Depression is not only a feeling; it is a medical disorder of the brain with very specific signs and symptoms.
Depression symptoms often include disrupted sleep patterns, altered appetite, sense of guilt, sense of hopelessness, fatigue, lack of interest in activities, and the desire to die or harm one’s self.
Tragically, many patients have this depression, but they don’t realize they have a disorder, and so they don’t get the treatment they need. They often believe that what they are experiencing is something they should be able to handle themselves if they would “just get their act together.”
At Sierra Tucson, we address the issue of depression with almost every patient we treat, because most are found to be depressed at some level. Patients are educated that depression is a brain disorder that often coexists with other diagnoses, such as chemical dependency. Depression is often the end result of chronic strain or stress that an individual has been going through. Anxiety sometimes coexists with depression, which can be confusing.
In addition, persons will feel somewhat confused and have difficulty making decisions, which they may think is due to “losing my mind.” Rather, the symptoms are part of depression, and all these symptoms will resolve with appropriate treatment.
The treatment of depression does not equate to medications only. There are a number of modalities to treat depression, including individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, cognitive therapy, and medications if indicated. Patients are assessed as to their individual needs, and appropriate recommendations are made. In most cases, a combination of therapeutic interventions are most effective in relieving the symptoms.
Furthermore, the treatment of depression and the medications used to treat the illness are very compatible with recovery. They are “non-addicting,” and a person is not destined to take them forever.
As with everything, Sierra Tucson takes a very holistic approach in applying whatever modality is necessary to help each individual with depression. Therapy is tailored to meet personal needs, and Sierra Tucson’s staff are proud of the progress made by each patient.