Conditions & Treatments
Depression is not a character flaw and is as serious a medical condition as diabetes. A mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness, depression can lead to other emotional and physical problems that cannot be stopped through willpower or pulling yourself up by the bootstraps.
Depression affects more than one in five adults over the course of their lifetimes, making it the most common mental health problem in the United States.
Signs of Depression
Symptoms that are typical of a person with depression include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities or hobbies
- Irritability or frustration over small problems
- Losing or gaining weight
- Sleeping difficulties — either sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling exhausted and fatigued
- Lack of energy
- Not being able to concentrate and distractibility
- Feeling like a failure
- Thinking about death and suicide a lot
- Frequent crying
- Physical problems, such as nausea, headaches and digestive disorders
- Lack of interest in sex
A person with depression is at high risk for suicide, so it is important to watch out for warning signs.
Types of Depression
Depressive episodes can be triggered biologically through an imbalance in the brain, or through life stressors such as divorce or the death of a loved one. There are several different types of depression:
This is a milder, chronic form of depression that can last for years at a time. In children and adolescents this form of depression often shows up as irritability. Symptoms of dysthymic disorder include:
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Sleeping too much or not sleeping enough
- Low energy or fatigue
- Low self-esteem
- Poor concentration and lack of ability to make good decisions
- Feelings of hopelessness
Bipolar Disorder is also commonly known as “manic depression”. A person with this disorder often experiences severe mood swings, from extremely depressed and irritable to overly excited or manic. Many also exhibit normal mood periods between the two extremes.
Symptoms of a manic episode include:
- Increased energy, activity, restlessness, racing thoughts and rapid talking
- Excessive “high” or euphoric feelings
- Extreme irritability and distractibility
- Less need for sleep
- Unrealistic beliefs in abilities and powers
- Poor judgment and aggressive or impulsive behavior
People sometimes are affected emotionally due to changes in the amount of daylight available. In winter the reduced exposure to sunlight can cause depression, sadness, or irritability. These symptoms typically improve when spring arrives with its increased daylight.
After childbirth, a woman's body and life can change dramatically. As a result, some women become depressed. In rare instances, some mothers have violent thoughts about harming themselves or their baby.
Prior to providing treatment through counseling, therapy or any of our other services, we utilize the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose the symptoms as depression. If your physician suspects this disorder, a laboratory test will be conducted to rule out organic causes.
Our staff performs thorough examinations of each patient to create individual treatment programs. Therapies may include:
Our individualized therapy and counseling services promote healing and understanding. The programs at our treatment centers in Philadelphia offer a wide range of outpatient services, including diagnostic re-evaluation, family consultation, pharmacotherapy and education about medication, and internal medicine consultation.
We offer mental health group therapy programs which provide a comfortable and confidential environment for patients to discuss their disorders. Our experienced facilitators help participants collectively reach resolutions on issues they've experienced, regardless of the disorder or type of patient.
This technique teaches patients how their thoughts affect their feelings and behaviors.
This therapy for depression teaches patients how their relationships with friends and family positively or negatively impact their inner lives.
Patients are encouraged to seek out and restart activities they have lost interest in.
Family members are encouraged to join in the therapy options to better understand depression and to support the patient during their hospital stay and aftercare.
May be used in conjunction with mood stabilizers and atypical agents (antipsychotics).
Services offered are available for both inpatient and outpatient needs at several locations: