Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Many people feel sad, “blue”, or disappointed at times. These feelings are usually temporary and pass within a few days. However, when feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness persist and begin to interfere with daily life, it may be a sign of depression. Depression, also be known as Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression, may cause severe symptoms that affect how one feels, thinks, sleeps, and eats. To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. Symptoms that may be a sign of depression include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
IDCC successfully treats thousands of individuals who have been diagnosed with Depression each year. Our team of clinicians and on-site medical staff work with each patient to understand their unique situation in order to develop a personalized and comprehensive treatment plan. Steps and goals are set on a weekly basis in order to support a meaningful recovery. Patients traditionally make significant progress when working together with our clinicians and following a disciplined approach to depression.
Depression is a treatable condition and most people see improvements in their symptoms when treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.
Psychotherapy (or talk therapy) has an excellent track record of helping people with depressive disorder. While some psychotherapies have been researched, the most popular therapy for Depression is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). During CBT, a therapist will help identify negative or false thoughts and replace those thoughts with healthier, more realistic ones. For example, if one feels worthless or believes that their life is in a downward spiral, perhaps obsessing over shortcomings, CBT will help make the patient aware of these toxic thoughts, teaching them to replace these thoughts with positive ones. The change in attitude will many times lead to a change in overall behavior.
If one experiences moderate to severe depression, one of our doctors may prescribe an antidepressant medication, along with psychological treatments. Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed when other treatments have not been successful or when psychological treatments alone are not possible due to the severity of the condition or a lack of access to the treatment. While there are many different medications that can help reduce the symptoms of depression, most studies have found medication is most effective when it is used in conjunction with therapy.