Depressive Disorder: Treatment
In the United States, depressive disorder is one of the most prevalent mental disorders, affecting people of all ages, socio-economic classes, and ethnicities. Currently, “an estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year” (Anonymous, 2017). If left untreated, depressive disorder can severely hinder an individual’s ability to perform routine daily tasks.
Fortunately, when depressive disorder is properly diagnosed, it can be treated with various therapeutic modalities, medication, and healthy lifestyle modifications. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, treatment options for depression include safety planning- for those who suffer from suicidal ideation, psychotherapy, medications, exercise, and brain stimulation therapies. Depressive disorder treatment options include psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapies to undercover and restructure the earliest false beliefs that have been developed and have led to depressive episodes. Furthermore, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy combines cognitive therapy and mindfulness meditation to learn new ways of relating to the experiences of depression. If those suffering from depression implement the aforementioned therapies, they can manage the symptoms of depression and live healthy, happy lives.
Depression may present itself in diverse ways, with symptoms ranging from changes in sleeping patterns, appetite, a sudden decrease of energy, feelings of hopelessness, and varying degrees of suicidal ideation. Thus, understanding that depression can be caused by external factors, such as trauma, changes in the brain, or evolving life circumstances can help us understand that seeking treatment is imperative to prospering. Often, depression can consume a person’s ability to live the life they want to live. Learning to identify the underlying causes of depression can assist a person in living a more fulfilled life. As depression impacts our lives in various ways, treatment is imperative in learning to minimize the impact it can hold on us. Treatment will allow individuals to identify those underlying barriers and build solutions to overcome obstacles preventing a person’s growth and ability to achieve life goals.
Written by Mashal Rezai
Intake Coordinator, Balance Treatment Center
NAMI. (2017, August). Depression: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression