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Depression Treatment Centers for Women

Depression treatment for womenDepression can make the world seem dark and dreary, as though a permanent layer of clouds is blocking out the sun, removing even the distant possibility that happiness and peace could ever return. People with a deep depression like this don’t experience a low mood that comes and goes based on the person’s disappointments and accomplishments throughout the day. Instead, people with depression feel consistently sad all of the time, and these feelings may persist for years.

While anyone can develop depression, women are twice as likely as men to experience depression, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, even though the cause for this disparity remains unclear. Women with depression might feel hopeless, as though their lives are never destined to improve, but effective treatments really can make a difference. With help, women with depression can feel their bright and sunny moods return once more.

Depression treatment centers for women may have a key role to play in this healing process.

Typical Treatments

Depression is often triggered by a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are many different medications that can work to amend these imbalances, including:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Paxil and Zoloft
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as Cymbalta and Effexor XR
  • Bupropion products, such as Wellbutrin
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as Anafranil and Tofranil
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as Marplan and Zelapar

These medications can provide immense relief to some people with depression, although the Mayo Clinic reports that they can take up to six weeks to be fully effective. The medications are generally considered safe, and most family doctors are considered qualified to administer the medications and work with their patients to ensure that the drugs are being provided at the proper dosages at the proper times. Some women with depression work on their issues with their family doctors, and they don’t enter treatment programs at all for their depression. While this is a reasonable route for some women, there are many women who have more intense problems associated with depression, and these women do benefit from entering a specialized program in order to get the help they’ll need to leave depression behind.

Depression and Prior Trauma

Depressed GirlDepression in women can take hold due to hormonal changes due to childbirth or menopause. Depression can also take hold during a time of transition, when a woman is watching her children leave the home, for example, or when a woman goes through a painful divorce. These are relatively uncomplicated depression triggers, and as mentioned, women can often work with their family doctors in order to heal from issues like this. For many women, however, depression has its roots deep within a prior trauma, and for those women, healing might be a bit more complicated.

Women who were abused on an emotional, physical or sexual level are more likely to develop depression, compared to women who weren’t abused, the Mayo Clinic reports. This remains true whether the abuse happened in childhood or adulthood. Issues of abuse are always a violation, impacting the way a woman views herself and the people who surround her.

Women might feel as though they can’t really relate to others or share their feelings. These women might also believe that they’re somehow responsible for the abuse.

Severe depression based on abuse can lead a woman into suicidal thoughts, as she may have come to link psychic pain with physical pain due to the abuse she endured. For this reason, women with abusive histories often need to accept help in depression treatment centers. Here, they’ll have monitoring around the clock, so they won’t have the opportunity to hurt themselves due to their depression. In a supportive and healing environment, they’ll have the opportunity to address their prior traumas and get well.

Other Mental Illnesses

Living with depression can be difficult, but some women struggle with depression and other mental illnesses. In fact, women are more prone than men to have an anxiety disorder riding along with their depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Anxiety can take many forms, but many women struggle with one particular form of anxiety known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to open up or talk to others
  • Panic attacks
  • Nightmares

PTSD and depression can leave a woman feeling so traumatized and so isolated that she simply cannot see how she’ll feel well in the future, no matter what she might choose to do. Therapy and medications can help, but once again, these compounding issues can make recovery slightly more complicated. Family doctors might be able to address these complex cases, but specialized treatment programs might do a better job of helping women to heal.

Depression and Addiction

depression and addiction

Women who are depressed might turn to addictive drugs in order to help soothe their minds. Addictive drugs can tap into the brain’s pleasure center, providing women with a momentary boost.

Their minds might rebel against this drug use, however, and women might find that they need to take higher and higher doses of drugs in order to experience the same sense of happiness that once came so easily with drug use. Women who use drugs might also develop depression via the same chemical pathways. Over time, their minds become unable to produce their own feel-good chemicals, leaving women feeling low and sad without constant access to the addictive drugs they’ve been taking.

Addictions can be effectively treated with therapy and/or medications, but often, women need intensive help in order to stop taking the drugs they’re addicted to. Detoxifying from some drugs is painful without medication assistance, and some addictive drugs can cause life-threatening complications during the detoxification process. Women with both addictions and depression can heal from both of their issues, as a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry makes clear. Researchers here determined that depressed clients entering addiction programs had higher levels of dysfunction at the beginning of the program, but they fared just as well in treatment as people without depression. Studies like this make it clear that healing is possible. But women with depression and addictions will need to enter treatment programs for this level of help.

Treatments Used

depression treatmentDepression treatment programs might provide clients with medications, but therapy is often used as the primary intervention. In counseling sessions, women are provided with more information about how depression develops, and they’re given the opportunity to build skills they can use to keep depressive thoughts at bay. Women might learn how to meditate, for example, when they feel their thoughts begin to turn dark.

Women might learn how to combat their anxious feelings, changing their negative self-talk into words of encouragement and empowerment. With this kind of help, women might be able to leave their depression in the past.

Group therapies might also be helpful for women with depression, and they can be an important part of the care provided by depression treatment centers. Group therapy sessions can allow women to practice techniques they’ve learned in therapy, and group sessions can also help depressed women to see that they aren’t alone and that others have the same sorts of concerns and troubles. This can help depressed women to feel less isolated and alone, and they may find a way to build a bridge back to meaningful relationships with their own friends and family members as a result.

Finding the Right Fit

the right treatmentDepressed women are encouraged to start their path back to wellness with a visit to their doctors. After a full and complete exam, doctors can determine all the issues that might be contributing to the woman’s depression and help that woman to find a treatment program that might be appropriate to address her individual needs. Doctors might suggest programs for their clients, or they might provide clients with a list of program attributes that would be considered helpful in the healing process.

While depressed women might not feel as though they have the energy to make good decisions, they should be included in the therapy selection process. Their opinions and preferences will help them to stay motivated to get better, and getting involved in the selection process might be the first step a woman needs to take on the road to recovery.

Before settling on a program, a woman might want to ask administrators:

  • Can you handle issues of drug addiction as well?
  • Are you a dual diagnosis program that can work with multiple mental illnesses?
  • How do you tailor your programs to address the specific needs of women?
  • Do you use medications in your treatment programs?
  • What other services do you provide that might help me with my depression?

It’s a personal decision, and women should feel comfortable asking as many questions as they’d like to ask. Some programs also provide women with an array of additional treatments, including art therapy, animal-assisted therapy and acupuncture. These additional treatments can be immensely important to some women, and they might provide them with the motivation they’ll need to stay enrolled in care. Other women might not find these additional treatments so helpful, and they may prefer programs that have a slightly more clinical feel. Finding out more about a program is always a good idea, so women know just what sort of help they’re likely to obtain in the program they choose.

At The Orchid, we can help women who are dealing with depression, other mental illnesses and/or drug addiction. Our women-only program provides intensive group therapies, and we also encourage our clients to utilize nutritional therapies to help their bodies to recover. We provide an array of soothing treatments for the body and spirit, including massage and exercise therapy. All of these components, added together, can be meaningful in the fight against depression. To learn more about our approach and to find out if we’re the right facility for you, please contact our counselors at the toll-free number listed on the website. Counselors are always available to take your call.

Further Reading