Depression is thought to affect one in every ten people in this country. This estimate may be low, however, because eighty percent of individuals with symptoms of clinical depression never seek help. All too often, people don’t take depression seriously. You will hear people say things like:
- Do something fun and you’ll feel better.
These and many other statements like them are usually meant well, but depression isn’t simply sadness and it isn’t something you can simply wish away. Depression is often caused by chemical differences in your brain that need to be regulated before it lifts. Many times, this chemical difference is set off by other circumstances such as genetics or life events. Regardless of the reason behind the depression, it will not disappear without treatment.
The Difference Between Sadness and Depression
There are several differences between clinical depression and general sadness. Knowing these differences can make a big difference in how treatment is handled.
- Caused by reactions to external events such as the death of a loved one, losing a job, or being passed up for a special award
- Is purely emotional.
- Caused by internal changes in brain chemistry
- Is a physical and mental
Sometimes, sadness can trigger depression. If you have a predisposition for depression, an event that causes extreme anxiety and sadness may trigger the receptors in the brain that control mood. Once triggered, the imbalance of chemicals can see you slip into a depression that is much deeper and lasts much longer than the event would normally cause. As with many other mental health issues, stress is often the triggering factor that sets things in motion.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression vary from one person to the next. You may have some of the following symptoms or all of them. These are only the most common symptoms but there are many others. What is important is the strength of the symptom and how much it contributes to the quality of your life.
- Suicidal thoughts
- Lack of motivation
Why Get Treatment for Depression?
Because it is a chemical imbalance in your brain, depression won’t simply go away on its own. It may ease up a bit, but that feeling of complete hopelessness will continue returning again and again once it has been triggered. The chemicals in your brain need to be balanced in order for healing to start. This is normally done with medication. Without treatment, you may find yourself unhealthy because of poor eating and sleeping habits. Relationships will suffer because you can’t interact on a level that creates goodwill. Your constant inability to express any kind of joy will start to drive people away. The tendency of depression causing you to be unable to do what needs to be done may find you calling off work so often you get fired. The worst case scenario is that you may give into your suicidal thoughts and end your life. The course of depression can be unpredictable. Depression treatment centers can help you heal so that you can start to live your life again.
Treatment of Depression
Merito’s treatment centers for depression will have you undergo a complete evaluation. They will take into account medical history, family history, current physical health and circumstances and any other things that can help them determine if it is indeed depression, or if it is some other disorder, physical or emotional. If you are in danger of harming yourself or someone else, inpatient treatment is the best place to begin. Residential treatment centers for depression are a stress-free environment that will allow you to concentrate on what is most important at the moment, getting well.
You will also undergo counseling. There are many styles of therapy and your doctor will use your evaluation to determine which approach is best suited for you. Both individual and group counseling may be suggested or you may only need one of them. Once your depression is alleviated to a level where you are not a danger to yourself or anyone else, outpatient counseling will be the next step. There is no ideal time limit for this. It is an individual need that can only be determined by you and your therapist.
What the Future Holds
Once your depression is under control, you can work on the underlying matters that triggered the depression. In many cases, depression is caused by a feeling of having no control over your life and the things in it. Therapy can help you learn how to get that control back and keep it. You may need to learn stress-reduction methods or anger management skills. Whatever is needed, the depression treatment center will help you achieve. Depression may return somewhere down the road. When you are dealing with brain chemicals, changes such as aging can throw things off balance. Having undergone initial treatment, however, will give you the insight to know when something is wrong. This will allow you to use your newly acquired skills and seek out help before the depression takes over completely. The power of your future is in your hands, but you do not have to do it all alone.