What Is Depression?
All people will experience bouts of extreme sadness, and even despair at some point in their lives. For most, these feelings will naturally dissipate in time and/ or with a change of circumstance. Depression has become an integral term used in American society, and it is often used flippantly as a way to describe sadness. However, depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is listed as a medical illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and is recognized as a serous mood disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that depression is “characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities,” resulting in significant impairment in one’s daily life.
Signs and Symptoms
Every individual is different and as such the signs and symptoms of one’s depression will manifest distinctly. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and will directly depend on the individual and his or her particular circumstances. Common examples of signs and symptoms that could be indicative of depression could include, but are not limited to any combination of the following, as provided by the American Psychiatric Association (APA):
- Changes in appetite
- Weight fluctuation
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed pastimes
- Feelings of hopelessness and/ or pessimism
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Increased fatigue
- Feeling worthless and/ or guilty
- Difficulty concentrating
- Persistent feelings of sadness
- Moving and/ or talking more slowly than usual
- Suicidal ideation
It is important to note that not all signs and symptoms must be present for an individual to have depression. If left untreated, the symptoms of depression can lead to severe short and long-term effects and in some cases could be life-threatening.
The Treatment Process
There are many approaches to treating depression. For those who have a mild case of major depressive disorder the treatment could comprise primarily of psychotherapy. There are many different types of therapeutic modalities that could be incorporated into one’s treatment plan, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), expressive arts therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). CBT is a type of therapy that combines behavioral therapy with talk therapy. DBT primarily uses mindfulness-based principles to help learn tools and techniques to work towards achieving his or her therapeutic goals through understanding one’s emotions and subsequent behaviors related to his or her emotions. IPT uses an interpersonal filter to explore and examine the relationships and their affects on one’s life.
Some people diagnosed with severe major depressive disorder may benefit from including medication into the treatment plan, in conjunction with various therapeutic methods. The different types of medications prescribed for treating depression include: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). A quality treatment program will consider all treatment options and create a nuanced treatment plan, incorporating medication when needed as well as the best possible therapeutic methods that are specifically geared to each individual’s personal needs.
Why Choose Annandale in Pasadena?
Annandale Behavioral Health is a private wellness center located in the beautiful hills of Pasadena, CA. Our center provides the ideal environment for guests to reconnect with nature while receiving premium and personalized treatment. At Annandale, we honor each person’s individuality and have a core belief that everyone is capable of achieving true wellness. We understand that in order to heal, every person in recovery deeply benefits from a customized and tailored treatment plan, which we carefully develop for each of our guests. Our multidisciplinary clinical team is made up of highly regarded psychiatrists, physicians, therapists, nursing, and support staff.
Annandale Behavioral Health offers a full continuum of care, including medically supervised detox, stabilization, residential treatment, and aftercare services. We are here to support you every step of the way to help you learn how to lead a healthy, authentic, and fulfilling life that both promotes and supports true wellness.
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding substance abuse, addiction, mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about our program here at Annandale Behavioral Health. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process. Feel free to reach us by phone at 855-778-8668 or through our contact form. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.