You always had a positive outlook on life, but in recent months, you’ve started to feel sad and weary. You have trouble focusing at work and don’t enjoy engaging in hobbies or visiting friends. You start to dread waking up in the morning. People tell you to cheer up, but so-called positive affirmations don’t work anymore. Is it time to start searching for depression treatment centers?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that 6% of American adults experienced at least one depressive episode in 2020. While some recover after a few weeks, others experience lingering symptoms that interfere with everyday life. Many realize they’ve been depressed for years but didn’t recognize it until recently.
A doctor could diagnose you with depression, making it easier for you to seek treatment. Talk to a professional if you suspect that feeling down is actually a sign of mental illness.
What Are the Different Types of Depression?
A chemical imbalance in your brain can cause depression. So-called “happy chemicals,” such as dopamine and serotonin, produce positive, optimistic feelings. When your brain produces the wrong amount, you feel sad and fatigued.
Your circumstances can also produce mental illness. For example, a miserable job or toxic relationship weighs on you physically and mentally. The constant stress makes you feel lost and hopeless. Some people experience temporary depression after a traumatic event, while others treat their depression for the rest of their lives.
Hormone changes may impair your functioning. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause can produce depression and anxiety. Millions of women experience postpartum depression after they give birth, which inhibits their ability to enjoy life and feel confident about raising their child.
For many people, depression has multiple causes. They may have experienced a loved one’s death or an abusive childhood while suffering from a chemical imbalance. Professionals in and out of rehabs in South Florida work with individuals to find the root of their mental illness.
What Are the Signs of Depression?
You may have depression if you experience the following symptoms for 2 weeks or more:
- Feeling sad and hopeless
- Experiencing intense feelings of guilt or shame
- Lacking energy
- Having a pessimistic outlook
- Eating too little or overeating
- Being irritable
- Wishing you were dead
- Feeling the urge to self-harm
- Losing interest in hobbies
- Having trouble getting out of bed
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suffering from headaches or body aches with no physical cause
Depression manifests differently in individuals. Some can function, although they feel depressed and pessimistic, while others can barely get out of bed. Others may have symptoms not listed here.
Your lifestyle doesn’t determine whether you have depression. You can have a happy relationship and successful job and still suffer from mental illness. Don’t assume that you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” be depressed — mental illness isn’t a personal failing.
Is Depression Treatable — What Are the Options?
Your recovery team may recommend one option or a combination of treatments. If a chemical imbalance in your brain produces depression symptoms, your psychiatrist might recommend medication alone. However, if your depression rises from a life situation, a therapist may recommend medication and talk therapy. In some cases, your mental health team may recommend you check yourself into rehab. South Florida is home to depression treatment centers offering both inpatient and outpatient services. Alternative treatments, such as Reiki, may supplement your recovery.
There are several medications doctors prescribe to help manage depression. Doctors generally consider the patient’s medical history before deciding on a treatment course. Medication options for treating depression include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram and paroxetine. These are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and usually the first choice of treatment, as they have fewer side effects than other medication types.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as Effexor and Cymbalta. SNRIs are similar to SSRIs but also increase neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Side effects such as nausea and dry mouth often subside after several weeks of treatment.
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as Elavil and Tofranil. They work by targeting specific brain chemicals to improve mood. However, they’re rarely prescribed because of unpleasant side effects, including dizziness, blurred vision and weight gain.
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). As the first type of antidepressant discovered, MAOIs have been almost completely replaced by newer SSRIs and SNRI antidepressants. While they’re effective at treating depression symptoms, these types of drugs may cause more serious side effects, including high blood pressure.
- Atypical antidepressants such as bupropion and trazodone. These drugs focus on improving symptoms by changing the serotonin and dopamine levels.
Medications are effective tools in the treatment of depression. With most of these drugs, it can take several weeks before you start feeling the benefits. If you’re experiencing distressing side effects, you need to get in touch with your prescriber as soon as possible.
Traditional talk therapy may provide objective solutions for your problems. Your therapist might offer new perspectives and teach coping skills. Talk therapy also gives you the opportunity to discuss past traumas you’ve buried for years. You may feel relief as you release emotions and discuss burdens you’ve hidden from your loved ones.
Depression treatment centers can also provide inpatient rehab. South Florida facilities include daily therapy, medication management and 24-hour access to health care professionals. If you don’t need constant support, outpatient treatment provides care while teaching you to live independently. Neuro rehab uses testing, EEG brain mapping, neurofeedback and stimulation to treat issues with virtually no side effects.
Major depressive disorder treatment doesn’t end when you leave the office. Your doctor may recommend the following lifestyle changes:
- Exercising every day
- Eating a healthy diet
- Practicing meditation and mindfulness
- Developing a positive outlook
- Leaving a toxic job
- Building healthier relationships with loved ones
- Finding new hobbies
- Leaving the house more often
- Joining support groups
Transforming your life can remove the factors that made you depressed and help you cope with new challenges.
Can Depression Be Cured?
Depression is a serious mental health condition affecting millions of people. Many treatment options are available, but there’s no definitive “cure” for the condition. Mental health treatment centers are likely to focus on helping you manage your symptoms rather than completely “curing” your depression.
People suffering from depression can and do live happy, fulfilling lives with the right treatment. Speaking with a mental health professional and committing yourself to a customized treatment plan is often the first step toward healing. Recovery from depression is possible, but it takes time, patience and commitment to your treatment plan.
Getting Your Life Back After a Diagnosis
Receiving a depression diagnosis can be daunting, but you need to know that recovery is possible. Some steps you can take to improve your mood are:
- Talk to a professional. The first step is to contact a mental health professional who can help you find the most effective treatment option.
- Build a support network. Surround yourself with people who can help you during this difficult time, such as your friends, family members or partner.
- Set realistic goals: Setting small, achievable goals can help you build confidence and regain a sense of control over your life. Celebrate your achievements, however small they may seem.
- Challenge negative thoughts: Depression often involves self-destructive, negative thoughts. Challenge these thoughts by questioning their accuracy and replacing them with more positive and realistic options.
- Practice self-care: Simple changes in your daily life, such as exercising, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and engaging in hobbies, can help improve your mood.
- Be patient: Recovery is a process that takes time. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the progress you make along the way.
Depression Treatment Centers Can Help
You don’t have to “push through” your symptoms. In fact, ignoring depression can make the symptoms worse. Fighting depression while continuing your routine can drain your energy, increasing hopelessness, fatigue and concentration issues. Additionally, suppressing buried feelings can make them manifest in other ways, such as transferring anger at a relative to a coworker.
Seeking help for depression doesn’t make you weak. In fact, it shows you’re strong enough to face the challenge. Therapy could help you process unresolved feelings, change your outlook on life, reevaluate your past and improve your life situation. Once you’ve learned how to manage depression, you can apply these skills to everyday life.
If you think you might be affected by depression, get in touch with the Restore Mental Health team today. Our depression rehab in South Florida offers inpatient and outpatient care, and we customize your treatment plan to achieve the best possible outcome.