If you or someone you love is experiencing depression, there is a wide variety of treatment types. Treatment options for depression at Integrative Life Center range from some of the most rigorously tested and well-known kinds of psychotherapy to new and innovative approaches that integrate the whole self. Continue reading to learn more about depression as a mental health concern as well as treatment options.
For a depression diagnosis, a person must meet specific criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The DSM-5 is the authority on diagnosis for mental health practitioners. A person must experience at least five of the following symptoms during two weeks for most of or nearly all days.
Symptoms of depression:
- Saddened mood (feeling “down” or “blue”)
- Loss of interest in things that would typically evoke joy or pleasure
- Changes in appetite (eating significantly more or significantly less than usual)
- Thoughts about death or suicide that are recurring
- Loss of energy/changes in sleep (sleeping a lot more than usual or trouble sleeping)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or unworthiness
- Markedly slower movements, tasks are physically more difficult or done slower, and others can observe this change
To qualify for a depressive disorder, a person must have either a depressed mood plus other symptoms or a loss of interest/pleasure plus other symptoms.
Types of Depressive Disorders
There are different types of depressive disorders. Each one has some features in common but might differ in length, types of symptoms, or situation.
Some depressive disorders include:
- Major Depressive Disorder. A consistent depression that causes major problems with functioning.
- Postpartum Depression. Depression that occurs after childbirth.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder. A mild, long-term form of depression.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder. Depression that occurs at the same time every year.
- Bipolar Depression. Depression that includes swings from extreme high to extreme low moods.
- Psychotic Depression. Depression coupled with hallucinations or delusional thinking.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Severe depression that occurs leading up to a woman’s menstrual cycle.
A mental health professional can help you understand the specifics of a depressive disorder diagnosis. Understanding the disorder can help determine the best treatment options for you.
What Causes Depression?
Research generally agrees that genetics and brain chemistry are two of the leading causes of depression. But, depression is complex, just like each person who has it. We may never know the exact cause of depression. But scientists link certain factors to an increased risk of developing a depressive disorder.
Trauma and Depression
The most common risk factor for developing a depressive disorder is trauma. Trauma could mean a person experienced some form of abuse, the death of a loved one, an accident, or some other event that deeply impacts them.
Experiencing trauma can cause changes in the brain. Sometimes, these brain changes lead to mental health disorders. The Integrative Life Center team understands that trauma is often the root cause of depression, which informs the treatment options available. The specialists at ILC see the whole person, not just the trauma or the depressive disorder.
Why is Understanding Depression Important?
Understanding depressive disorders is essential because of the sheer number of people affected by depression, either through a diagnosis themselves or through a loved one’s diagnosis. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 16.2 million adults in the United States experience at least one depressive episode in a given year. This statistic does not include those younger than 18 who experience a depressive episode in a given year.
Quality of Life
People diagnosed with a depressive order deserve to have a quality of life that allows them to continue to thrive. Depression can make it seem like life is not worth living. Proper treatment can assist people in recognizing that life is worth the effort it takes to go through healing.
Part of understanding depressive disorders is understanding the risk of suicide. Not all people diagnosed with a depressive disorder will have thoughts of suicide or attempts at completing suicide. Someone doesn’t have to have a diagnosis of depression to experience suicidal ideation.
Suicide is a severe concern for those dealing with depressive disorders. Mental health professionals take great care to screen for suicidal thoughts and help patients deal with those appropriately in a way that promotes healing.
Depression Treatment Options
With depressive disorders being such a widespread issue, there are numerous treatment options available. At Integrative Life Center, mental health professionals work alongside patients to determine the best choice for them, whether it’s a combination of treatments or looking at some of the more holistic options that ILC offers.
Various antidepressants treat depressive disorders. A mental health professional can help people understand their options when it comes to medication for depression. Some types of medications work for some people and not for others, meaning it is vital to stay in communication with your provider about how you’re feeling on medications and/or any side effects.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is one of the most widely-used treatment options for individuals dealing with a depressive disorder. There are various approaches to psychotherapy for depression, including but not limited to: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Therapy.
At Integrative Life Center, all therapeutic approaches come from understanding that underlying trauma could contribute to mental health issues. The therapists at ILC help patients with depressive disorders work through this trauma to heal the whole person, not just their symptoms.
Hospital or Residential Therapy
Receiving care in a hospital or residential therapy setting usually involves around-the-clock care. It might be a good option for those dealing with suicide attempts, self-harm, or severe depression. Since there is always a staff member on-site, patients have the added support of being close to professionals who can help them work through more challenging moments.
Integrative Life Center has an innovative Residential Therapy program for people dealing with mental health issues. Here, people can get support from professionals in a comfortable, safe environment with added options such as Equine Therapy, Adventure Therapy, Group Therapy, Meditation, Yoga, Nutrition, and more to facilitate the healing process.
How Integrative Life Center Can Help
Understanding that there are many options for treating depression is the first step in the journey of healing. The team at ILC meets each patient where they are in their journey, whether that be newly receiving a diagnosis of a depressive disorder or well into the path toward healing.
Reach out to Integrative Life Center today to speak with a team member about getting started on depression treatment options that work for you.