Depression is a common and highly treatable illness characterized by intense feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, anger or apathy. The world’s leading cause of disability, depression is more than a temporary bout of sadness. It’s a persistent and unrelenting pattern of hopelessness and despair that interferes with one’s ability to function on a daily basis. The Ranch mental health treatment center has a multitude of therapies and approaches to help treatment-resistant depression. Call us to learn more: 844-876-7680
Types of depression include:
- Major Depression – Persistent or recurring inability to feel pleasure or enjoy life that lasts about six months.
- Minor Depression – Depressive symptoms that do not meet the criteria for major depression and last for two weeks or more.
- Atypical Depression – A subtype of major depression characterized by typical signs of depression followed by a short-lived improvement in mood because of, for instance, good news or happy events.
- Dysthymia – A form of mild depression that lasts at least two years and includes moderate depressive symptoms and short periods of normal mood.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder – Depression that comes and go with the fall and winter seasons or frequent overcast days.
- Bipolar Disorder – Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating episodes of major depression and mania (periods of hyperactivity, rapid speech, sleeplessness and impulsivity).
What Causes Depression?
Scientists haven’t identified the precise causes of depression, but researchers believe that a number of factors play a role, including:
- Stressful life events such as loss of a loved one, a significant break-up or financial problems
- Physical or chemical imbalances in the brain
- Childhood trauma such as abuse, neglect or loss of a parent
Anyone can develop depression, but those at greater risk include:
- Teens or individuals in their late 20s
- Unemployed individuals
- Those with a family history of depression or suicide
- People who lack a social support network
- Women who have recently given birth
- Those with serious medical illness such as heart disease or cancer
- People who have another mental health disorder such as anxiety
- Individuals who struggle with low self-esteem
- Those with relationship or marriage problems
- People with financial struggles
- Individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol
Signs of Depression
Everyone experiences depression in their own way. Sadness is not the only way depression manifests. It also appears as numbness, lifelessness, anger or restlessness. Some of the most common symptoms of depression 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 tiredness
- Reckless behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling or unsafe sex
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, such as hobbies, sex or social gatherings
- Thoughts of suicide/death or feeling that life isn’t worth living
Treatment for Depression
Treatment for depression may include a combination of psychotherapy and evidence-based antidepressants. Depression interventions include:
- Medication – Some of the most commonly used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft; serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Cymbalta; monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs); and others. These medications are generally prescribed by a primary care physician or psychiatrist. Although medication may improve symptoms, it does not address the issues underlying depression, so most experts recommend that medication be used as part of a combined approach to treatment.
- Psychotherapy – Talking about symptoms and exploring underlying issues with a counselor helps people identify unhealthy thought and behavior patterns and learn better ways to cope. Psychotherapy is useful both individually and in groups. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy have proven to be some of the most effective treatments for depression. The skills developed in therapy can improve symptoms quickly and can be called upon if depressive symptoms return.
- Residential Treatment Programs – For severe depression, inpatient treatment or hospitalization may be necessary. Residential depression treatment programs provide intensive therapy, 24-hour supervision, and a high level of structure and support. There are also day treatment and outpatient programs available that provide support and counseling.
- Alternative Approaches – For those seeking complementary approaches, there are also a number of alternative treatments for depression, such as acupuncture, yoga, massage therapy, meditation, herbal supplements, and adjustments in diet, exercise and lifestyle.
The Ranch mental health treatment program takes a comprehensive approach to depression treatment. We combine evidence-based medications, individual therapy, group therapy and traditional, experiential and alternative approaches to help clients address the issues that fuel depression and also recover from co-occurring disorders and common ways of coping with depression such as substance abuse and behavioral addictions.
Life can be better. We can help. Call today for a free consultation: 844-876-7680.