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Healing at Mental Health and Depression Treatment Retreats

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Mental Health Rehab for Depression is an Option!

Inpatient, Residential, and Retreats

When depression takes hold, no matter what the root cause, it can literally upend all aspects of a person’s life.  Sinking deeper into the gray fog each passing day, many will eventually reach out to a mental health provider who can offer some therapeutic and medical assistance.  However, as much as we all strive to keep it together, there may come a time when it becomes apparent that the depression has become so severe that it can no longer be managed.  At this point you may wonder, Can you go to rehab for depression?

When major depression becomes life threatening a higher level of care is indicated.  Admittance to an inpatient depression treatment center may be the best action to take in order to stabilize a crisis situation, or to just benefit from the expertise and oversight of 24-hour psychiatric care.  Going to rehab for depression may be a life saving step in the battle with severe depression.

Major Depressive Disorder

About Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by persistent symptoms that last for at least two weeks.  According to the DSM 5 diagnostic criteria, five of the following symptoms must be present:

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report or observation made by others.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities more of the day, nearly every day.
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day.
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

The symptoms of depression can cause serious impairment in daily life functioning. The inability to get out of bed and go to work can add another dimension to the problem, through potential loss of income. Depression has the capacity to impact all aspects of life. Those who suffer from these debilitating symptoms should seek professional medical and psychological support.

About The Different Types of Depression

Most people are unaware that depression can take various forms. Although each specific type of depression has many of the core symptoms included in the diagnostic criteria above, they also have certain features that help distinguish one type of depression from another. Then, inside each type of depression there will be varying degrees of severity and longevity of symptoms.

The types of depression include:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD). This is the most prevalent form of depression, and is characterized by a cluster of the symptoms listed above.
  • Treatment-resistant MDD. Not everyone will respond to the traditional modes of depression treatment, namely antidepressant drug therapy and psychotherapy. These individuals, which represent 30%-50% of all those diagnosed with depression, are left to explore alternative treatment options. These might include TMS therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, or deep brain stimulation.
  • Persistent depressive disorder. When depression persists for more than two years it is referred to as dysthymia, or persistent depressive disorder. The symptoms are usually a less intense version of MDD, but long lasting.
  • Postpartum depression (PPD). Also referred to as perinatal depression, PPD occurs following the birth of a child, and can also affect me. Symptoms of PPD can emerge within the first year after the birth.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type of depression can emerge during fall or winter when the daylight hours are shorter, due to a lack of sunlight and vitamin D.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is an extreme form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) causing debilitating symptoms during the week before the period.
  • Bipolar depression. Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating episodes of extreme mood swings, including mania and depression. While men have more mania, women tend to have more depressive episodes.

Mental Health and Depression Rehab Treatments

About Mental Health Rehab and Depression Treatment Retreats

While some individuals find relief from the symptoms of depression with the help of antidepressants and psychotherapy, others continue to suffer.  In these cases, individuals become increasingly frustrated and despairing, finding no real relief in sight.  Depression treatment retreats offer a comprehensive program that includes both therapy and holistic activities that are centered around the treatment of depressive disorders.

Many people who battle depression have experienced deep loss or trauma that may be a contributing factor in this mental health condition.  Therapeutic practices found at a depression treatment retreat will gently guide the individual to examine their past or present circumstances and work toward resolving the lingering emotional damage.

Individual psychotherapy starts with a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation that helps the therapist get an accurate picture of the underlying factors, and any co-occurring conditions such as substance use disorders or other mental health disorders. Depression retreats utilized time-honored evidence-base modalities as well as holistic and experiential activities.

Evidence-based psychotherapies for treatment of depression include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy is based on the connection between how our thoughts influence our behaviors. Negative or distorted thoughts are rooted out and reformed to elicit more productive behaviors and emotions.
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). This therapy is an 8-week program that combines mindfulness training with CBT. Through this therapy, individuals learn how to interrupt the thoughts or feelings that lead to depression.
  • Psychodynamic therapy. Also referred to as shorter-term version of psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy focuses on early life experiences, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs and helping the individual to change recurring patterns that result in feelings of depression.
  • Family systems therapy. This type of therapy centers on the belief that people are ingrained in relationships and addresses the broader relationship system in which one functions to identify dysfunction.

Evidence-based therapies refer to those types of psychotherapy that have been scientifically tested through clinical studies and have been shown to be efficacious in the treatment of a particular mental health disorder.

The depression retreat program will pair evidence-based therapies with complementary therapies that induce relaxation, which can lead to new insights regarding the depression. The holistic and experiential therapies that are provided will enhance the effects of the talk therapy by leading the individual toward self-discovery.  Some of the holistic therapies offered at a depression treatment retreat may include:

  • Research continues to reveal that yoga, particularly Iyengar yoga, can be impactful in reducing symptoms of depression.  A recent study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that study participants who engaged in yoga several times per week reduced their scores on the depression screening tool by 50%.  Yoga involves precise postures, breath control and deep breathing, which influence the parasympathetic nervous system and improve mood.
  • Meditation has been found to help depression symptoms by introducing a new script or thought focus through the guidance of an instructor or audio format.  Over time the individual experiences a positive shift in their thinking that replaces negative self talk or obsessive thinking with positive thoughts.
  • Mindfulness Training. The practice of mindfulness, or the purposeful focusing of one’s concentration on the present moment, has been shown to help individuals struggling with depression.  Using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, helps improve relationships by learning to be truly present when interacting.  This teaches methods such as taking a moment to reflect on the present moment before reacting emotionally during a conflict.  It also enables them to appreciate time together and overcome past conflicts.  The result was an improvement in symptoms of depression.

depression retreats

  • Massage therapy. Massage involves a massage therapist manipulating one’s muscles and soft tissues, and is an ancient practice originating in China 3,000 years ago.  By increasing blood flow, easing physical tension and pain, and providing physical touch, massage can help improve sleep quality, reduce stress, and improve mood.
  • Another type of traditional Chinese medicine is acupuncture, or the strategic use of needles to provide relief for a variety of conditions.  In recent years, it has been found that acupuncture can help alleviate symptoms of depression.  Commonly targeted acupoints for aiding depression include Guanyuan, Qihai, Hegu, Taixi, Shugu, and Quchi, among others.
  • Art and music therapy. Some individuals do not feel comfortable expressing deeply held thoughts and feelings in therapy sessions.  In many cases, these individuals are open to expressing their pain through art and music therapy.  With no rigid requirements or particular skills necessary, these types of therapeutic activities allow for open expression that can aid overall depression treatment.
  • Equine therapy. Equine therapy involves spending time in the caring of a horse as a means of helping to improve feelings of self-worth, which aids in depression treatment.  By grooming, exercising, and feeding the animal, a trust bond develops and a sense of purpose is acquired.  This leads to increased self-esteem and improved mood.
  • Infrared sauna. It has been shown that short periods of elevated body temperature, or hyperthermia, can act as a type of antidepressant.  A recent study reported that whole-body hyperthermia can provide a safe adjunct antidepressant treatment modality.
  • Nutritious meals. Brain health is intrinsically tied to nutrition.  Research shows that some foods can help mitigate depression symptoms, including complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and nuts and seeds.  Vitamin D and omega-3 supplements can also be beneficial in helping depression symptoms. Natural supplements, such as St. John’s Wort or Sam-E may also be included in the dietary regimen.
  • Daily exercise. Getting daily exercise can have a powerful impact on mood.  Adding 20-30 minutes of cardio, such as brisk walking, hiking, dance cardio, cycling, and running, 3-4 times per week can help elevate the feel-good brain chemicals, endorphins, that lead to better overall fitness, better sleep quality, better concentration, and improved mood.

The holistic approach to depression treatment addresses the mind-body interaction, understanding that when the mind is not well, there will be a negative impact on mental health, and vice versa. Depression retreats provide the comprehensive model that combines both the traditional therapeutic approach with the holistic approach for optimal results.

This multidisciplinary approach to treating depression can help free the individual from the grip of this mood disorder and allow them to move forward with a fresh new perspective and a toolbox of new behavioral responses to past triggers and personal challenges to healthy functioning.

Aftercare Following The Depression Retreat

A residential depression retreat will provide the individual with an intensive treatment program that offers targeted interventions for a specified length of time. Depending on the needs of the individual, the program may last a few days, or up to several months in length. The retreat will furnish a customized plan that addresses the unique features of the depressive disorder and its symptoms, helping the individual while in treatment as well as mapping out recovery goals post-retreat.

Depression, unfortunately, can be stubborn. Even if great strides were achieved while in the residential program, the probability that there will be a recurrence of the depressive disorder still exists after treatment. Because depression is a complex illness with various factors contributing to each person’s own diagnosis, it is impossible to predict who will likely experience a relapse in symptoms.

Outpatient therapy:

Aftercare is the component on the continuum of care that addresses the importance of maintenance. We are creatures of habit, so the attempts to replace dysfunctional thought patterns may take months to take root. This is why ongoing outpatient therapy is beneficial for those who have completed a retreat, as it provides a source of support and reinforcement going forward. By continuing to seek the advice of a therapist, the individual can continue to refine efforts to improve their relationships, to solidify positive and affirming self-talk, and to access an objective voice when encountering a setback.

Likewise, participating in group therapy can also be reinforcing. The therapist can refer the individual to groups that share the common bond of battling depression, allowing the participants to discuss any triggers or challenges they might be experiencing post-retreat. Social support is a valuable aspect of healing. Group participants gain a sense of camaraderie and fellowship, which can be edifying.

Transitional housing:

Some individuals might benefit from staying in transitional housing after the retreat. Some are still vulnerable following a severe bout of depression, making triggers within the home environment difficult to overcome, which could result in recurrence of depression. Transitional housing allows the individual to gradually shift from the residential treatment environment toward their home life incrementally. Most transitional housing also offers group therapy.

The Treatment Specialist offers Resources for Quality Mental Health Rehab and Depression Treatment Retreats

Call to receive a complimentary assessment for holistic and/or spiritual depression treatment retreat. There are options for both men or women, and insurance check to get you on the way to finding relief at a depression treatment retreat, depression rehab, and review depression rehab costs and mental health retreats that accept insurance. Take that first step and call today at (866) 644-7911.


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