While everyone goes through ups and downs in life, the feelings of sadness usually pass as time goes on. However, for those who have depression disorder, this is not the case. Depression can last weeks, months or even years. While the exact cause of depression is not known, it can be caused by and experienced differently based on many factors including genetics, medication, brain chemistry and hormone.
How do you know when you have clinical depression as opposed to just a temporary phase of sadness? There are many depression symptoms that may mean you need to seek depression treatment. Some of them are:
- Lack of enjoyment of hobbies and activities
- Lack of energy
- Fatigue or excessive tiredness
- Insomnia or irritability
- Severe boredom
- Lack of concentration or focus
Depression is treated in many different ways. Patients may see their therapist or they may be prescribed antidepressants. Treatment for depression can be a combination of therapy and medication. Antidepressants are usually one of the following:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) – SSRIs are a newer kind of antidepressants. They work by changing the amount of the chemical serotonin – a chemical that naturally regulates mood – in the brain. Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Luvox, Pexeva and Sarafem are all SSRIs.
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) – A more recent antidepressant, SNRIs work by increasing the norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. Duloxetine, Desvenlafaxine, Milnacipran, Venlafaxine XR, Venlafaxine and Levomilnacipran are all examples of SNRIs.
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) – MAOIs are the most effective type of antidepressant for many patients. Emsam, Eldepryl, Marplan, Zalapar, Parnate and Nardil are all examples of MAOIs.
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) – TCAs also work on the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. Because the side effects for TCAs can be quite strong, TCAs are usually a last resort in depression treatment. Anafranil, Aventyl, Endep, Adapin, Elavil, Nopramin, Pertofrane, Pamelor, Surmontil, Tofranil and Vivactil are all examples of TCAs.
Some patients prefer alternative forms of treatment for depression. There are many mind-body techniques that – when practiced regularly – may be extremely helpful such as:
- Tai Chi
- Massage therapy
- Aerobic exercise
- Music or art therapy
While these things may be helpful, it’s important to note that you may need to be on an antidepressant as well. There is no shame in this. In depressed patients, brain chemistry is off, and these medications can help regulate the chemicals in the brain. The best thing to do if you need to seek depression disorder treatment is to speak with your psychiatrist and/or psychologist. You may have to try different antidepressants before you find the ideal medication for you. Everyone is different, and medication affects each of us differently. Finding the right antidepressant may take some trial and error with the help of a psychiatrist.
Depression and Substance Use Disorder
Depression and addiction unfortunately go hand in hand. Many people self-medicate their depression with the use of drugs and/or alcohol. The substance abuse tends to exacerbate the problem, especially depressants like alcohol. The dual presentation of a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder is known as duel diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.
If you have a co-occurring disorder, it is important to seek out treatment for both conditions. Your substance use disorder may require detoxification, an inpatient treatment program, an outpatient treatment program or a partial hospitalization program. One of the best things about The Recovery Village at Ridgefield is that there are addiction specialists on staff that will evaluate and assess your situation, and they will be able to formulate an individualized treatment program to meet your needs.
With skilled addiction specialists and healthcare professionals on staff, patients with co-occurring disorders will find the treatment they need at The Recovery Village at Ridgefield. Convenient to Tacoma, Portland, Seattle, and Eugene, The Recovery Village at Ridgefield provides patients with the treatment they need to begin a long-term path to recovery. If you are suffering from depression as well as substance use disorder, help is only one call away. Reach out to us today.