What is depression?
Depression is a mental health condition that results in prolonged periods of sadness and disinterest in one’s life. While sadness is a normal reaction to difficult experiences in life, such as losing a loved one or suffering setbacks, depression results in sadness that persists for weeks and months at a time. Children, teens, and adults can all suffer from depression.
Depression can result from a variety of factors, including changes in hormone levels, neurotransmitter imbalances, and genetic factors. In some cases, these contributing factors trigger depression in conjunction with tragic events, such as losing a loved one or suffering a disabling injury. However, it is difficult to pinpoint the contributing factors to a person’s depression in many cases.
Some people experience periods of depression during particular months each year, which clinicians refer to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD typically occurs during the winter months. However, in rare cases, people can experience seasonal depression during the summer months, too. Another form of depression is persistent depressive disorder, which refers to cases of depression that last over two years.
What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
Some signs and symptoms of depression are easier to spot than others. Common symptoms of depression include:
- Experiencing ongoing feelings of sadness or unhappiness
- Experiencing ongoing changes in sleeping patterns, including getting significantly more or less sleep than usual
- Feeling tired and suffering from consistent fatigue
- Experiencing changes in eating habits that result in significant weight gain or weight loss
- Losing enthusiasm for one’s past hobbies and favorite activities
- Experiencing low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness
- Self-isolation and avoiding social activities
- Difficulty concentrating or holding attention
It is important to note that each case of depression is different, and patients can display just one or several of the above signs and symptoms. In some cases of depression, friends and family of the depressed individual may not be able to notice any signs or symptoms of depression. Nonetheless, the person may still be suffering from a challenging mental health condition.
In addition to the above symptoms, people with depression may also suffer from substance abuse. When a person suffers from substance abuse issues and depression, clinicians refer to the individual as having a co-occurring mental health condition. Sometimes, the person’s drug or alcohol is a contributing factor to a person developing depression, and in other cases, a person may develop substance abuse behaviors as a result of their depression. Regardless of how each issue started, depression and substance abuse can be reinforcing behaviors.
In advanced cases of depression, some people may consider or engage in self-harm or have suicidal thoughts. People must take these symptoms of depression seriously and seek help from trained mental health professionals. Individuals who need to talk with someone about suicidal thoughts can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 at any time. However, if you or someone you know is ever in immediate danger, please call 911 for help.
How OC Specialty Health & Hospitals can help
At OC Specialty Health & Hospitals, we treat a wide range of mental health conditions. Our clinical team members have decades of combined experience treating depression and helping patients improve their mental wellbeing. We understand that patients who face depression may feel hopeless and that they are unable to improve their wellbeing. Change is possible, and we are here to help.
Treatment programs at OC Specialty Health & Hospitals include inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for depression. Our outpatient programs allow patients to receive treatment while still maintaining their home routines, and our outpatient services for depression include partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs. Each program involves a range of evidence-based treatment methods, including individual therapy and group therapy sessions. Importantly, we understand that each case of depression is unique, and we customize each treatment program to the patient’s individual needs.
If you or a loved one struggles with depression, it is best to seek help from a behavioral health professional as soon as possible. Behavioral health professionals can help a person better understand the reasons behind their depression and help the person enact positive change in their lives. Typically, cases of depression only get worse over time. If a person leaves depression untreated, the condition can lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Get treatment for depression at OC Specialty Health & Hospitals
Getting started with treatment for depression at OC Specialty Health & Hospitals is easy. The first step towards treatment is to call our team at 949-900-8600 (Aliso Ridge) or 714-243-9000 (Anaheim). On the phone, we can help answer any questions you may have about our treatment programs for depression and behavioral health facilities.
Additionally, a member of our team can help schedule you or a loved one for a free mental health assessment. A mental health assessment helps our team understand the patient’s unique needs and allows our team to build a custom treatment program.