Did you know that depression is a mental illness that affects a growing number of Americans? However, very few affected individuals undergo depression treatment. Many others self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to deal with the symptoms.
Depression treatment centers in California like Phoenix Rising can assist you with our treatment program. Learn more about depression and how you can treat it.
What is Depression?
Depression, formally known as major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder characterized by consistent sadness and loss of interest in activities. This is different from occasional grief or sadness.
Depression treatment could help you manage the way you feel. However, you might not realize that this is what you’re dealing with. Rather, you believe that you’re just not good enough or have an attitude problem. Therefore, you self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
Although people can have depression at any age, it usually develops in adulthood. If you don’t seek treatment for depression, it can get worse with age. Once you start receiving treatment, you’ll notice results in as little as a few weeks.
Is It Depression or Just Sadness?
What does depression feel like? Sadness affects everyone occasionally. However, depression is sadness combined with low self-esteem, an inability to enjoy activities, and social isolation. Most importantly, the condition continues indefinitely.
Depression comes with feelings of hopelessness. You don’t believe that things will ever improve. Sometimes, you think about death, and it scares you. You’re always tired and feel shame over your condition.
Feeling sad or hopeless doesn’t necessarily mean that you have depression. However, if you notice frequent feelings like this, you should keep a close eye on it. Visit a doctor to talk about these concerns.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy (hobbies, sports)
- Change in mood (irritability, anger, restlessness, anxiousness)
- Change in physical well being (headaches, weight gain or weight loss, digestive problems)
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Inability to concentrate
- Loss of energy
For you to be diagnosed with clinical depression, you must have consistent symptoms over a two-week period.
Your doctor might ask you questions about your sleep pattern, thoughts, activity level, appetite, and moods. They’ll also conduct a physical exam since depression can lead to health problems as well.
Depression in Men vs. Women
In addition, depression can affect men and women differently. Men with depression tend to be angry, irritable, aggressive, restless, or anxious. They might also feel empty, hopeless, or sad, and they might turn to excessive drinking and drug use.
Women, on the other hand, will feel mostly irritable. They’ll tend to withdraw from social activities, and they won’t be as aggressive as men with depression. Women will feel more hopeless and sad as well.
Types of Depression
Major depressive disorder is the name for general depression, but here are other mental health disorders that also bring on similar feelings. Make sure to talk to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment for your condition.
- Bipolar disorder: This is another mood disorder that involves extreme swings between two moods: highs (mania) and lows (depression).
- Postpartum depression: Postpartum depression happens in many women after they give birth. During the pregnancy or post-delivery, they’ll experience major depression. Feelings of exhaustion, sadness, and anxiety can make it difficult for women to take care of their children and themselves every day.
- Seasonal affective disorder: This term is used to refer to major depression during the winter months, a time when there is less sunlight. By about spring or summer, these feelings tend to fade. Some symptoms include weight gain and increased sleep.
- Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia): Although this is a less severe form of depression, it is more chronic. This can prevent you from functioning normally each day and reaching your potential.
- Cyclothymic disorder: Like bipolar disorder, this mental illness involves mood swings as well, but these are milder.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: This occurs in women and involves hormone changes that start before your period and improve a few days after it begins. They’re usually gone by the time your period ends.
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder: This consists of severe and chronic irritability and anger in children. It usually becomes anxiety or major depressive disorder when you become a teen and later an adult.
Risk Factors for Depression
You might be predisposed to have depression if you have any of the following risk factors:
- Genetics: You might have depression if you have a family history of this mental health disorder. If one identical twin has depression, the other twin has a 70 percent chance of also having it.
- Environmental factors: If you were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused growing up, or if you grew up in poverty, you might develop depression when you get older.
- Brain chemistry: Chemical imbalances in your brain can be a cause of depression.
- Substance abuse: Misusing drugs and alcohol frequently can make you develop depression.
- Major life changes: If you’ve recently experienced trauma or had a life-changing event (death of a loved one, job loss), you might end up having depression as a result.
Psychotherapy for addiction, as well as depression treatment, can work well together. However, you have to take that first step to seek treatment. Some Phoenix Rising clients didn’t realize that they had depression until they came to the facility. Giving the condition a name and entering the depression treatment program changed their lives.
Depression and Substance Use Disorder
The sad truth is that about 21 percent of people who abuse substances also have depression. In many cases, people with depression will turn to drugs and alcohol for comfort. At the same time, misusing substances enough times can result in mental health problems. Dual diagnosis is the appearance of co-occurring disorders in a person, and dual diagnosis treatment can make a world of difference.
Statistics on Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. More than 70% of people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety. In 2017, about 17 million adults in the U.S. had at least one episode of depression. More females (8.7%) than males (5.3%) experienced these types of episodes, and most of them happened in people aged 18 to 25.
Depression Treatment Eliminates Substance Abuse Triggers
A nervous system depressant quiets the emotions of emptiness and feelings of being hopeless. You numb yourself. In contrast, stimulants create a short euphoric effect and give you false energy. You come to crave these brief moments of feeling happy.
Before long, the drugs affect the way that the brain functions. Because there’s already an imbalance, this change affects you even more strongly. Your lows might become even worse. Dealing with depression becomes more and more difficult.
If you don’t treat depression, you could experience physical pain, panic attacks, social isolation, relationship problems. You might even end up harming yourself or having suicidal thoughts. Enrolling in a concurrent drug and depression treatment program is your best option. Care choices include:
- Drug detox that allows for safe, pain-free withdrawal from any drugs you’re using right now
- Residential treatment as a way to receive the most intensive therapeutic intervention possible
- Cognitive behavioral therapy that encourages a change in dysfunctional patterns
- Dialectical behavior therapy, which changes the ways that you process strong emotions in stressful situations
- Medication-assisted depression treatment program participation that helps stabilize the mood disorder
- Individual treatment as a way to focus on talking through stressors and triggers
Depending on the severity of your depression, doctors might prescribe medication for your symptoms. Antidepressants work to improve how your brain uses chemicals to improve stress or mood. Since everyone is different, you might have to try several antidepressants before you find the best one for your depression.
These medications normally take about two to four weeks to start working. You’ll notice that your sleep and appetite improve before your mood does. For these reasons, it’s important for you to wait before you decide to make any changes to your medication. Be sure not to stop taking antidepressants abruptly, as this can lead to withdrawal.
Some examples of antidepressants include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): The most common types of antidepressants, SSRIs decrease the uptake of serotonin in your brain. SSRIs include Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro.
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): By improving serotonin and norepinephrine levels in your brain, SNRIs might improve your depressive symptoms. SNRIs include Cymbalta, Fetzima, and Effexor.
Group Therapy in California Depression Treatment Centers
Phoenix Rising uses group therapy as part of its depression treatment program. It might feel counterintuitive because right now you choose social isolation, you can’t see yourself sitting in a group. However, it’s essential to overcome this condition.
Peer counseling is an integral part of recovery. Similarly, it helps with accountability. After program graduation, you might attend 12-step or similar support groups. They encourage you to remain active and deal with stressors in healthy ways.
The groups at the rehab facility train you for this part of lifelong sobriety. There, you hone your social skills. Besides that, you have healthy interactions with others. After a short while, the idea of being part of a group doesn’t feel so strange anymore.
Find Help At Our Treatment Center for Depression in California
Rehab isn’t optional, and the same is true for depression treatment. Neither condition improves on its own. In contrast, they worsen and trigger each other.
But you don’t have to allow your life to take this trajectory. Effective depression treatment and chemical dependency care at Phoenix Rising can be a game-changer. Find out how your life could change today. Contact us right now to experience a renewal of your mind and spirit.