Everybody will feel unhappy at some time. It’s a completely normal emotion that’s actually part of being human.
We are made to have all sorts of emotions ranging from utter elation to total dejection. They are natural and there to actually help us to process and deal with events – be they good or bad.
But they are not meant to be a constant daily way of being. If someone feels nothing much but sadness for a couple of weeks it could well be that they have depression.
An increasing number of people struggle with depression, prompting some to call it the illness of our modern world. According to WHO (World Health Organization), the mental disorder of depression affects more than 264 million people around the world.
In the United States alone, in any one year more than 17 million adults are believed to have at least one major depressive episode. This is around seven percent of all adults in America.
Anyone suffering from depression really needs professional treatment as it rarely goes away on its own. In fact for many with depression it will grow in intensity, causing the person suffering from it to go in an ever spiraling downwards vicious circle.
There are several types of depression including major depression, perinatal depression, bipolar disorder, situational depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and seasonal depression. The major difference is the cause, but symptoms are similar.
What are the eight major signs of depression?
- Constant sadness and low mood, often feeling tearful.
- Having no motivation or energy.
- Speaking and moving uncharacteristically slowly.
- No or low appetite. Weight fluctuation.
- Being intolerant and irritable.
- Difficulty in making decisions due to low self-esteem.
- Sleep problems.
- Suicidal thoughts.
There are other signs that can include a general feeling of anxiety or guilt; having an unusually low or no libido; neglecting family, friends, hobbies – and simply not finding life enjoyable in any way.
In fact, many people with depression state how they dread every morning.
It is still not fully understood why some people get depression and others who might have been through similar situations do not seem to suffer in the same way.
One theory is that some people may be more prone because of certain characteristics.
This might be due to family disposition towards responding to particular aspects of life. For instance, some families have for many generations learned to be pessimistic by always focussing on worst-case scenarios.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been associated with developing depression in later life. Any sort of trauma is also frequently a major factor.
A difficult event or situation in present-day life can be a cause. This can be such as a relationship break-up, redundancy, chronic illness or the loss of a loved one. Other reasons include being isolated, getting older, drinking excessively, using drugs, pregnancy, hypothyroidism and some types of head injury.
What is clinical depression?
Many people have heard of people having a clinical diagnosis of depression. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-5 is the American Psychiatric Association handbook that’s used by healthcare experts as the guide to the diagnosis of mental health disorders.
Clinical depression – also known as major depression or major depressive disorder – has precise diagnostic criteria.
If someone has severe long-term symptoms that are badly impacting on their quality of life, it could be due to clinical depression.
In the DSM-5 it states that someone must be experiencing five or more of the following symptoms in the same two-week period. However, these cannot be due to substance abuse or another medical condition.
To receive a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms have to cause the person clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. At least one of these eight signs of clinical depression has to be either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
- A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide
How is depression treated?
Depression is an increasing mental health problem, especially during this unprecedented time of self-isolation and social distancing because of the worldwide pandemic. Thankfully there are several proven effective ways to treat depression.
Our expert team here is greatly experienced in looking at all aspects of depression to offer the best treatment for each guest who stays with us. Going to a rehab center is considered one of the best options for someone who is depressed.
People suffering from depression frequently get so depressed they rarely leave their house. They might feel like no one wants to be around them.
It’s one reason why coming to a rehab center like ours is beneficial. Treatment such as group therapy helps deal with feelings of isolation and recreates a loving family environment that is often something depressed people have lacked.
Guests also make positive connections with others going through similar struggles. Then it gets you away from any negative places or people and creates distance from everyday pressures.
Naturally, our caring professional team is here for you night and day. We will look to see if there is a co-occurring disorder, which is very common. Known as dual diagnosis it makes treatment more comprehensive and integrated.
For instance, a lot of people addicted to alcohol also suffer from depression and anxiety. We receive many guests too who are depressed at least in part due to executive burnout.
We offer a 10-day executive treatment program, especially for busy executives.
We can recommend beneficial lifestyle changes to shift mood from listless to one that’s energized. With this in mind, we’ll look at such as consumption of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and recreational drugs.
Other positive lifestyle changes can include regular exercise especially in the great outdoors. In fact, University of Essex researchers in the UK found that three-quarters of a group with depression said they were less depressed after a walk in nature.
For this reason, we know Florida with its year-round sunny climate is ideal.
A healthy diet filled with nutritious food will also always help treat depression. We ensure all our guests eat a regular nutritional and delicious specially prepared diet.
Sleep is important too, which is why all our bedrooms are designed with comfort and a restful night in mind. Likewise the entire campus here is made for tranquil recovery.
Speaking to an experienced therapist is invaluable when treating depression. There are several talking therapies that are proven to help with depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
CBT recognizes past events might have had influences, but it concentrates on how to change the way we think, feel and behave in the present – such as how to confront and deal with feelings of hopelessness.
We also introduce many of our guests to the Twelve Steps recovery program. Designed initially for alcoholics it has been adapted for many other addictions but has also been shown to be a very effective help for some other mental health problems.
At Tikvah Lake Recovery, we work with each guest to make sure their treatment program is completely personalized. This gives us a greater success in treating our guests and ensures an enduring recovery when you leave here.
To find out how we can help treat you or someone you care about with depression, contact one of our dedicated team today.