The Science of Treating Depression at Promises
Depression is more than just a case of the “blues” or a temporary sad mood. When you’re depressed, it can feel like you’ll never shake that empty, hopeless feeling that washes over you, robbing you of the pleasure you used to find in everyday life and making the simplest tasks seem so difficult. The fact is that depression is an illness, one you can’t just “get over” or “think your way out of.”
On average, one in six people will experience depression at some point in their lives. Women are much more likely than men to develop and receive treatment for depression. The good news is that depression is highly treatable and most people who receive appropriate treatment and follow-up care get better, oftentimes enjoying a complete remission of their symptoms. Unfortunately, the majority of people living with depression never seek help.
The addiction specialists at Promises Treatment Centers deliver exceptional, individualized care to clients suffering from substance abuse and depression. Just as the symptoms and causes of depression vary from person to person, so do the ways to feel better. Using an array of services including cognitive behavioral therapy, medication and alternative treatments, our team of psychiatrists and therapists will devise a plan that incorporates the latest evidence-based practices to meet your needs.
What Causes Depression?
Depression is a brain disease that can be triggered by an external condition, like a traumatic event, or an internal condition, like a chronic illness. It can also develop when someone has too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. We also know that a family history of depression increases the risk for developing the illness, but depression can occur in anyone.
Dual Diagnosis of Depression and Addiction
Substance abuse is common in people suffering from depression. When depression goes untreated, people often turn to drugs or alcohol to manage their feelings. But substances provide only a temporary escape from the pain, and when the bad feelings return, a vicious cycle can set in that leads to addiction.
When someone has both an addiction and a psychiatric disorder like depression, doctors say they have a “dual diagnosis.” Promises Treatment Centers’ evidence-based approach in treating co-occurring substance abuse and depression is one of the hallmarks that distinguishes our program from other dual diagnosis treatment centers.
Types of Depression
There are several types of depressive disorders with symptoms ranging from mild (though still disabling) to severe.
- Major depression might occur only once, but typically several episodes are experienced over a lifetime. It is a disabling condition that interferes with a person’s ability to work, eat and sleep. Major depressive disorder (MDD) may occur spontaneously — without apparent reason — or during or after the death of a loved one, a divorce or other life event. Some people with major depression may feel that life is no longer worth living.
- Persistent depression disorder (formerly called dysthymia) is less severe than major depression but involves the same symptoms. This is a chronic state of depression that causes a low mood for two years or longer. People with persistent depression can function, but they are never at their best.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at particular times of the year, typically in the fall and winter when the days grow shorter. It typically lifts in the spring. Some people have mild symptoms while others experience symptoms that interfere with their relationships and work responsibilities.
- Bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic depression) is characterized by mood changes that cycle from extreme highs to extreme lows. The time between mood shifts varies from a few times a year to several times a week. It’s a disruptive condition that when left untreated can cause problems with a person’s relationships, work or school, and can even lead to suicide.
- Postpartum depression is characterized by feelings of worthlessness, shame or guilt, loneliness, sleeplessness, fears about hurting oneself or one’s child, and difficulty bonding with the baby. While the vast majority of new mothers feel some sadness after giving birth, anyone who experiences these kinds of feelings should seek professional help without delay.
- Situational depression (adjustment disorder) is so-named because it is caused by problems associated with a particular situation. Among the main causes of situational depression are divorce, death of a loved one, having an accident, being involved in a crime or developing a serious illness. It is not classified as an official mental disorder but if it is left untreated, situational depression can progress to major depression.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
- Persistent sad, empty mood
- Changes in appetite
- Feeling hopeless
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of guilt
- Restlessness, irritability
- Pulling away from others, isolating
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea
- Thoughts of death or suicide
How Is Depression Treated?
Promises provides a combination of one-on-one psychotherapy and group therapy, experiential therapies and nutritional counseling to help our clients rebuild from the inside out. A form of talk therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven effective in treating depression by helping people replace their negative thinking patterns and beliefs with more constructive ones. In appropriate cases, CBT will be used in combination with antidepressant medication.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression and coping through alcohol or other drugs, don’t wait to reach out for help. Contact the addiction and mental health specialists at Promises today. There are many effective treatments that can help you overcome this disease and reclaim your life.