Depressive disorders, often simply collectively referred to as depression, are more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. They’re serious mental health conditions that require understanding and professional care. Without treatment, depression can be debilitating for those living with a diagnosis and their families. Thankfully there are many ways to treat depression. In most cases, with proper care and support, full recovery from depression is possible.
There is no single cause for depression. It can be triggered by a variety of life events such as the loss of a loved one, trauma, and major life changes, but may also occur spontaneously. Other factors like genetics, brain chemistry, and certain medical conditions can also contribute to depression.
Symptoms of Depression
The most common features of depression across all types include chronic feelings of sadness, a bleak outlook on life, and loss of joy or interest in hobbies and passions. Other symptoms may include:
- Mood swings and irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of energy
- Persistent feelings of guilt
- Suicidal thoughts
- Increased anxiety
- Escapist behaviors like drug or alcohol abuse
- Insomnia or changes in sleeping patterns
No two people with depression will have exactly identical experiences. Understanding how each contributing factor shapes an individual’s specific experience and risks will lead to more effective treatment. Biological sex and gender identity, along with cultural and religious backgrounds, can be contributing factors in depression and may change the ways symptoms manifest.
Types of Depression
There are many different types of depression, as well as various specific features of depression that affect the kind of treatment you need. Depression can also be a symptom of several other disorders and illnesses. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a mental healthcare professional so you can receive appropriate treatment. The two most common types of depression are major depressive disorder (MDD) and persistent depressive disorder (PDD).
Major depressive disorder
To be diagnosed with MDD, an individual must have at least 5 qualifying symptoms for more than 2 weeks. One of the symptoms must be either an overwhelming, pervasive feeling of sadness or the loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities. Other symptoms associated with major depression include changes in appetite, constant fatigue, inappropriate feelings of guilt, and suicidal ideation. Social, occupational, educational, and other important domains of functioning are impacted by major depressive disorder.
Persistent depressive disorder
The defining feature of this disorder is a low or dark mood that is persistently present most of the day, on most days, for at least 2 years. PDD is considered milder than major depressive disorder but still represents a serious illness for those living with a diagnosis. The chronic nature of this disorder is particularly challenging. It’s important to note that major depression may introduce persistent depressive disorder, and episodes from major depression can still happen throughout persistent depressive disorder.
How is Depression Treated?
There are many options for treating depression. The key is getting a professional evaluation to determine the best treatment plan for you. In most cases, a combination of treatment methods is the most effective approach.
Outpatient treatment programs like Life Adjustment Team’s Assertive Community Treatment model of mobile psychiatric rehabilitation are an immeasurably valuable resource for dealing with depression. One-to-one personalized care and around-the-clock support significantly improve outcomes for depression treatment.
Giving clients the attention they need after being through inpatient treatment to transition back into society is crucial. With our intensive outpatient program (IOP) you will spend ten hours a week with us spread over three days. During the time spent here, nine hours is with a group and the last hour is spent with a trained clinical staff member.
Life Adjustment Team is Here to Help You Treat Depression
We’re here to help. The Life Adjustment Team has been a leader in IOP depression treatment in the Los Angeles area for over 40 years. Our Team gives you the tools to fight back against depression and empowers long-lasting change in our clients’ lives. Contact us today to start your journey to “Learning To Live Well.”
If you’re currently experiencing a mental health crisis, consider these resources:
Crisis Hotline: 24-hour daily psychiatric mobile response and access to services
Crisis Text Line:
Text “home” to 741741, 24 hours a day
Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Hotline: (310) 391-1253
Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Hotline: (877) 727-4747