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If you suffer from depression you already know how delicate and vulnerable our mental health really is. One day we may be functioning well, and the next day we find ourselves in a very dark place. What’s worse, we just can’t seem to shake it.

Thankfully, there are available resources to help us restore our mental wellbeing and quality of life. To learn all about major depressive disorder treatment, read on.

What is Major Depressive Disorder?

See if this rings true: For weeks now, you may have struggled to get out of bed in the morning. Even after sleeping way more than you need, you go through the day with zero energy. You may find yourself craving high-calorie comfort foods and sugary treats, and that has resulted in some unwanted new pounds. You feel no motivation to start or finish any task or project, and your thoughts drift toward despair and hopelessness.

This is a typical portrait of someone struggling with major depressive disorder. Depression happens to affect over 21 million of us a year. In total, there are nine criteria provided in the DSM-5 for major depressive disorder. A depression diagnosis involves a combination of five or more of these symptoms. Also, the symptoms must be present most of the time for two weeks or longer.

The nine main symptoms of major depressive disorder include:

  1. Depressed mood most of the time.
  2. Loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities you once enjoyed.
  3. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  4. Sleep disorders.
  5. Slowed or agitated movements or thoughts.
  6. Fatigue or lack of energy.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
  8. Trouble concentrating or making decisions.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

What Factors Make You More Prone to Depression?

Major depressive disorder is a complex mental health disorder, and in many ways is still a mystery. Science keeps seeking answers as to what might trigger this common mental health disorder. Here are some of the risk factors for depression:

Genetics. People with a strong family history of depression are more prone to it themselves. This indicates a genetic component to the disorder.

Brain chemistry. An ongoing study into the role of neural activity and brain chemistry imbalances shows these to be factors in mood regulation.

Personality traits. Our individual temperaments play a part in how we process and manage stressful life events.

Life events. Trauma, physical or sexual abuse, sudden loss of a loved one, divorce, or a serious financial setback can trigger a depressive disorder.

Health conditions. Certain medical conditions may trigger a depressive disorder, such as cancer, M.S., lupus, stroke, dementia, HIV, thyroid dysfunction, or Parkinson’s disease.

Medications. Some drugs include depression symptoms as a side effect.

Substance abuse. Depression often co-occurs with substance use disorder.

What’s it Like to Live with Depression

When you are seeking information about depression, first understand there are varying degrees of severity. It is a myth that everyone with major depressive disorder becomes suicidal.

Depression can present itself in unexpected ways. You may think you are handling some setbacks in life just fine when suddenly you find yourself debilitated by hopelessness. Other times, depression symptoms may come on gradually. No matter how the depression happens, the net effect is a significant decline in quality of life.

  • The negative effects of sleep problems. Because sleep problems are a common feature of depression, this can cause other problems, such as fatigue, and trouble concentrating. This impacts your work performance and even makes caring for the kids very difficult.
  • Isolation. Because you have lost interest in your usual activities, you may become more isolated. You start to avoid social gatherings or even seeing your close friends.
  • Ill health. When you feel sad and blue, you may skip meals or gravitate toward processed foods and carbs. You may soothe your sad heart by consuming ice cream and candy instead of healthy meals.
  • Substance abuse. Some people will do whatever it takes to numb the negative emotions that come with depression. In many cases, this involves a substance, which only offers a short-lived respite from their woes. Too often, the substance use becomes habitual and that can lead to comorbid substance use disorder.
  • Suicidality. The most serious effect that depression has on someone’s life is despair. Someone who feels they have nothing left to live for may begin to consider suicide as an option.

Outpatient Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder

When seeking relief from the symptoms of depression, you may start off with your family doctor. The doctor is able to assess if it is depression, and then prescribe antidepressants. He or she will then refer you out to a therapist or support group for additional help

There are also higher levels of care available in the outpatient format. These are much more intensive, requiring from 9 to 30 hours a week of participation in therapy and other activities.

A depression retreat is yet another option, which involves staying at a resort or spa for three or four days. The retreats offer group therapy, holistic remedies, and therapy sessions.

Residential Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder

In some cases, depression becomes debilitating. When depression results in significant impairment of functioning, residential treatment is the preferred setting. These programs are offered at private luxury estates where you receive top-notch support, treatment, and care.

The residential mental health program allows you to remove yourself from the home environment and just focus on improving wellness. The days are filled with therapy sessions, holistic and experiential activities, and outdoor activities. Also, you’ll have a case manager who can arrange other care services for you after your discharge.

Once you are discharged, it is often advised to step down to an intensive outpatient program that offers ongoing support. These are flexible programs that allow time for your job and parenting responsibilities while you reside at home.

LifeSync Malibu Residential Depression Treatment

LifeSync Malibu provides the perfect setting for focusing on healing from depression. Our luxury estate in the beautiful coastal town of Malibu, CA offers spectacular beauty and serenity. The compassionate team of therapists is ready to guide you toward wellness and renewed home. Call us today at (866) 491-4426.