Depression affects more people than any other mental disorder. The mental health professionals at Malibu Vista have expertise in treating the full range of depressive disorders, including major depression, bipolar disorder and dysthymia as well as the disorders that commonly occur alongside depression such as anxiety and substance abuse.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is a chronic illness that can have both emotional and physical symptoms. More severe and longer lasting than a short bout of the blues, depression is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, guilt, restlessness, irritability or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in or enjoyment of usual activities
- Feeling bad about oneself or like life isn’t worth living
- Changes in appetite, weight or sleep patterns
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Physical complaints such as headaches or back pain
The symptoms of depression can be severe, but they can also be an unexplained feeling of general unhappiness. The disease manifests in different ways in different people depending on genetics, gender, culture and other factors.
To learn more about treatment for depression at Malibu Vista, Call 844-874-6483
What Causes Depression?
The causes of depression aren’t fully understood, though it appears that a number of factors are involved. We know that depression runs in families. Research also suggests that people with depression may have physical changes in their brains and that hormones and brain chemicals called neurotransmitters play a role. Certain life experiences can trigger depression such as the death of a loved one, severe or chronic stress, having a serious illness, substance abuse, and abuse, neglect or other traumatic experiences in childhood.
Higher Rates of Depression in Women
Women are diagnosed with depression twice as often as men. According to the National Mental Health Association, one in eight women will develop depression at some point during her lifetime. Although symptoms typically appear early in life – in the teens, 20s or 30s – depression can set in at any age.
The causes of depression in women are often different than men. Stress has been linked to depression in both men and women; however, women produce more stress hormones than men and less of the hormone that moderates the stress response. Since women have unique social pressures and are often juggling multiple responsibilities at work and at home, stress may be particularly problematic for them.
Some studies suggest that a significant number of women with depression (three out of five) have been physically or sexually abused, reports the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Researchers also point to body dissatisfaction and hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause as potential triggers for depression.
Women also tend to experience depression symptoms differently than men. Women report more atypical symptoms of depression such as physical complaints, anxiety, weight gain and oversleeping. Whereas men tend to blame others, women blame themselves. Whereas men feel irritable or angry, women tend to feel sad, worthless and anxious. In an effort to self-medicate symptoms of depression, women sometimes turn to food, drugs and relationships.
Treatment for Depression
Depression is most effectively treated using a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Although treatment outcomes are strong – about 70 percent of people with depression have significant improvements – less than half of people with this illness will get help. Left untreated, people struggling with depression may be at increased risk of other problems, such as substance abuse, relationship issues, social isolation and problems at work or school.
Malibu Vista provides expert medication management as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and other therapeutic approaches to help clients understand the causes of depression, change unhealthy thought and behavior patterns, and find more effective ways to cope with emotions. Women also have access to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, which are effective components of a comprehensive treatment program. Since episodes of major depression can recur, an important part of treatment is learning to manage the illness and develop skills for healthy, independent living.
Reconnect with your passion for life. Call Malibu Vista 844-874-6483