Depression is a serious mental health issue that affects roughly one in five adults in the United States. It is estimated that 16.2 million adults have had at least one major depressive episode in 2019 alone and the prevalence of depression is higher among women than men. While it can affect anyone at any age, depression is particularly common among teenagers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 11% of adolescents in the US suffer from depression. It can be overwhelming, debilitating, and even lead to suicidal thoughts or actions if not addressed properly. Thankfully, there are many treatment options available in New Jersey for those struggling with depression. In this blog post, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of depression as well as some effective treatments that may help you or a loved one manage the condition. We hope this information will provide support and guidance for anyone dealing with depression in the Garden State.
The signs and symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, but there are some common indicators that you or a loved one may be suffering from depression. These may include persistent feelings of sadness, worthlessness, emptiness, and hopelessness which last for several weeks or more; loss of interest in activities and passions; changes in appetite or sleep.
When it comes to being concerned about depressive symptoms, there are a few key indicators that should prompt action. For instance, if your feelings of sadness and low moods persist for two or three weeks with no sign of improvement, it may be time to seek help. Additionally, if you begin to experience other physical and emotional signs such as difficulty concentrating, lack of energy, restlessness or irritability, low self-esteem, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, or persistent thoughts of death or suicide. Other physical and emotional signs may be changes in weight or appetite and/or changes in sleeping habits.
Outpatient therapy is the most common form of treatment for depression. This type of treatment typically involves meeting with a qualified mental health professional regularly, usually once or twice per week. During these sessions, the therapist and patient will work together to identify triggers that may be causing depression and create strategies to address them. Outpatient therapy may be coupled with medication management, which involves prescribing antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Although these medications can take several weeks to produce noticeable effects, they have been proven to be very effective in treating depression. Individually or combined therapy and medication management are often effective and enough. However, when the depressive symptoms are still present, you may want to consider a more intensive treatment option.
Intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs are forms of treatment for depression that offer more support than traditional outpatient therapy or medication management. These treatment options can be beneficial for individuals who require more intense, frequent interventions than what regular outpatient therapy can provide. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) typically involve individual therapy, group therapy, and medication management three days per week. Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are a step up from IOP where patients attend five days per week.
Group therapy is a key component of these programs and for good reason. The benefits of group therapy for depression include:
- Increased support from peers who are also dealing with the same issues.
- A safe space to discuss feelings and experiences without judgment.
- Opportunity to learn new coping strategies and skills from others in the group.
- Improved self-esteem through building relationships with other members of the group.
If you are interested in learning more about depression treatment and are in New Jersey, Innerspace Counseling's IOP and PHP programs are here to help. Our mental health treatment programs help to stabilize thoughts, emotions, and/or behaviors for the long term. Many of our clients come to us having trouble functioning at home, at school or work, or within relationships. While some clients have extensive histories in and out of treatment, some are new to treatment. What they all have in common is that they are seeking a long-term solution by treating every client with a treatment plan tailored to their needs. Choosing Innerspace Counseling is choosing hope and a better future for yourself and your loved ones. Call for a screening today at 732-332-8270.