Depression is a mood disorder, a scientific, clinically proven mental health disorder. Depression is also a matter of feelings. Though all mental health conditions live in the brain, they also seem to live in the heart, in the soul, and in the body. Treating depression might seem a bit odd at first. How exactly does one treat feelings? How does one change negative feelings into positive feelings and put energy into a body that has lost all of it? Treating depression is a matter of using different techniques, methods, and therapies to address the various components of depression. More importantly, focusing on the holistic character of depression, treating depression is really healing the effects, as well as the causes, of depression.
Currently, there is no “cure” for depression, however, there are many answers. Anti-depressants, for example, don’t rid the brain of depression. They do help balance some of the imbalanced chemicals in the brain. Depression is considered a relapsing and remitting disorder, meaning it goes through stages of being active and inactive. It is possible for someone to go into remission from depression, meaning they no longer experience the symptoms of depression fully. Unfortunately, it is also possible for someone to “relapse” into depression, and have to experience another episode of depression’s symptoms as well as side effects.
The varying tools and methods for healing the symptoms of depression lessen their severity. These techniques and treatments make depression more manageable and can often times put depression into remission. Some of the most proven techniques have included:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy is a leading evidence-based therapy method for many mental disorders, including substance use disorders. Focusing on the thoughts which fuel behaviors, cognitive behavioral therapy helps people with depression learn to identify their thinking patterns and become empowered in choosing differently.
- Mindfulness/Meditation: Mindfulness and meditation have both been scientifically proven to reduce the symptoms of depression. Focusing on the breath and bringing awareness to the present moment, the practice increases gray matter in the brain and naturally increases positivity.
- Physical Activity/Exercise: Exercise is another proven way to reduce the severity of depression. Working against natural inclinations to stay sedentary and not participate in life, exercise moves the body, increases blood flow, oxygen flow, and energy. In addition, exercise creates endorphins, which are happy hormones in the brain.
- Traditional Talk Therapy: Psychoanalysis and forms of psychotherapy can be helpful in uncovering the underlying issues which have contributed to depression. It is true that depression is a chemical imbalance which one does not choose to create in their brains. That chemical imbalance can also be a reaction to significant life events or experiences which have gone unresolved for many years. Working with a traditional talk therapist can slowly unravel the web of depression, easing the pressure.
- Spiritual Development: Making meaning is an important part of life. Without an idea of purpose or meaning, it is easy to become depressed. Depression is often characterized by feelings of being lost, feeling no purpose in life, and contemplating death through the lens of the finiteness of life. Spiritual development of any kind is often helpful for those who struggle with depression. Depression can feel hopeless and most often, spirituality offers hope.
As one of Southern California’s only primary mental health treatment facilities, Avalon By The Sea offers trusted programs with trusted results for the residential treatment of depression. Located on the iconic coastline of Malibu, California, our tranquil estate serves as the perfect home for helping clients find balance and wellness in their lives. Call us now for a confidential assessment and more information: 888-958-7511.