationship or marital problems
- Financial struggles
- Drug or alcohol abuse
Types of Depression Treatment
Depression treatment generally includes some type of psychotherapy and medication management. Cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy and a wide array of alternative therapies are utilized to help clients overcome depression and/or co-occurring substance use or behavioral disorders.
Residential rehab for depression provides intensive therapy, 24-hour supervision and a high level of structure and support. More than 50% of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression and this figure increases to 75% when a depressed person is suffering from co-occurring alcohol abuse. Once a client is stabilized, day treatment and outpatient programs are options for ongoing support and counseling. Residential treatment for depression may be necessary when the following situations arise:
- Co-occurring alcohol or drug abuse
- Inadequate nutrition and lack of sleep over several days
- Ineffectiveness of evidence-based treatments in alleviating severe or chronic symptoms
- Change in medications or treatments requiring close medical/psychiatric supervision
- Symptoms of mania or depression significantly interfering with functioning
- Suicidal ideation or attempts
- Psychotic symptoms (e.g., hallucinations or delusions)
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) is a comprehensive approach that encompasses diagnostic, psychiatric and psychosocial services. IOP may be a suitable option for individuals with depressive symptoms who need stabilization and more intensive therapy than typical outpatient programs. IOP clients work with therapists and a community of peers to identify therapeutic goals and progress through treatment. Group therapy helps clients gain insight and support from others and practice coping strategies to manage their depression symptoms.
In depression rehab, antidepressants may be prescribed by a psychiatrist with integrated, coordinated care from nurses, therapists, residential assistants and other staff. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft. An imbalance of the brain chemical serotonin is thought to be a contributing factor in depression and other psychiatric disorders. SSRIs work by increasing levels of serotonin. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Cymbalta may be prescribed if SSRIs are ineffective.
Although medications can help reduce symptoms, psychotherapy is essential for addressing underlying issues that contribute to depression. Therefore, medication should be used in combination with psychotherapy and other therapeutic approaches.
The Ranch offers a variety of depression therapies and approaches to help people with major and treatment-resistant depression. Call us to learn more: 844-876-7680.