During Mental Health Awareness Month, and throughout the year, know that you are not alone if you are struggling with depression or other mental health issues. There is help available. Major depressive disorder treatments are effective in helping you control your symptoms so you can live a healthier life, mentally and physically.
Major depressive disorder is also known as clinical depression. A common but serious mood disorder, depression can affect how you think and feel as well as how you handle everyday activities such as eating, sleeping, and working. Depressive disorder is more than just feeling sad. If you recognize the symptoms, it’s critical that you seek out major depressive disorder treatments. Untreated, the condition can be devastating for you and your loved ones.
Symptomscan be different for each person but if you have had these symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s time to seek help:
- Changes in your ability to sleep or your sleep patterns
- Changes in your appetite
- A loss of energy
- Not being able to concentrate
- Thoughts of hopelessness or guilt
- A lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy
- Changes in your activity level (physical movement)
- Aches and pains
- Suicidal thoughts.
Early Detection and Diagnosis
Major depressive disorder treatments are especially effective when you are diagnosed early. You may only experience one depressive episode in your lifetime, but most people have recurring episodes. These episodes can last for a few months or several years. Over 19 million adultsin the US have had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
Early detection and diagnosis can lead to a treatment plan that can help you overcome the symptoms you’ve experienced. Treatment can include medication, psychotherapy, and healthy lifestyle choice so you can get better, mentally and physically.
It is especially important that you get help immediately if you have had suicidal thoughts.
Patient-Centered Treatment Plans
Major componentsof effective major depressive disorder treatments are psychotherapy and appropriate medications. Prescribed medication treatments can include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are fairly easy to take and are relatively safe, are usually prescribed to treat clinical depression.
Medications must be professionally supervised. These drugs are designed to help improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that control your mood and help you with your stress. It may take a few weeks for you to see improvement when taking an antidepressant. Do not stop taking the medication or change your dosage without a healthcare provider’s oversight.
Therapy combined with medication has been shown to be most effective as a major depressive disorder treatment. Evidence-based therapies include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy. CBT is designed to help you recognize negative thinking and teaches you techniques for controlling your depressive symptoms. Other types of psychotherapy can help you sort out conflicts in your important relationships or explore the history behind your symptoms.
The basic premise of CBT is that individuals with depression have thought processes characterized by dysfunctional negative views of themselves, their life experiences, their future, and perhaps even the world in general. When you are clinically depressed, you are likely to believe that you are incapable and helpless. You may view other people in your life as being judgmental and critical of you. You probably also see your future as bleak and unrewarding.
CBT is a type of structured therapy that focuses on helping you identify and modify this way of thinking as well as your behavior patterns. CBT has been found to be effective in addressing clinical depression in individuals of all ages and is helpful in preventing relapse.
Other evidence-based therapies, such as Gestalt-style therapy and psychodrama, can help you gain insight into your situation as you gain a deeper understanding of yourself, practice life skills, and improve the quality of your relationships with other people in your life as well as the quality of your social functioning.
Hope for Your Major Depressive Disorder
You are not alone. Help is available at Hope by the Sea, a southern California addiction treatment center. We offer personalized treatment for mood disorders and addiction, focusing on helping you begin your journey of recovery from substance use and mental health issues. We specialize in treating you as a whole individual, so you can embrace your recovery with as much support and momentum as possible.
Our team continues to follow federal, state, and local public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure our clients’ safety. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!