Different Types of Depression Rehabs
When seeking out an inpatient depression treatment center, it is important that the facility has been licensed or has obtained accreditation by the Joint Commission, which establishes a set standard of care. There are various options for the type of depression rehabs, including:
- Residential treatment. These are facilities that provide a comfortable environment for an extended stay, with daily psychiatric care and support groups.
- Work-based or farm-based programs. These long-term care facilities incorporate life skills, occupational skills, and social skills with clinical care.
- Group homes. A residence that is converted to a rehab for depression, providing a homey environment for a small number of residents who receive therapy, clinical care, and group support while also working at a part-time job off site.
Basic Information About Depression
Depression is the second most prevalent mental health disorder experienced by Americans, with over 17 million people, or 7% of U.S. adults, struggling with this complicated disorder. Depression rates are significantly higher among women, with it impacting 8.7% of women versus 5.3% of men. The age bracket that sees the highest rates of depression is that of young adults, with 13.1% of them affected by this serious disorder. Sadly, more than one-third of individuals who suffer from depression do not seek treatment for it.
Different Features of Depression
There are different types and manifestations of depression. Generally, depression is diagnosed based on differentiating features, resulting in the following different types of the mental health disorder:
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): When someone feels sad most of the time for at least two weeks they may have MDD. The DSM-5 lists nine diagnostic criteria for MDD, including:
- Feelings of persistent sadness or hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt, shame, or worthlessness
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Experiencing fatigue and listlessness
- Feeling sluggish, slowed cognitive thoughts and movements
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Weight loss or gain when not trying
- Difficulty making decisions
- Suicidal ideation
Dysthymia: When symptoms of chronic depression last for an extended period, such as more than two years, albeit at a lesser severity as with MDD, it is called persistent depressive disorder, or dysthymia. Symptoms include:
- Change in sleep habits
- Change in eating habits
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Low self-esteem
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
Premenopausal Dysphoric Depression (PMDD): PMDD is a more intensified version of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Symptoms include:
- Severe fatigue
- Mood swings
- Highly emotional
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heart palpitations
- PMS physical symptoms
Postpartum Depression: Some women (and men) may experience a bout with postpartum depression following the birth of a child. Symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness
- Intense irritability
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Thoughts of harming the baby
- Thoughts of suicide
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): In some regions that lie further from the equator, a type of depressive disorder can occur due to a lack of sunlight during winter months. It is thought that the lack of sunlight results in vitamin D deficiency, which could be contributory to the disorder.
Bipolar Depression: Extreme mood swings are the primary characteristic of bipolar disorder. The low moods, or depressive episodes, can occur alternately with the manic episodes, and in some types of bipolar, the depressive episodes are dominant.
Substance Use Disorder-Related Depression: Depression can be a co-occurring disorder that accompanies a substance use disorder. The individual may become chemically dependent on alcohol or drugs, which can lead to serious negative consequences in life. The substances also impact brain chemistry, which can affect mood.
What Causes a Depressive Disorder?
Although research and advanced imaging continue to offer us clues into this complex mental health disorder,the root causes of depression are still not completely understood. It is believed that 5 factors may play a significant role in whether someone develop a depressive disorder. These include:
Brain chemistry. Ongoing research into the role of brain activity and chemical imbalances shows these to be factors in mood regulation.
Family history. People with a strong family history of depression are more prone to it themselves, demonstrating a genetic component to depression.
Personality. Our unique temperaments play a part in how we process and manage stressful life events.
Life events. Major stressful life events, such as trauma, physical or sexual abuse, unexpected loss of a loved one, divorce, or a serious financial setback can trigger a depressive disorder.
Health conditions. Some health conditions may trigger a depressive disorder, such as cancer, stroke, lupus, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or HIV. The drugs themselves, used to manage medical conditions, can also contribute the side effect of depressed mood.
What to Expect At A Depression Rehab
A rehab for inpatient depression treatment will provide the highest level of care for individuals struggling with this vexing mental health disorder. The exception to this being the hospital environment, which is best for those who are experiencing a mental health crisis, such as a suicide attempt, and require acute stabilization. The depression rehab setting provides an opportunity for individuals who have continued to decline regardless of outpatient interventions, and that need a more specialized approach.
After a thorough psychological evaluation is conducted, the clinical team will design a customized treatment plan for the individual. Each plan will conform to the specific needs of the patient, and take into consideration the unique features of their depression.
Treatment plans are integrated, meaning they will include various types of treatment modalities that will work in concert to achieve relief or improvement of symptoms. These interventions might include:
Psychotherapy. Depression has various potential causes, one of them being negative life events or trauma. In talk therapy, individuals can explore areas of suppressed emotional pain left by experiencing childhood trauma or abuse, a recent trauma, or loss of a loved one. Therapy can also help identify negative self-talk or thought distortions that keep one locked into persistent sadness, and then replace those with health thought patterns.
Group therapy. When gathering as a small group, individuals who share the common experience of having depression are able to chat about their personal experiences and establish trust bonds and peer support while in rehab for depression.
Family systems therapy. Family systems can pertain to the actual primary family relationships and interacting dynamic within the family unit, or any relationship that is primary in one’s life. This therapy helps identify dysfunction in relationship systems, and guides individuals towards more effective communication and conflict resolution techniques.
Medication. In most cases, patients with depression are likely to need antidepressant medication to help stabilize and manage symptoms. When first admitted to a rehab for depression, a careful assessment of the medications the patient is already taking will be conducted. This allows the psychiatric staff to make changes at the outset of treatment.
Experiential activities. Increasingly, adding experiential therapies to the treatment plan is being embraced in the mental health community. This is because these activities can amplify the therapeutic results of the evidence-based therapy. These might include journaling, art therapy, and equine therapy.
Adjunctive therapies. Likewise, depression treatment may include alternative therapies that augment or complement traditional interventions. These might include TMS therapy, biofeedback, or eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR).
Holistic elements. Activities that help reduce stress and promote relaxation are helpful in the treatment of depression, as depression often coexists with anxiety. Integrating holistic elements into the treatment plan can provide useful activities that the patient can take forward into their continuing care planning. These might include yoga, mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, deep-breathing techniques, regular exercise, guided imagery, hypnotherapy, and aromatherapy.
The depression rehab setting offers patients the potential to drill down and explore their emotional needs, focusing all energy and attention on achieving wellness. The usual distractions and triggers, and daily responsibilities, are temporarily removed, allowing one to really prioritize their mental wellness and learn new ways of managing distressing situations. Adding daily exercise and a healthy diet will only enhance the treatment effects of the residential depression rehab, recognizing the importance of the mind-body connection.