The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that about 7% of U.S. adults experience depression each year.  Depression symptoms take many forms, and there are no two people’s experiences that are exactly alike. A person with depression may not always seem sad to others. Clinical depression is different from sadness or grief — like when you experience a relationship breakup when you lose a loved one or lost your job — unlike sadness, depression does not stop after only a day or two. Even simple things — like getting dressed in the morning or eating at mealtime — can feel like large obstacles for a person that has depression. Clinical depression goes by many names, such as “the blues,” biological or clinical depression, and major depressive disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) Trusted Source estimates that over 264 million people live with depression. And not everyone is getting proper depression treatment.
It is normal to want to reach out and lend a hand when you see a family member or friend experiencing an episode of depression. But, when it comes to depression, what you can do to help is not always clear.
Can Depression Be Successfully Treated?
The answer is yes. No matter how hopeless things may feel, you can get better with treatment — many people do.
Effective depression treatment depends on recognizing there is a problem, seeking to address it, and following a treatment plan. This can be tough when you have depression, but patience is the key when beginning treatment. According to the NIMH and countless research studies over the past 6 decades, clinical depression is readily treated with short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy or talk therapy and antidepressant medications. For most people, a combination of the two works best and is often recommended by many healthcare professionals.
Psychotherapy – During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It approaches scientifically proven to work with depression including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. Therapy is one of the most effective depression treatments, and it has very few side effects. It is also typically covered by all insurers. Additional treatment options such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (RTMS) may be tried in more serious cases.
Medication – Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most prescribed medications for depression.
Symptoms of Depression
You might meet the criteria for a depression diagnosis if you have experienced most of the following symptoms every day over 2 or more weeks:
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- A persistent feeling of loneliness or sadness
- Getting too much or too little sleep
- Lack of energy
- Eating too much or too little
- Difficulties with concentration or attention
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities or socializing
Keep in mind that depression can look quite different from person to person, and the intensity of the symptoms may also vary. Also, you might not experience every symptom if you have depression. Like with most mental health conditions, researchers still are not sure what causes depression. But most experts consider the following to be contributing factors: genetics, family history, environment, gut bacteria, personality, social factors, and upbringing.
Other risk factors for depression may include:
- Major life changes
- Alcohol or other substance use
- A family history of mood disorders
- Trauma or chronic stress
- Medical conditions
- Certain medications
Recovery from Depression Treatment
Recovery from depression can take time, but there is always hope. There are many steps in depression treatments that you can take to manage this disorder. A medical professional can also offer referrals and they can encourage you to continue your treatment with a mental health specialist.
While more people are becoming aware of depression and its effects, the stigma tied to the condition continues. Also, your loved ones may remain silent. Many of them are fearful of making the situation worse for the person they care about. If you suspect a loved one could be experiencing a depressive episode, there are ways you can offer support. You can begin by talking with someone — anyone — about your feelings and finding immediate emotional support through sharing.
Getting support is essential in overcoming depression. It can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression on your own. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult for someone who has it to reach out for help. When you are depressed, the tendency is high to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.
Depression Treatment and Substance Abuse
In addition, a report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that there is a reason why people with a mental disorder, including depression, are up to twice as likely to develop substance abuse disorders. This mental illness may precipitate, exacerbate, or hasten substance abuse. An individual suffering symptom of a mental illness, like depression, is likely to attempt to self-medicate as well.
In some cases, alcohol and other central nervous system depressants can trigger symptoms of depression. Eliminating drugs and alcohol from the body and mind system is sometimes enough to alleviate the symptoms of depression or anxiety. But sometimes, substance abuse changes brain chemistry for the long term. Depression treatment takes time and your commitment. Sometimes, it might feel overwhelming or frustratingly slow. That is normal as recovery usually has its ups and downs.
We Level Up NJ Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. All working as a team providing depression treatment for successful recovery. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression – National Institute of Mental Health