Depressive disorders, which are commonly referred to by the general term depression, are a category of mental health disorders that are characterized by profound sadness, diminished energy, overwhelming hopelessness, recurrent thoughts of death, and similar symptoms. The two main types of depressive disorders are major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder. People who have major depressive disorder will experience intense symptoms that last for at least two weeks and that cause significant distress and/or impairment in their ability to function socially, occupationally, or in other important areas. Individuals who have persistent depressive disorder will experience depressed mood and other symptoms that may not consistently rise to the intensity of major depressive disorder, but which persist for at least two years. Other forms of depression include premenstrual dysphoric disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, and depressive disorder due to another medical condition.
Regardless of the type of depressive disorder that a person develops, the symptoms can disrupt his or her ability to live a healthy, productive, and satisfying life. Left untreated, depressive disorders may worsen over time and may contribute to the development of additional problems, including other mental health disorders and the abuse of alcohol or other drugs. At Westend Hospital, we understand the devastation that a depressive disorder can inflict upon an individuals’ life, and our compassionate and experienced professionals are prepared to provide the specialized care that has helped many men and women to overcome their depressive symptoms and resume their pursuit of happier and more rewarding futures.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If someone that you care about has been struggling with a depressive disorder, you can play an important role in ensuring that he or she gets help. Please consider the following:
First, it is essential that you understand what depression is and is not. A person who is suffering from a depressive disorder is not merely experiencing a momentary case of the blues. Depressive disorders are mental health problems that require professional treatment. A person with depression cannot heal himself or herself by thinking positive thoughts any more than a person with diabetes can control his or her insulin levels by keeping a positive attitude.
The best way to understand what your loved one is experiencing is by talking to him or her. Depending upon the nature and severity of his or her depressive disorder, your loved one may or may not be able to adequately describe what he or she is thinking or feeling. However, by listening to what your loved one says, noting what he or she is not able to address, and paying attention to his or her attitude and energy level, you should be able to get a strong sense of the pain that he or she is experiencing.
Remember that your discussion with your loved one should not be a one-time event. It is important that you express your concern, show your support, and keep the lines of communication open so that your loved one knows he or she can rely on you. Talking about a depressive disorder may take time. Do not pressure your loved one; instead, remain an active, constant, and reassuring presence in his or her life.
In addition to speaking to your loved one, you should also research depressive disorders and treatment options. Your knowledge of your loved one’s personality combined with your new understanding of the signs and symptoms of a depressive disorder should prepare you to identify programs that appear to offer the type and level of care that your loved one needs.
If possible, involve a few close friends or trusted family members, both in the effort to research treatment options and as sources of support for your loved one. You do not want your loved one to feel as though he or she is being ganged up on or overwhelmed, but you do want him or her to know that you are not the only one who cares. Also, if your loved one is resistant to entering a treatment program, having a few other close people involved may help convince him or her that getting professional help is the right decision.
Of course, it is important for you, your loved one, and other close friends and family members to understand that residential treatment may be just one step in the long process of recovering from a depressive disorder. Regardless of what your loved one experiences before, during, and after treatment, plan to be a source of continued support and encouragement.
Why Seek Treatment at Westend Hospital
Untreated depression can have a devastating impact on virtually all aspects of an individual’s life. Depressive disorders can cause people to withdraw from friends and family members, to experience problems in their relationships, and to perform at a substandard level on the job. These and similar negative experiences can exacerbate the symptoms of afflicted individuals’ depression, causing them to descend deeper into a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. The continued downward spiral of depression can cause a person to abuse alcohol and other drugs, behave in a reckless or dangerous manner, and otherwise engage in self-defeating behaviors. Unemployment, financial devastation, and legal problems may result, as can suicidal ideation. Yet with the effective professional care that is available at Westend Hospital, men and women can avoid these negative outcomes, can regain control over their thoughts and emotions, and can resume their pursuit of healthy lives, free from the constraints and limitations of depressive disorders.
Types of Treatment Offered at Westend Hospital
At Westend Hospital, we are proud to provide life-changing treatment to adults ages 18 and above who are struggling with a range of mental health disorders, including but not limited to depressive disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
When a man or women enters Westend Hospital, he or she can expect to receive world-class clinical services, to be provided with an individualized treatment plan that has been designed specifically to meet his or her unique needs, and to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Throughout an individual’s time at Westend Hospital, he or she will work closely with talented and compassionate professionals who will be focused on monitoring his or her progress and offering the personalized care that will alleviate his or her depressive disorder symptoms and improve his or her quality of life.
While an individual is receiving care for a depressive disorder at Westend Hospital, the following elements may be incorporated into her his or her treatment plan:
Medication management: The symptoms of certain mental health disorders respond well to treatment with prescription medications. If a client is experiencing a disorder or disorders that may be treated with such medications, he or she can receive effective and responsive medication management services while being treated at Westend Hospital. Services provided to medication management clients include three weekly meetings with a psychiatrist as well as round-the-clock nursing supervision and care.
Individual therapy: One-on-one sessions between a client and his or her therapist can provide invaluable opportunities for individuals to process successes and setbacks, discuss issues related to the treatment of depression, and address matters that the client may be unwilling to bring up during group therapy sessions. At Westend, individual therapy sessions are conducted on an as-needed basis based upon the preferences of each client and the determinations of his or her treatment team.
Group therapy: Group therapy is a foundational element of treatment at Westend Hospital. During group therapy sessions, clients who have been struggling with depression have the opportunity to share their thoughts and insights, learn from the experiences of others, and practice healthy interpersonal communication skills, all under the guidance and supervision of experienced professionals. At Westend Hospital, group therapy sessions may be led by a nurse, social worker, or activity therapist. Groups are held on a daily basis. While the specific content of any group will be influenced by the contributions of group members, the following are among the general topics that may be addressed:
- Anger management
- Coping skills
- Grief therapy
- Medication compliance and management
- Relapse prevention
- Stress management
Activity therapy: Clients who are being treated for a depressive disorder at Westend Hospital also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activity therapy sessions. Activity therapy features several innovative and interactive techniques that can help individuals to manage their symptoms. Activity therapy also offers customized instruction in how to make the healthiest and most productive use of a client’s leisure time, and provides clients with new skills that they can develop and enjoy long after they have returned home.
Family therapy: At Westend Hospital, we are keenly aware of the impact that a client’s struggles with depression can have on loved ones, and we also understand the essential role that family members can play in a client’s continued progress during and after he or she is in treatment with us. For these reasons, we are proud to provide family therapy sessions on an as-needed basis. Conducted by an experienced social worker, family therapy sessions allow loved ones to address personal concerns, strengthen familial bonds, and learn how best to support the client’s continued healing after he or she has returned home.
The goal of Westend Hospital is to provide clients who have been struggling with depression with the assessments, treatment, and continuing support that they need, based upon their unique strengths, needs, and goals. To learn more about our programming, please contact us at your convenience. We look forward to answering all of your questions and helping you determine if Westend Hospital is the perfect place for you or someone you care about.