We all have bad days, we feel a bit down every so often or get overwhelmed by life, especially when we are rushed off our feet, but that is normal. Everyone has negative thoughts or is unhappy at times and if it only happens occasionally then chances are you are not suffering from depression. But as anyone living with clinical depression will tell you, it is not an occasional bad day, it is a debilitating condition, and without appropriate treatment, it is a struggle to just get through the day, let alone function normally.
What is depression?
Depression is a term that is bandied about loosely by many people and is used to describe anything from minor occurrences of sadness to far more serious and persistent despair. Clinical depression (also known as major depression or major depressive disorder), however, is a severe and life-altering condition. One definition describes it as ‘a mental health disorder characterised by a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment of daily life’. The symptoms of depression are many and varied, but it is often accompanied by low self-esteem and a lack of interest in personal hygiene. People suffering from depression tend not to eat or sleep well and don’t take good care of their health.
A critical step towards receiving the correct treatment for depression is an accurate diagnosis. A GP will usually determine whether you are suffering from clinical depression or a milder form of the condition. The GP’s diagnosis will determine the treatment options and the doctor will consult with a selection of therapists to work out an effective treatment plan.
Depression rehab has helped countless people regain control of their lives and move forward in a positive manner. It places great emphasis on a holistic approach to health and the treatment focuses on the patient’s thought processes, emotional state, and life choices, but when appropriate, medication is also prescribed. An initial diagnosis of depression can be scary but fortunately, with the support of family members and friends, there are several steps that you can take to treat depression and improve your overall quality of life. Interestingly, some of the treatments used for depression have also proved to be helpful for individuals with substance abuse problems. This means that if you suffer from both depression and addiction, commonly known as a dual diagnosis, depression rehab can help treat the two conditions simultaneously.
Common treatment options for depression
The most straightforward treatment option is to take antidepressants, and this is often sufficient to lift your mood enough that you require no further treatment. Exercise therapy is another popular treatment for depression and studies have shown that moderate exercise can be extremely effective. This could be due to the mood elevating effects of natural endorphins produced by the body during exercise. Reaching specific exercise targets also boost self-esteem and give you goals to work towards. Counselling is another popular form of treatment for depression and therapists use several different techniques and tools to help patients deal with problems, including cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapies and group therapy. Often being open about your mental health issues and discussing emotional insecurities can be enough to treat depression. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that can be used when other depression treatments haven’t been effective.
What is a dual diagnosis and how is it treated?
Clinical depression on its own is hard enough to deal with but when it exists in conjunction with drug or alcohol addiction and abuse, the condition is exacerbated. Unfortunately, depression is not always a singular condition and in some instances, a GP might determine that the depression is part of a dual diagnosis. For example, it could be depression coupled with drug or alcohol addiction. In this scenario, the doctor is most likely to recommend a depression rehab program. This can be part of either an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, depending on the needs and lifestyle of the patient.
Dual diagnosis conditions are far more common in the 21st century than most people realise, and it is often difficult to determine the cause-and-effect relationship. In some instances, the clinical depression leads to the substance abuse but in other cases, it could be the opposite, and the substance abuse is the root cause of the depression. Or there may be no correlation between the two at all. The challenge for doctors and therapists is to treat both conditions simultaneously without one having an adverse effect on the other. If, however, this is not possible they could choose to treat the cause first rather than the side effect.
If we were to take alcohol addiction coupled with depression as an example, and the doctor diagnosed the alcoholism as the cause of the depression, the depression rehab therapy would concentrate on dealing with the alcoholism first, in the hope that once it was under control the depression would automatically be reduced or disappear entirely. In this scenario, the therapists would focus on an alcohol recovery program rather than a treatment for depression.
Private depression rehab facilities
Due to the complex nature of a dual diagnosis, it is often best to seek private care at a residential rehab clinic. The medical professionals employed by these facilities are best equipped and qualified to devise depression and addiction treatment plans with the greatest chances of success. This does not mean that an outpatient treatment programme can’t be successful, it may just be a longer, harder road.
Private dual diagnosis and depression rehab treatment is costly and requires serious commitment from patients. Making a complete recovery is highly dependent on your commitment to the healing process.
The Rehab Clinics Group’s treatment programmes are designed to achieve a full recovery. We believe that education, advice, and guidance are key to the recovery process and use a combination of individual and group therapy techniques to deal with depression, addiction and the underlying causes. If you suspect that you are suffering from depression or a dual diagnosis condition, we encourage you to call us immediately.