A Few Statistics
Are You At Risk?
Chronic Depression Signs
What is Grief
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Types of Depression Treatment
Methods of Treatment
The Use of Medications
Find the Right Program
Currently, there are more than 21 million Americans suffering from the symptoms of depression, according to Medline Plus. The average person dealing with depression waits at least 10 years before seeking treatment. This hesitation to seek mental health assistance may be due to a lack of understanding about depression and how effective treatment has become.
In the past, the goal for depression treatment was simple: to manage symptoms so the patient could live a relatively normal life. Nowadays, the main goal according to the American Psychiatric Association is remission. This means that the symptoms of depression are gone, the patient is once again enjoying life, and the depression is not expected to return.
If you or someone you love is struggling to cope with daily life because of depression, you may need a helping hand to get your life back to normal. We are standing by to assist you in finding a high-quality evidence-based depression treatment program that fits your individual needs. Contact us today and let us help you start your journey back to a life filled with hope and promise for a better tomorrow. ( See Related: Seasonal Affective Disorder).
A Few Statistics
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression is a serious problem in the United States:
- Approximately 16.5 percent of Americans report experiencing serious depression at some point in their lives.
- About 6.7 percent of Americans report that depression has been a serious issue in the previous year.
- About 30 percent of those who report experiencing depression were classified as “severe” cases.
- Women are 70 percent more likely to deal with depression than are men.
- African Americans are 40 percent less likely to seek treatment for depression than are Caucasian Americans.
- The region with the most cases of depression was the Southeast where issues of stroke and obesity were an increased problem – both of which have been heavily associated with depression.
Depression is identified when symptoms are experienced for at least two weeks. Those with “severe” depression experience symptoms for far longer.
Are You At Risk?
- Between the ages of 45 and 64
- Those without a high school diploma
- Chronic health conditions
Mild depression is most often treated by weekly therapy sessions and/or mild antidepressants in low doses. When this doesn’t work or depression becomes a chronic or severe issue, a more intensive depression treatment program may be necessary. Called dysthymia when a patient’s moods are chronically low, according to PubMed Health, there are both outpatient and inpatient depression treatment options that are effective in the cases of chronic depression. Antidepressant medications are often utilized during the early, stabilizing phase of treatment but the patient may be weaned off these drugs as treatment progresses.
Dealing with the issues that drive the depression through talk therapy is extremely effective and, given time, can create real change and progress in the patient’s thinking and perspective. These shifts can mean a healthy new grasp on life and hope for the future, with or without medication.
The loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or career, a chronic and debilitating health issue or diagnosis, a divorce – all of these eventscause significant grief, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Most people will experience grief in a daily and present way for as many as six months after the event itself. However, those who continue to struggle with the debilitating effects of loss and develop a severe depression as a result can gain assistance from grief treatment and depression treatment.
Again, medication may be helpful during the first few weeks of treatment in order to help the patient stabilize emotionally and begin the process of healing. Over time, however, these dosages are usually lowered or dropped completely as the patient works through the grief trauma and the depression lifts as a result.
Sexual trauma, physical attack, domestic violence – all of these leave physical as well as emotional scars. Long after the bruises have faded, however, it is not uncommon for depression to begin and persist, according to the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Depression treatment can address the issue of trauma and help patients work through their feelings about the traumatic event and begin to turn their focus toward their own well-being and the hope that awaits them for the future. The psychotherapeutic process is most effective when it includes talk therapy as well as exploratory therapies like art therapy, yoga, journaling, meditation and others that allows the patient to safely investigate his or her own feelings and experience.
After giving birth, many mothers vacillate between exhilaration and depression from minute to minute. When these feelings persist for more than a week, treatment for the issue may be warranted. According to the US National Library of Medicine, postpartum depression can cause feelings of anxiety, restlessness, fatigue and worthlessness that last for an extended period of time. Some mothers may even hurt themselves or their babies. In the worst cases, women struggling with the disorder will require hospitalization if they become paranoid, stop eating, or become frantic and uncontrolled in their behavior. Changes may be due to fluctuating hormone levels caused by pregnancy.
Postpartum depression is an issue that is highly treatable. Early intervention can significantly change a woman’s experience and increase her quality of life through medication and/or personal therapy sessions.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
When moods change with the seasons and depression persists for months at a time, dissipating when the weather changes, the issue may be seasonal affective disorder (SAD), according to the National Institutes of Health. Experiencing SAD during the winter months is most common, but some have an extreme aversion to sunshine that crops up during the summer months. Those living with the issue may experience feelings of hopelessness, restlessness, anxiety, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, irritability, disinterest in hobbies and fatigue. Many patients often have a hard time focusing or keeping up with details and commitments. Extreme weight loss or weight gain and suicidal thoughts or tendencies are also common.
Light therapy can be an effective treatment for winter-related seasonal affective disorder but is most helpful when combined with talk therapy and antidepressants.
Types of Treatment
There are a number of different types of depression and, accordingly, a number of different depression treatment options for you to choose from. Each one will offer you a different style of treatment, focus during therapy or schedule of care. Some of the most common types of depression treatment include:
- Inpatient depression help
- Outpatient depression treatment
- Grief treatment and recovery
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and associated depression programs
- Severe depression treatment
- Mild depression recovery
Depending upon your experiences and your needs for medical and psychotherapeutic care, the treatment program you choose may include pharmacological maintenance as well as psychotherapeutic treatment. Group therapy, personal therapy sessions, exploratory and experiential therapies, holistic treatments – all of these work together to create a unique and personalized treatment program designed to address your needs of care throughout your treatment program.
Methods of Treatment
There is a variety of mental health therapy options utilized in the treatment of depression. The goal of each of these therapies is to alleviate symptoms during a major depressive episode and prevent any future occurrences.
The following is an in-depth description of the methods of each mental health therapy option:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy+
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)+
Currently there is a plethora of potential pharmaceutical medications used in the treatment of depression. Finding the correct dosage and combination of medications to achieve the goal of relieving depressive symptoms is not an exact science. Since each person’s biochemistry is unique to them, it takes trial and error partnered with a lot of patience to figure out what works for each person. However, once the correct mixture has been found, the relief these medications often bring is worth the time and effort.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, some of the possible types of medications used in the treatment of depression are:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). These are generally the first type of medication given to treat depression because they are considered the safest with the least amount of unwanted side effects. They work on the neurotransmitters in the brain to stabilize mood.
- Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). These also target neurotransmitters in the brain like the SSRIs, but do not cause the sexual side effects found with many other antidepressants
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). These are comparable to SSRIs and NDRIs but have a few more minor side effects.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants. This category of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of depression are considered just as effective as SSRIs, but they tend to have more intense side effects in many individuals.
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs).This form of antidepressant has potentially lethal interactions with certain foods and over-the-counter medications. Due to these facts, doctors usually only prescribe them if no other medications are reaching the desired treatment goals.
Find the Right Treatment Program for You
If you or someone you care about is living with depression, don’t wait to get the help you need. If depression has not lifted on its own, inpatient or outpatient care is available to assist you. The key to effective treatment is identifying the causative issue – chemical imbalance, hormonal imbalance, health issues, trauma, abuse and other causes – and treating that problem directly through personal therapy sessions and medications, when necessary. Contact us today to find a mental health treatment program that can make a difference in your life and provide you with care that will help you find balance and peace. Call now.