First and foremost, depression is a mood disorder and one that seems to leech into and touch every part of your life. It affects not only how you feel but seeps into everything, down to your ability to take on the simplest of daily activities. Unfortunately, major depression is among the most common mental disorders in the United States with over 17 million adults having had at least one major depressive episode.
We’ve all felt down or a little under the weather from time to time. A bit blue as they say.
Feeling a touch low though every now and then is a far cry from what it feels like to be wallowing in the depths of a prolonged depression. Enveloped in its cold embrace.
The common stereotypes and tropes are that being depressed is just a case of being overly sad and that you can just “be happy” and “get over it” but that misses the overall complexity of what depression really is, the causes and the fact that overcoming it is a process.
Depression is a mood disorder and one that seems to leech into and touch every part of your life. It affects not only how you feel but seeps into everything, down to your ability to take on the simplest of daily activities. Unfortunately, major depression is among the most common mental disorders in the United States with over 17 million adults having had at least one major depressive episode.
At Thrive Treatment℠ we accept most private insurance plans and we are in network with Cigna, MHN Health Net, First Health, and Anthem Blue Cross. Additional payment options are available so don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can get you the help that you need.
Moreover, there is more than one type of depression:
As mentioned, this is among the most common mental disorders and is also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. Major depression is defined as having symptoms of depression for at least 2 weeks such that they interfere with work, sleep, eating and the general enjoyment of your life.
Also known as dysthymia, persistent depressive disorder is characterized by a depressed mood that lasts for 2 years or more.
These are the so-called winter blues and come along seasonally, when there is less sunlight, as the name suggests. The hallmarks of this are withdrawing socially and some weight gain. The pattern of seasonal affective disorder is of course very predictable.
This is a full on depression that occurs during or after pregnancy and has a profound effect on child rearing. Naturally, this is a type of depression that only affects women and is more serious than the typical baby blues that a new mother might experience.
This is depression coupled with some type of psychosis, like hallucinations or delusions, at the same time.
You may have heard this referred to as manic depression as well because of the alternating periods of mania and depression. Mania is essentially the opposite of depression, an extreme high. Bipolar disorder is not quite the same as other types of depression in that sense but the lows that accompany the depressive episodes do constitute depression.
You can already start to see from the list that depression isn’t necessarily one singular concept and because of that there are many things that can cause it, even something as seemingly innocuous as the season changing has the potential to bring on seasonal affective disorder.
So, what gives? What causes depression?
It’s often described in the shorthand of a chemical imbalance and while true, there is more going on aside from just chemicals in the brain.
Depression can stem from past abuse, conflict or the death of a loved one. Genetics and a family history of depression can play a role in your predisposition to it. Major illnesses can bring on depression. Medications may well increase the possibility of becoming depressed.
Given that there is a chemical imbalance at play, substance abuse can very much go hand in hand with depression. In fact, 1 in 4 people with a serious mental illness (depression and others) also have a substance abuse disorder. When substance abuse and a mental illness or mood disorder like depression are co-occurring, it’s known as a dual diagnosis.
It’s important to know that depression is far more than just being sad. You might be surprised to learn that you can be depressed without experiencing sadness. Given that, there are very legitimate signs and symptoms to look out for if you or a loved one suspect it’s something you’re suffering from. As the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) points out, sadness is just a small part, if even a part at all, of what depression is.
Knowing when to seek treatment for depression means knowing what depression looks like in the first place.
If depression is sometimes colloquially referred to as “feeling blue”, the above list shows you that there are a lot more shades of blue than you likely suspected and the need for help isn’t just when someone has been sad for a couple of weeks. Depression ultimately looks different from person to person and seeing any of these signs start to manifest means it’s time to take some type of action in working through this with professional support.
Depression treatment centers in Los Angeles like ours are well equipped to help you or someone you love to push back and overcome this issue.
The idea at Thrive Treatment is not so much to fight mental illness but rather to create a state of mental well-being. It’s about support and the construction of a groundwork upon which you can build a life free from depression.
Treatment therefore often takes the form of individual and group therapy that takes place either in a partial hospitalization or outpatient setting.
Crucially, if depression is accompanied by drug or alcohol abuse, also known as a dual diagnosis, there is a more robust recovery plan that is needed to get you back on track because treating one without working through the other leaves you at a significantly higher risk for relapsing back into using.
If you do have co-occurring disorders, the first order of business would be to tackle the physical addiction and go through a proper and full detox. Only after the body is completely rid of the toxins can the work of rehab begin. The necessary work of digging into the mental aspects and causes of both substance abuse and depression through those very same individual and group therapy sessions as well as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.
Depression isn’t a life sentence and you can come out from under the cloud.
A life where you can breathe easier, carry less weight on your shoulders and feel good about yourself is within reach. The fulfillment you desire can be yours. If you’ve been stuck in what seems like an endless cycle of depression, going through it all on your own, it very well could be that support from licensed and trained professionals is what you need to finally free yourself from the shackles of depression.
At the Thrive Treatment, we’re here to help you do exactly that. Get in touch with us today and let’s get you feeling like your old self again.