Depression Treatment Depression Treatment | Vantage Point Recovery

Depression Treatment

Depression TreatmentDepression is one of the most common, and devastating mental illnesses. It debilitates in a very simple and nightmarish fashion – by draining you of the will to do anything. It affects over 16 million Americans every year – almost 7 percent of the country’s adult population, more than the size of the entire state of Illinois. However, it is treatable and manageable. Let’s get a few things straight right off the bat:

  • Yes, depression is real
  • No, it’s definitely not your fault
  • Depression can be fought, treated – and coped with
  • Millions of people all over the world have depression – it’s never a hopeless case, and it’s never ever too late to address the problem

We at Vantage Point spare you the pep talk – we know your problem goes a bit deeper than that, and with your permission and cooperation, we delve into your mind as far as possible in order to discover whatever the root of your depression might be, so we can help you best cope with it.

The Nature of Depression

In some cases, clinical and severe depression may occur completely out of nowhere, without any prior trauma or existing mental issues, simply due to genetic factors, environmental factors, or an array of other unseen and poorly understood biological mechanisms. When depressed, you’ll typically feel:

  • Empty or sad feelings, and thoughts of suicide
  • Insomnia and/or oversleeping
  • Constant pessimism
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities

To spare you the biology lesson, let’s just clarify one thing: clinical depression and other mental disorders that may seem similar to normal behavior, but actually go much deeper, are characterized by physical differences in a person’s brain chemistry. Sure, we all get a little sad sometimes, and some of the above symptoms – like irritability and hopelessness – are known to most people at some point in their life. But there’s a clear difference between a feeling and a clinical disorder.

Overcoming Depression

There is no magic pill – not really, at least. There’s also no secret treatment and no perfect therapy. Depression never goes away entirely – especially if it’s a brain chemistry issue, rather than a post-traumatic symptom. However, our goal and mission aren’t to cure your depression. It’s to teach you how to live with the disorder – and how to live with yourself.

Treating depression involves:

  • Medication
  • Group therapy
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Meditation and Yoga

Some of these are pretty fancy terms, but they all aim to do the same thing – make up for your abnormal brain chemistry by arming you with a large selection of tools with which to fight the depression and actively seek out happiness, joy, and physical pleasure in life.


MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER

Say goodbye to motivation and hope – under depression, people feel inadequate, constantly judged, incapable of doing anything good or significant, and they feel like they’re constantly drowning under a blanket of sheer negativity. It’s not an attitude problem, laziness or lack of willpower. Clinical depression, or major depressive disorder, is highlighted by the hallmark that your very own mind and rationale is plotting and colluding against you.

Trust us – we understand very well how depression works, and why so many people feel misunderstood while suffering from the disorder. To an outsider, the problems depressed people feel – the lack of motivation to get things done, issues with enthusiasm, being in the mood for seemingly nothing at all times – are alien, or feel like something overcome by a big pat on the back and a motivational speech.

What is Clinical Depression?

In the case of a clinical depression or depression disorder, there’s a malfunction in the way the brain deals with serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to the emotion of joy. Your brain is quite literally incapable of normally processing happiness. Thankfully, that malfunction can be fought against – and successfully overcome, in a way that lets you live a normal life full of sincerely happy and exhilarating moments.

A diagnosis of clinical depression is warranted when you’re beginning to show symptoms such as:

  • Unexplained bouts of sadness and despair
  • Inability to focus on work or school
  • Lack of motivation to do anything
  • Insomnia and oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in former interests
  • Suicidal thoughts

When you’re feeling more than just sad, but downright emotionally destroyed for what seems like no reason at all, then you should call for help. Depression is incredibly hard to deal with on your own, and no one should have to face a disorder like depression without help and support. It’s never too late.

Treating Clinical Depression

Clinical depression is open to a large array of treatment options – here at Vantage Point, we help you find the best course of action for your own case and circumstances from treatments like:

  • Expressive therapy
  • EMDR therapy
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Medication

Some options, like medication, soften the symptoms of the disorder to make way for more treatments. Other options, like psychoanalysis, can take their time to truly come into effect, but leave you with a complete understanding of how your mind works and how best to keep your mood and emotions under strict control with routines, activities, and interests.

Depression can be managed, fought back against, and kept at bay. With the help of professionals and loved ones, you can lessen or eliminate the effect your condition has on your life.


DYSTHYMIA

Dysthymia is a subset condition associated with depression, and it’s more commonly referred to as “persistent depressive disorder”. Cutting out all the jargon and medical terminology leaves you with this simple definition: a disorder characterized by symptoms lasting for years; in other words, chronic depression.

How Dysthymia Works

Depression is different from person to person. In some cases, depression is highlighted by certain episodes of extreme sadness and related symptoms – basically, you only feel sad sometimes, and for no apparent reason.

Every case is different. In some cases, the feeling of depression comes and goes randomly, and often is followed by symptoms like:

  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Feelings of inadequacy

The severity of the depression, and how often the symptoms show up, varies from person to person. What defines the disorder is its persistent nature and its random nature. That doesn’t change the fact that at its heart, this is still a form of depression – and depression is treatable.

Dealing with Dysthymia

Dysthymia sets itself apart by the hallmark symptom that is a chronic, long-lasting depression, spanning over the course of years. Despite its pervasive nature, though, there is no actual benchmark for how severe the depressive symptoms are. Treating them may include:

  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medication
  • Group therapy

Outpatient care is highly recommended, particularly because it emphasizes continuing treatment past the initial phase. Chronic depression is marked by the fact that it has lasted years – it won’t take that long for an effective treatment to start fighting the symptoms, but you do have to keep at it.

Here at Vantage Point, we take depression very seriously. We also take care to treat each case with the individual respect and consideration it deserves.


POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Postpartum depression is a special kind of depression triggered by the birth of a baby. Babies can be bundles of joy and excitement, and bring happiness to a family – but in today’s world, having that first baby can also be accompanied by a long list of reasons to be anxious and even fearful.

The responsibility of raising a child put aside, postpartum depression can be triggered by any number of worries or nightmares and is only amplified by the fact that post-natal hormone levels aren’t stable. In most pregnancies, after the baby has been delivered, there’s a period of “postpartum blues” for many moms. Basically, you’ll feel a little down, and a lot of up. Mood swings are par for the course, combined with occasional anxiety and insomnia.

Postpartum depression is different. It’s a temporary mental disorder caused by the birth of the baby and hallmarked by serious symptoms of severe, long-lasting depression.

Postpartum Symptoms

It can happen to any mother. While some risk factors make postpartum depression more likely, these are factors that are usually completely out of a person’s control – such as genetics and environmental factors. Symptoms include:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Oversleeping and insomnia

What’s absolutely certain is that, no matter what you’re going through, it’s not your fault. Here at Vantage Point, we do our best to make sure mothers understand that their depression is rare, but still natural – and that their fears are unfounded, and will be laid to rest with the right treatment. That’s where we come in and get work done, so you can get back to doing the most important job in the world – being a loving and caring mother to a member of the world’s newest generation.

Treating a Postpartum Depressive Disorder

Like many other kinds of depression, postpartum depression is mostly caused by brain chemistry. The chemistry of the mind is quite delicate, and having a baby is a bit like throwing a monkey wrench into the whole thing. You go through a host of emotions – and in some cases, get stuck on the sad part.

Getting unstuck, then, is where therapy and treatment come into play. Treatment options for postpartum depression include:

  • Medication
  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Yoga and Meditation

Postpartum depression is usually temporary, so antidepressants are usually used to stem the mood swings while group therapy – with friends and family, or other mothers – helps reinforce the fact that you’re surrounded by people who care, or have been through the same thing.


SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER

Seasonal affective disorder, it’s called, but its acronym is much apter and to the point: SAD. SAD, as the full name implies, is a type of depression specifically based on seasons – however, it’s not your average case of the winter blues.

These blues are more than just a sudden onset of sadness or mild mood swings. SAD is a serious form of depression, and can heavily disrupt your life, bringing about scheduled yet seemingly unstoppable symptoms of insomnia, irritability, numbness and other things.

To some, getting a little sad over the holidays or another season is just a quirk or a character weakness. To us, your disorder is a serious medical condition that warrants professional help. SAD isn’t just the result of temporary stress but usually is caused by a combination of things, from stress to genetics and even weather. An episode can last weeks, and occur again over the course of a few years, or an entire lifetime, occurring on schedule. To some, that’s impossible to cope with alone. We make sure you don’t have to cope with it alone.

Symptoms of SAD

SAD is, for all intents and purposes, a form of depression. You’ll find that as the season in question approaches, you’ll undergo a few emotional and mental changes such as:

  • Losing interest in hobbies
  • Getting an irregular sleeping pattern
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness/irritability
  • Lack of energy/enthusiasm

As the season fades, so do your symptoms typically – but that doesn’t mean they won’t come back next year, or develop in a different season. It’s important to learn how to cope with your disorder so it won’t affect your quality of life, and steal and sap all the joy and energy from important seasonal festivities and holidays.

Treating SAD                 

When it comes to tackling your SADness, it’s important to understand what causes your depression to begin with. In some cases, the change in weather and subsequent differences in sunlight are a trigger for irrational mood swings and other depressive symptoms. As such, SAD treatment includes special therapies, such as light therapy, and:

  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive behavior therapy

Because of its scheduled nature, treating SAD is more preemptive than most other depressive disorders. That means we may recommend that you start seeking therapy around the time your symptoms usually manifest, even before they actually do, in order to curb the disorder and the effect it has on your life. With the right support, you’ll learn to cope with your SAD in time.

We’re just here to teach you how to effectively utilize a much larger array of abilities and therapy tools to eliminate, or in the very least severely undercut the symptoms of your seasonal depression.


ATYPICAL DEPRESSION

Often enough, the signs and symptoms of depression aren’t very clear. If you’re new to the world of mental disorders, let us give you a sound piece of advice – you’re rarely going to run into a perfect textbook case.

There’s a reason there are a lot of vague descriptions and symptom lists out there, and that is because the way depression manifests is different from case to case, and there are a lot of ways in which a depressive disorder can be triggered – or even canceled. One example is atypical depression, which, despite the name, isn’t statically atypical or rare.

What is Atypical Depression?

Atypical depression can be defined as a depressive disorder that goes away at the sign of good news. While that doesn’t sound like depression at all, it also isn’t a normal emotional state, and most definitely comes with symptoms of depression like:

  • Poor body image
  • Insomnia
  • Eating disorders
  • Pain
  • Oversleeping
  • Temporary and reoccurring depression

Solving Atypical Depression

The first thing you should do if you feel like your bouts of sadness are more than just sadness, is give us a call. We don’t promise to cure you of depression – and no one else should. Atypical depression, even when triggered by stress, is usually the result of an inherent brain chemistry issue. That means you’ll always be fundamentally wired differently versus other individuals.

There’s a silver lining – we’re here to tell you that the key to beating this is you, your cooperation, and you own way of coping with the disorder in the long-term, through treatments like:

  • Antidepressants
  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Group therapy
  • Psychoanalysis

The brain you live with is a perfectly healthy one – it’s a little quirky when it comes to emotions, but that just means you’ve got a much steeper learning curve than most people do.


PSYCHOTIC DEPRESSION

You’re not damaged, or somehow inferior for being depressed. In some cases, bouts of depression are natural and temporary – they occur as part of the coping mechanism after a traumatic experience. And when depression kicks in, some people have more trouble getting rid of it than others.

But psychotic depression is a different beast altogether, and one we have to tackle with your full cooperation. Psychotic depression is highlighted by the combination of depressive symptoms and symptoms of psychosis, particularly in the form of delusions or hallucinations.

Symptoms of a Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression combines the symptoms of depression and psychosis, to create a disorder that is marked by bouts of sadness combined with anxiety and an inability to, at times, differentiate from what is real and what is going on in your head. It’s a scary disorder, to say the least, and involves symptoms like:

  • Decreased energy
  • Hopelessness and bouts of despair
  • Irritability
  • Eating disorders
  • Delusions of guilt
  • Hallucinations (voices)
  • Disassociation

The inability to trust your own judgment is amplified when you’re both psychotic and depressed. The disorder typically occurs in waves or episodes, triggered by stress or other factors. Learning to cope and deal with the disorder takes time and expert professional help.

This isn’t an easy thing to deal with, and you most likely won’t be able to do it alone. That being said, you’ll need every fiber in your being to master your mind and overcome your psychosis.

Treating a Psychotic Depression

You are a person, and you are not defined by your condition – we don’t reduce our patients down to symptoms and clipboard data, instead, we focus on forging real relationships, and helping you create the kind of support network you need to live your life to the fullest, through treatment options like:

  • Medication
  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Antipsychotics

These are all treatment options commonly used for depression, but it’s the way in which they’re applied that matters. Since psychotic depression deals with a particularly volatile and dangerous combination of disorders, treatment has to be calculated, effective, and designed to take thing slow and steadily teach the mind to cope with the disorder and differentiate from what is real and what is not.


SITUATIONAL DEPRESSION

Situational depression, or an adjustment disorder, is basically hallmarked by an inability to cope with a new change. A number of events could qualify as stressful enough to kickstart a situational depression, including:

  • Moving to a new city or country
  • Losing a close family member or friend
  • Forcefully changing careers
  • And so on and so forth

The main characteristic that defines an adjustment disorder as a depression is that its symptoms disrupt your life. That’s the main clincher between being bummed out from a move, and being affected by it to the point that it becomes a psychological problem.

What a Situational Depression Looks Like

An adjustment disorder is typically not as severe or long-lasting as a major/clinical depression, or chronic depression, but still shares a lot of the same symptoms such as:

  • Isolation
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hopelessness
  • Sadness
  • Crying
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite problems

Adjustment disorders are real. They’re not just “acting out”, or comparable to throwing silly tantrums. As professionals in the industry, we’ve seen enough cases to know that situational depression exists, and is a problem that requires professional help. You’re not alone.

Treating Situational Depression

We’re passionate about ensuring that every case gets the treatment it needs and deserves. And that’s not just some cheesy marketing copy – it’s our sincere mission. With adjustment disorders, their coping nature means that undergoing treatment for a single case can prepare you and teach you to cope with the symptoms if they reoccur after some other major event. An adjustment disorder can be combated and overcome with treatment like:

  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Mood stabilizers

We don’t rely on the efficacy of any one handful of treatments to help you out – we mold each and every plan around the individual, and no two cases are exactly alike, especially given the many complex stressors that can cause an adjustment disorder. But it’s up to you to take the first step.

We at Vantage Point treat depression very seriously – but first and foremost, we recognize the most important thing in a case: you. Your needs and your preferences are taken into consideration first and foremost. We can’t tell you what’ll work for you before you try it – but what we can promise you, is that together, we’ll find a way for you to cope with your disorder and live above and beyond the symptoms of your depression. You’ll be able to love, live, and lust, with the full passion of someone who is grateful to be alive.