Treatment for Depression

Mental Health Outpatient Treatment for Adults with Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • An estimated 21 million adults in the United States have had at least one major depressive episode
  • The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (17%)
  • In 2020, an estimated 66% U.S. adults aged 18 or older received treatment for major depression

Depression causes persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and loss of enjoyment of relationships and activities that used to bring fulfillment. While it’s normal to feel sad about difficult life situations or changes, such as job loss, moving or relationships ending, depression is different in that feelings of sadness last more than two weeks, may not be linked to a specific event and are often accompanied by other symptoms that can affect cognition, memory, sleeping and eating.

Some symptoms of depression are:

  • Feelings of sadness that occur often or all the time
  • Appetite changes
  • Feelings of irritability, frustration or restlessness
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Loss of desire to do activities that you once enjoyed
  • Waking up too early or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
  • Aches, pains, headaches or digestive problems that don’t respond to treatment
  • Feeling tired‚ even after getting enough sleep
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

Several factors contribute to developing depression. These can include brain chemistry, genetics, stressful life events, medical conditions, chronic pain, medications and substance use. More than one of these factors can occur at once, and people with depression often have co-occurring disorders.

Treatment for depression can include:

  • Psychotherapy: Talk therapy involves several sessions over a period of time with a mental health professional. This process helps identify and change emotions, thoughts and behaviors that may contribute to depression. There are many psychotherapy modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and more. Therapy can include individual, group and/or family therapy.
  • Medication: Antidepressants are a prescription medicine that affect brain chemistry. There are several different types of antidepressants, and it may take time to figure out the one that’s most effective for each client. Some antidepressants have side effects, which often improve with time. If they don’t, talk to your healthcare provider about trying a different medication or pursuing a different treatment option.
  • Holistic therapies: Holistic therapies can be used in tandem with any other treatment methods. These may include yoga, mindfulness and meditation practices, equine therapy, massage and more.

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