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Rehab Therapy for Prolonged Depression — What’s In and New?

Healing by all forms is possible. The same thing goes true when struggling with an addiction or a mental health disorder, focusing on just alleviating the symptoms is not a long-term solution.

Depression and anxiety are two of the fastest growing issues in our society and mental health treatment and therapy are never going to be the same for every person.

A man going in a tough time — feeling depressed and anxious.

WHO states that over 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide and that only about 50 percent of these individuals will ever receive treatment. In the United States, over 15 million adults experience an episode of clinical depression in any given year (close to 7 percent of the population), according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Depression has a severe impact on physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as personal relationships, occupational and financial status.

Long-term treatment increases chances of response and remission.

For most patients, episodes of major depression last a limited amount of time. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) specifies that symptoms last at least two weeks and treatment studies reported a median duration of about 20 weeks. But for some patients, the condition becomes chronic — with symptoms lasting at least two years.

The differences between episodic and chronic depression encompass more than just duration. Studies show that, compared with episodic major depression, chronic depression causes more functional impairment, increases risk of suicide, and is more likely to occur in conjunction with other psychiatric disorders. Patients with chronic depression are also more likely than patients with episodic depression to report childhood trauma and a family history of mood disorders.

Because chronic depression lasts longer and tends to be more severe than episodic depression, treatment is more intensive. Relapse is also a challenge. About half of patients with chronic depression who respond to treatment (whether with antidepressants, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two) will suffer a relapse within one to two years if they stop treatment. For that reason, some type of maintenance therapy may be necessary.

Psychotherapies

Although a few studies have been published, most evidence supports a type of therapy designed specifically for chronic depression, known as Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP). Limited evidence also supports tailored versions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy.

Interpersonal therapies

The goal of interpersonal therapy in treating chronic depression is to change the way a patient perceives himself or herself — from being a person with a flawed character (an idea that can develop after years of being depressed) to being someone with a chronic but treatable disease. Therapy also involves helping a patient to express anger productively, to become assertive, and to take social risks.

Only a few studies have evaluated the use of interpersonal therapy in chronic depression. This preliminary evidence suggests that it may be useful for some patients, but that it requires time and persistence.

Retreat Centers for Anxiety

Luxury retreat centers worldwide have begun offering specialized programs for people suffering from anxiety. While going to a retreat center for anxiety is by no means a low-cost treatment option, the anti-anxiety programs offered provide a wide range of physical and mental therapeutic options to ensure that you get what you pay for. To introduce you to the program, you’ll undergo a general medical examination to get a clear idea of your current health and any potentially detrimental aspects. Throughout the week you’ll then receive consultations from nutritional and natural therapy experts, bioenergetics specialists and a derma-aesthetic consultant. The belief is partially that a healthy lifestyle will allow the mind to be healthier, so exercise is incorporated into the programme with several private sessions with a personal trainer. A healthy diet is also prescribed to help rid the body of toxins and unnatural ingredients.

Talking to the patient and spending time with him or her are a great healing options.

Other therapies include mindfulness sessions, thai chi, yoga and many more traditional methods to help combat depression and anxiety.

The Verdict

According to American Addiction Centers, the most effective approach to treating depression is a program that integrates mental health and recovery services at the same facility, with a staff of professionals who are cross-trained in both fields.

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