The Many Benefits of a Depression Treatment Plan
Depression is a serious and very common mental illness in America and around the world. Luckily, the vast majority of people recover from its effects with the right kind of treatment. But effective treatment for depression does not take the same form for everyone.
Instead, it varies according to your personal needs and situation. For this reason, thorough treatment planning plays a central role in successful depression recovery.
Basics of Depression
Major depression is distinct from the everyday “down” moods experienced by most people. Most importantly, everyday sadness does not have a harmful impact on your general well-being. Instead, it appears for a while, makes you feel a little blue and then recedes into the background.
In stark contrast, major depression has a strong and disruptive impact on your mood and behavior. It can leave you with a reduced ability to function and a range of other serious symptoms. In a worst-case scenario, it can even lead you to contemplate committing suicide.
Diagnosable depression also lingers for longer than the typical down mood. At a minimum, it affects you for two weeks at a time. You may only go through one of these serious, extended episodes.
However, many people experience repeated bouts of depression symptoms over time. Annually, close to seven million American adults suffer from major depression.
Lifetime rates for the illness are well over 16%. These figures make the illness the country’s single most widespread mental health concern. You can also develop other, less common forms of depressive illness.
What to Expect From Treatment for Depression
You may wonder what to expect from treatment for depression. Today, the twin pillars of successful treatment are medication and psychotherapy. As a rule, medication comes in the form of an antidepressant.
There are a wide variety of these treatments available, including classes of medication such as:
- Atypical antidepressants
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Options in all of these categories help by changing some aspect of your brain chemistry. The specific changes vary from medication to medication. Antidepressants are not cures for depression.
However, the changes they trigger inside your brain can help decrease the effects of your symptoms.
What psychotherapy options are available? A CBT treatment plan for depression often works well. CBT is the common shorthand for cognitive behavioral therapy. The therapy gets its name because it aims to change:
- Thoughts and emotions that tend support or prolong depression
- Behaviors that have the same negative influence on your mental health
Changes of this type help you handle real-world situations in as healthy a manner as possible.
Instead of a CBT treatment plan for depression, you may receive other forms of therapy. Examples here include such things as problem-solving therapy and interpersonal therapy.
A small percentage of people in depression treatment do not get enough benefit from medication or psychotherapy. If you fall into this rare category, your doctor may recommend something called electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT.
In ECT, guided pulses of electricity are sent into your brain. This procedure can lead to relief of severe depression that is not available in any other way.
Sometimes, depression treatment occurs on an outpatient basis. Each week, you leave home for scheduled care at your program’s facility. You then resume your regular daily routine. This approach works most often for people with mild-to-moderate depression.
If you are more severely affected by your symptoms, you may do better in inpatient care. This residential approach requires you to remain at your facility around the clock.
It provides you with more time to receive effective treatment. It also provides important protections for your safety and well-being.
Why Use a Treatment Plan for Depression
Today, treatment planning is the norm in mental health care. But why use a treatment plan for depression? What are the benefits of this approach? Treatment plans provide a roadmap for your recovery. They allow you to:
- Receive the benefit of recommendations from depression experts
- Give your own input on what treatments you prefer
- Get a clear overview of what will happen during treatment
- Report on how your current plan is working for you
- Ask for any needed changes that help promote your recovery goals
All of this is possible because a treatment plan is an active process. You create one in combination with a team of seasoned professionals. These professionals will help guide your choices.
However, they also work with you to make sure that your treatment needs are being met.
Person-Centered Treatment Plans for Depression
A person-centered treatment plan for depression is ideal. Plans of this type do not focus solely on your illness and its symptoms. That also address other areas of your life, including:
- Your general health and well-being
- Any additional mental or physical conditions that have an impact on your recovery
- The quality of life you can expect after completing treatment
This holistic approach helps ensure that your treatment provides you with the greatest possible benefit.
Treatment Plan Goals and Objectives for Depression
What does depression treatment set out to do? In other words, what are the treatment plan goals and objectives for depression? First of all, you should know that the goal of your plan is not to completely cure your illness.
This is the case because, in the strict sense of the word, you cannot cure depression. Instead, it belongs to a class of conditions known as chronic illnesses. Chronic illness does not entirely go away. Instead, it recurs over time.
This means that the general goal of your treatment plan is successful management of your symptoms. Elements of effective depression management include:
- Stabilizing your day to day mental health
- Reducing the intensity of your depression symptoms
- Limiting the overall number and severity of your depression episodes
With a treatment plan in place, more than 80% of all people with depression will experience these kinds of benefits. Be aware that depression treatment plans are frequently adjusted.
It may take time to find the right combination of options that works best in your situation.
How Long Does Treatment for Depression Last
So, how long does treatment for depression last? Unfortunately, no single answer exists for this question. Every case is different, and a timeline that works for someone else may not work for you.
This fact underscores the importance of a personalized treatment plan. Ask your doctor or mental health specialist what to expect in your case. But be aware that your projected treatment timeline may change.
Creating Your Customized Treatment Plan
Creation of your customized treatment plan begins when you are diagnosed. The process of diagnosis includes a thorough psychiatric evaluation. Your treatment team will then use this information as a starting point for your plan.
Besides you, your planning team may include a variety of professionals. Examples of professionals who often play a role include:
- Clinical psychologists
- Master’s-level mental health counselors
- Social workers with a clinical background
Each of these experts address some important aspect of your short- and long-term care. When they work together, they help make sure that all of your needs are considered at all times.
Once finalized, your initial plan goes into effect. From time to time, this plan will be revisited. If any modifications are needed, you can talk them over with your team. You can also give your own input based on your experiences in your treatment program.
Treatment Plan for Dual Diagnosis Featuring Depression
Like many people with depression, you may almost meet the criteria for what is known as a dual diagnosis. Experts use this term to describe any co-occurring case of substance problems and mental illness.
This combination of issues occurs roughly 50% of the time in people affected by mental health problems. For that reason, treatment plans for dual diagnosis featuring depression are a common need.
The main difference in this kind of plan is that treatment covers both depression and your substance problems. Your program may offer a form of psychotherapy called dialectical behavior therapy for this specific purpose. You may also benefit from other treatment options.
Get a Treatment Plan for Depression at Emerald Isle
Treatment plans play a crucial role in providing effective care for all mental illnesses. That certainly includes depression. Depression is highly treatable. However, to get the greatest benefit, you must have a plan in place. This document serves as an adjustable guide to your depression recovery.
At Emerald Isle Recovery, we incorporate planning into every aspect of our depression services. What happens when you get a treatment plan for depression at Emerald Isle? Whether you need inpatient or outpatient care, you receive guidance from our experienced staff of in-house experts.
In collaboration with you, these experts create a blueprint for successful treatment. All of our plans are customized to meet the details of your situation.
No matter how severely your are affected by depression, we are committed to your success. We offer the same high standard of care for anyone affected by depression-related dual diagnosis. For more information on our comprehensive depression plans, contact us today.