Depression

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There’s a lot more to depression than just being sad, low, or upset; experiencing these emotions is not the real problem. In fact, feeling this way is normal and we’re all naturally wired to do so. The real problem begins when these emotions linger on for much longer than expected — weeks, months, or even years.

Prolonged states of depression cause severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and go about your daily activities. It disrupts essential bodily functions such as sleeping or eating and also has the potential to negatively impact your social and professional life.

It is one of the most common mental health issues in the U.S that has affected the lives of many. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Depression symptoms take many forms, and no two people’s experiences are exactly alike. A person who is suffering from depression might not seem sad to others — they may instead complain about how they just “can’t get moving”, or are feeling completely unmotivated to do anything. Even simple things like getting dressed in the morning or eating at mealtime become obstacles in daily life. People around them, such as their friends and family, will notice the change too.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression can often start off as higher levels of anxiety during childhood. Children may also express depression with increased levels of irritability, anger, opposition, poor frustration tolerance, temper tantrums, regressed behaviors, bed-wetting, poor school performance, conflict with peers, social withdrawal, a change in appetite, and poor sleep.

Note that while anxiety and depression are often correlated, the two have a distinct set of symptoms. The most notable symptom that burdens people suffering from depression is the absence of motivation to do the things they care about the most — taking little or no pleasure in activities that once kindled joy.

We Offer the Following Types of Depression Treatment in San Diego

Our San Diego treatment center houses a professional team of therapists that offers a multi-modal, evidence-based treatment approach to diminish symptoms, alter cognitions, improve physical well-being, and develop adaptive skills to cope with mood and motivation.

Our treatment methods vary based on the patient’s needs. The types of therapy we practice include:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: CBT is a combination of psychotherapy and behavioral therapy that aims at rewiring the thought patterns that affect how people perceive their problems. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is especially useful in treating depression because of its present-focused, time-limited approach.
  • Positive Psychology: Unlike psychiatry’s traditional focus on mental illness and negative thought patterns, positive psychology focuses on the positive aspects of the human experience that make life worth living. This domain emphasizes individual and societal well being.
  • Mindfulness: Techniques of mindfulness are developed through meditation; they involve the acknowledgment of one’s thoughts and experiences occurring in the present moment, without any judgment. Mindfulness is a very powerful tool that can be used to deal with difficult emotions.
  • Family Therapy: Depression often roots in unresolved family issues and conflicts; Family therapy can help family members improve communication and resolve their differences.
  • Motivational Interviewing: Motivational Interviewing is a counseling method that helps people to feel motivated to change the behaviors that are holding them back from making healthier choices; this is done by resolving inner conflict and insecurities.
  • Interpersonal Therapy: Interpersonal Therapy is helpful for people who have been experiencing a downfall in their personal relationships because of their symptoms of depression — its focus lies on improving communication.
    Unlike other forms of psychotherapy, Interpersonal Therapy looks at the current reality of your depression by attempting to tackle the immediate troubles that are contributing to its symptoms.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: The word “dialectical” refers to the logical discussion of contradictory ideas and opinions. DBT or dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that is meant to treat severe cases of depression. It focuses heavily on self-acceptance and problem-solving strategies.
  • Neurofeedback Therapy:  Our 19 Sensor Neurofeedback FDA approved treatment incorporates a quantitative EEG brain map that identifies specific EEG and brain locations to be targeted for EEG training that is unique to your brain. Utilizing multiple sensors simultaneously, we are able to train several areas of EEG at the same time to create function and symptom changes more efficiently. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive and drug free treatment approach for children, adolescents, and adults.

The Types of Depressive Disorders We Treat

Clinical depression is a mood disorder that goes by many names, such as “the blues,” biological depression, and major depression. All of these names refer to the same thing — feeling sad and down for weeks or months on end — not just a passing blue mood of a day or two.

However, it’s important to note that “depression” needs to be thought of as a blanket term for a variety of depressive disorders which can be triggered by various life events, situations, and even neurochemical changes in the brain caused by substance abuse or hormonal disorders.

Having a deeper understanding of different types of depression can work wonders for your diagnosis and recovery. Knowing where it’s rooting from, and acknowledging your condition can assist significantly when you’re ready to talk to a therapist.

Some of the different types of depression that we treat include:

  • Major Depression Disorder: This includes the majority of the following symptoms, experienced more days than not over the course of two or more weeks: a persistent feeling of loneliness or sadness; lack of energy; feelings of hopelessness; difficulties with sleeping; difficulties with eating; difficulties with concentration or attention; total loss of interest in enjoyable activities or socializing; feelings of guilt and worthlessness; and/or thoughts of death or suicide. Most people who are feeling depressed don’t experience every symptom, and the presentation of symptoms varies in degree and intensity from person to person.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (also called Dysthymia): A depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered as Persistent Depressive Disorder.
  • Postpartum Depression: This is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: This is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • Bipolar Disorder: This is different from depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called Bipolar Depression). But a person with Bipolar Disorder also experiences extremely high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “Hypomania.”
  • Other types of depressive disorders recently added to the diagnostic classification of DSM-5 including Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (diagnosed in children and adolescents) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

Our team of therapists at Aspiring Families San Diego focuses on an integrative approach to teach adults, kids, teens, and college students how to alleviate symptoms, restructure cognition, cope with stressors, develop adaptive responses, build resiliency, and restore daily life to health and wellness.

If you’re looking for depression treatment in San Diego, whether it’s for you, someone you know, or for your kids, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today.