Treating Depression

Depression is a multifaceted mental illness that is often concurrent with other mental health disorders. Successful depression treatment methods vary depending on the type of depression and understanding this is the first step towards recovery. At Alter Behavioral Health, we take a personalized, whole-person approach to treating depression that will help us devise your ideal solutions.

Types of Depression

While there are many types of depression, there are a handful that are particularly common throughout the United States.

  • Major depression is when a person experiences an episode of listlessness, inability to find joy in hobbies, and other symptoms of depression that may have long-term effects
  • When major depressive episodes reoccur frequently within a certain timeframe, that is persistent depression
  • When a person experiences life depressively not in episodes but by default, that is clinical depression
  • Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder entails sharp swings between energized, often-irrational and uncontrollable manic behavior and sadness, absence of motivation, etc.
  • Postpartum depression often strikes women who’ve given birth, primarily as a consequence of the hormonal shifts that occur after the end of pregnancy
  • Stress response syndrome often results in depression-like symptoms in response to stressful events

Major depression is the most common type in America, and as many as 5% of Americans may suffer an episode in a year. While some people respond well to psychotherapy in isolation, others require medication for their depression. Either way, what matters is that people are able to find the support they need to live a happy life.

Treating Depression

Depression often has an interplay with the personal life of a person, in that events in their life may trigger episodes and worsen symptoms. Likewise, depression can ingrain negative patterns of thinking that last even when medication treats the underlying disorder. As a result, it’s often best to treat depression with a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medication.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy isn’t the only type of psychotherapy used to treat depression. However, it is the foremost option in terms of popularity and supporting evidence. CBT addresses depression via the thought patterns and expectations that accompany it. By encouraging people to view their circumstances differently, they help create new, more realistic patterns of thinking. Recent studies clearly demonstrate that CBT is capable of helping adults with depression manage and overcome the condition.

Interpersonal Therapy

While CBT emphasizes patterns of thought and behavior, interpersonal therapy focuses on the relationships in a person’s life. It’s typically not regarded as a long-term solution on its own, but it does have proven efficacy as a short-term treatment.

Medication

Antidepressants target depression from the perspective of brain chemistry. From a clinical perspective, depression is often a matter of neurological imbalances. Medication seeks to redress this problem and allow patients to achieve normal, non-disordered neurotransmitter function. Studies show that antidepressant medication is effective in reducing or eliminating the symptoms of depression, as well as helping to prevent these symptoms from returning. However, these benefits occur to the greatest effect in combination with psychotherapy.

Depression Treatment in Orange County

Depression isn’t just temporary sadness and lethargy or chemical imbalance. It’s a severely debilitating disorder that often has its roots in brain chemistry as well as personal struggles. As such, Alter Behavioral Health leverages unique, patient-specific applications of medication and psychotherapy to help people recover from depression. If you’re suffering from depression or have suffered depressive episodes in the past, get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help.