Depression treatment and management.

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You Can Overcome Depression.

Find a happier future at Serene Behavioral Health.

Depression Definition

Everyone feels sad from time to time, but if your mood remains low for months, you may be suffering from depression. Depression is defined as persistent sadness, hopelessness, and anhedonia: a loss of interest in activities you once loved. In addition to these psychological struggles, people with depressive disorders may also experience physical symptoms.

Many people want to know: what’s the difference between sadness and depression? If you’re sad, you’re experiencing a normal human emotion, usually for a specific reason. Maybe you’ve lost your job or your relationship has ended. Depression doesn’t need a trigger like this; you may have a perfect life to others, but inside, you aren’t able to enjoy it. In fact, you may begin to struggle in day-to-day functioning. Depression sabotages your motivation, eating habits, sleeping schedule, and self-concept.

To determine whether you are depressed or just feeling down, it is advisable to review the diagnostic criteria for depression.

Depression Symptoms

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) outlines these criteria as necessary for a diagnosis of depression. At least five of these symptoms must be present for a minimum of two weeks, and patients must exhibit one of the starred items below.

  • Depressed mood for a majority of the time, every day*
  • Loss of interest, pleasure associated with activities*
  • Significant changes to weight, appetite, and sleeping habits
  • Moving less, and when you do, it’s noticeably slower than normal
  • Feeling fatigued and lacking energy
  • Excessive guilt
  • Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
  • Inability to make decisions, concentrate, or think
  • Thoughts or plans of suicide

There are other signs that you may be dealing with depression that are not included in the list above. For example, many depressed individuals complain of aches and pains that begin without physical cause. They’re likely to be irritable and self-isolate. If you have depression, you may be prone to all-encompassing episodes of rumination: a time where you obsessively reflect on past events, especially negative ones.

Depending on your symptoms, you may receive a modifier along with your depression diagnosis. These include “melancholic features” (severe anhedonia), “atypical features” (able to be cheered, increased appetite, and heaviness), “psychotic features” (delusions or hallucinations), “catatonia” (depression that affects body movement), “peripartum onset” (associated with pregnancy), and “seasonal pattern” (related to changes in the seasons).

Additionally, the DSM-5 has added two specifiers to the diagnosis of depression: “with mixed features” (the presence of mild manic features that do not reach the threshold of bipolar disorder) and “with anxious distress” (those with co-occurring anxiety).

Disorders That Include Depression as a Symptom

Many other conditions involve depression as a symptom. These diagnoses must be ruled out before depression treatment begins.

These conditions include:

  • Bipolar I and II
  • Cyclothymia
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • Substance- or Medication-Induced Depression
  • Other medical conditions, including thyroid issues

Depression is treatable.

What to Do If You Are Depressed

Developing any mental illness can be distressing. Depression is especially destabilizing, since it impacts your motivation and ability to enjoy daily life. If the symptoms above feel familiar, know that treatment is available.

Taking the first step and asking for help can be hard to do. We recommend that those with depressive symptoms, especially individuals experiencing suicidal ideation, reach out to Serene Behavioral Health for proven, evidence-based mental health care.

Depression Treatment

Depression treatment addresses the chemical and psychological components of mental health. First, you will meet with a counselor who will assess your symptoms. This evaluation is fully confidential and will serve as a starting point for your sessions. If you require medication (such as an SSRI or SNRI), a private physician or our prescribing medical staff can assist you prior to admission. The Serene Behavioral Health staff will store and administer your medication.

We offer a variety of therapies for depression. Our most popular modality is cognitive-behavioral therapy: a model that empowers clients to foster a more positive attitude by changing their thoughts. We also offer in-depth trauma treatment, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational therapy. Using a blend of these approaches, our clinicians can empower you to change your circumstances for the better.

Group therapy is also a powerful piece of our process. Many of our clients report that talking about their depression in a group setting was incredibly liberating. To quote C.S. Lewis, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What, you too? I thought I was the only one!’” This connection helps our clients to overcome the isolating nature of mental illness. The result? A lasting support network for those struggling with mental illness.

It’s Time to Get Better

If you’ve always felt depressed, you’re not alone. Many people assumed that their lack of energy and low mood were normal parts of everyday life, but you don’t have to live that way anymore. Serene Behavioral Health helps you to discover a new life full of promise and excitement. Contact us to learn more about our approach to mental health care.