Can You Go to Rehab for Depression?

Seeking Treatment for Depressive Disorders

When you hear the word rehab, you may only associate it with treatment for drug or alcohol problems. However, the word can also be used in other contexts. One common context is the help provided for symptoms of mental illnesses like depression. This kind of rehab is every bit as important as substance rehab. The assistance it provides will support your recovery from the effects of your illness. In turn, it helps make it possible for you to regain stability, well-being, and everyday function.

What Is Mental Health Rehab?

So what does mental health rehab mean? Really, it is just another way of saying mental health treatment. Every year, tens of millions of Americans receive some form of this treatment. Common options for primary mental health care include:

  • Medication
  • Counseling and/or psychotherapy

In addition, other kinds of supporting therapy may be used. That includes possible options such as:

  • Movement or exercise therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy

It is also common to add support group participation to a mental health recovery plan.

Types of Depressive Disorders

Most of the time, people talking about depression are referring to a specific condition: major depression. That makes sense since this illness is both serious and common. However, there are multiple types of depressive disorders. For starters, you can develop more than one form of major depression. Sub-types of the condition include:

  • Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD
  • Postpartum depression
  • Psychotic depression

Postpartum depression and SAD only occur in certain limited situations. Psychotic depression combines major depression symptoms with symptoms of psychosis.

You may also develop something called persistent depressive disorder, or PDD. This disorder is not as severe as major depression. However, bouts of its symptoms last for much longer periods of time. People with PDD can also go through episodes of major depression.


Possible Causes of Depressive Disorders

There is no single possible cause of depressive disorders. Instead, studies show that the illness results from a combination of causes. No two cases of depression start in exactly the same way. However, things that can play a role for any affected person include:

  • Having a family history of depressive illness
  • Being affected by certain chemical imbalances in your brain
  • Living or growing up in harmful environmental conditions

You may also have personality traits that help lay the groundwork for depression. Such traits include a pessimistic worldview, low-stress tolerance, and a lack of self-esteem.

Are You Suffering From Depression?

Many people ask themselves, “Am I suffering from depression?” This is an important question to ask. After all, depression is not rare. In fact, more people suffer from major depression than any other single mental illness.

Can you tell if you are affected by a depressive illness? Only your doctor can make that judgment for sure. Still, certain signs may point to the presence of a problem. The long list of potential issues includes:

  • Feeling sad much or most of the time
  • Losing interest in things that usually give you joy
  • Not feeling as energetic as usual
  • Going through bouts of unusual irritability
  • Experiencing emotions such as worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt
  • Being unusually restless
  • Developing significant changes in your normal appetite
  • Having problems with memory, judgment or concentration
  • Feeling achy for no obvious reason
  • Experiencing significant changes in your typical sleep habits
  • Having thoughts about killing yourself or dying in general

None of these things is a surefire indication of depression. That is true because all of them have other possible causes. Doctors use much more detailed criteria when diagnosing depression. The exact criteria depend on the specific illness in question.

Dual Diagnosis and the Vicious Cycle

There is a very good chance that people with depression will also have serious substance problems. A number of things may help explain this common overlap. That includes things such as:

  • The shared risk factors for depression and substance problems
  • Using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate your depression symptoms
  • Undergoing substance-related brain changes that increase your depression risks

Whatever the cause in your particular case, doctors have a name for combined substance and mental health issues: dual diagnosis.

The presence of dual diagnosis can trigger a vicious cycle of escalating problems. This is possible because of how depression and addiction interact. Untreated depression can make your addiction worse. In turn, untreated addiction can make your depression worse. Without getting help for both conditions, your overall health may decline more and more over time. Combined dual diagnosis treatment will help you avoid this harmful scenario.

Components of Treatment for Depression

As with all mental illnesses, there are multiple components of treatment for depression. Frontline treatment includes medications classified as antidepressants. It also includes forms of therapy such as:

  • Interpersonal therapy, or IPT
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT

Another treatment option used much less often is electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. This therapy uses controlled electricity to make helpful changes in your brain function. Doctors only consider it if you have severe symptoms and do not get better with therapy or medication.

If you have a dual diagnosis, you will also need treatment for your substance problems. As with depression, this treatment typically involves medication and/or therapy. However, the specific options used depend on the source of your addiction.


Is Rehab for Depression Helpful?

How helpful is rehab for depression? Experts consider major depression, in particular, to be one of the most treatable of all mental illnesses. For every 10 affected people, roughly eight to nine will improve with the right treatment. It is important to remember that the goal is not to cure depression. Instead, the goal is a substantial reduction of your symptoms.

Why do doctors take this approach? While depression is treatable, it also has chronic effects. This means that most people experience recurring depressive episodes. Effective treatment aims to manage these episodes and limit their impact.

Settings for Rehab for Depression

Outpatient Rehab for Depression

Some people have mild-to-moderate depression symptoms. If you fall into this category, your doctors may recommend outpatient treatment. Outpatient rehab for depression allows you to live at home between scheduled treatments. In the right circumstances, this approach is both convenient and effective.

Inpatient Rehab for Depression

In contrast, some people only get better in inpatient rehab for depression. By themselves, certain symptoms indicate an inpatient setting for treatment or even hospitalization. The main example here is the presence of suicidal thinking and/or suicidal behavior.

But in other situations, what usually matters most is the not types of symptoms you have. Instead, doctors focus on the intensity of your symptoms. As a rule, moderate-to-severe problems make you a candidate for inpatient care. Your doctor may also recommend this approach for other reasons. For example, you may have an unstable home life that makes effective outpatient treatment difficult.

Length of Stay in Treatment for Depression

Not everyone requires the same length of stay in treatment for depression. Many people remain in inpatient programs for a month to three months. However, others require more time to recover. That can be especially true for people with dual diagnoses. It can also be true for people with treatment-resistant depression. Doctors use this term for depression that does not respond as well to standard treatment.


Possible Costs of Inpatient Depression Treatment

What is the cost of inpatient depression treatment? The answer to this question varies from person to person. If you have private insurance, your policy very well may cover mental health care. This coverage may take care of some, most, or all of your costs. In some circumstances, older adults can use Medicare benefits to help pay for inpatient treatment.

If neither of these options applies to you, you may have to cover the full cost of treatment. To ease this burden, some programs allow you to set up a payment plan. This kind of arrangement allows you to pay for treatment in installments rather than all at once.

Lasting Recovery Through Mental Health Treatment at Emerald Isle

If you have depression, lasting recovery through mental health treatment is a realistic goal. But to meet this goal, the treatment you receive must be targeted to address your specific symptoms. In addition, it must have a proven ability to help large numbers of people affected by depression. For these reasons, you must choose your mental health provider carefully. Top providers offer customized care plans designed individually for each situation. They also rely on treatments supported by solid scientific evidence.

Do you or your loved ones think you may be affected by depression? Seek assistance from the specialists at Emerald Isle Recovery. Our in-house professionals can help you get answers with both mental health assessments and full psychiatric evaluations.

If depression is the appropriate diagnosis, Emerald Isle supports your recovery needs. We provide expert treatment for depression, as well as other mental illnesses. In addition, we have the extensive expertise needed to address the effects of dual diagnosis. No matter how serious your depression symptoms are, we can help you regain wellness and day-to-day function. For more information, call us today.

  1. American Academy of Family Physicians: Mental Health Treatment
  2. National Institute of Mental Health: Depression
  3. American Academy of Family Physicians: Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
  4. American Psychiatric Association: What Is Depression?
  5. U.S. National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus: Dual Diagnosis
  6. Mayo Clinic: Treatment-Resistant Depression