Outcome Studies for Depression Treatment

Sheer Recovery’s Specialized Treatment Decreases Depression Symptoms

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that more than 21 million Americans have struggled with depression or a depressive episode in their lives, making depression one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States.

Depression is more than being sad–it is a serious health condition that can make even the simplest tasks, such as getting out of bed or brushing your teeth, difficult. It can make you isolate yourself from the people you love, lose interest in things that you used to enjoy, and search for ways to escape your feelings.

Many people who experience depression try to cope by using drugs and alcohol, only to find themselves struggling with addiction and worsening depression at a later time. Studies have found that 16.5% of people with major depression had an alcohol use disorder and 18% had a drug use disorder.

Recovering from depression and addiction can feel like an uphill battle, but when you choose Sheer Recovery for treatment, you set yourself up for success. That’s because our depression and addiction treatment program is extremely effective and clinically proven to lead to a greater reduction in depression symptoms than the national average.

Our highly focused, 6-patient model combined with a dedication to individualized care allows you to truly get your depression under control so you can thrive in your recovery.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression can increase the risk of substance abuse and addiction, and it can also make you more susceptible to relapse. If you get sober but don’t get relief from your depression, you may fall back into the vicious cycle of self-medicating because the symptoms of depression can be difficult to deal with.

Depression symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Sleeping too much or being unable to sleep (insomnia)
  • Losing interest or pleasure in activities that you once enjoyed
  • Anxiety, agitation, restlessness, and angry outbursts
  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, particularly about past situations
  • Unexplained physical aches, pains, or digestive issues
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, remembering things, and making decisions
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Depression can be life-altering because these symptoms are often severe enough to cause notable distress in daily life, such as in work, school, social activities, or relationships. In many cases, people do not know why they feel unhappy or sad, but they are unable to make those feelings go away on their own.

Our Patients Experience a Greater Reduction in Depression Symptoms After Treatment

A recent study looking at depression symptoms in BeWell clients (including Sheer Recovery) found that our clients exhibited an average decrease in depression symptoms of over 61% and over 16% more improvement in depression than the national average.

The study is based on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). The CES-D is a 20-item measure that asks clients to rate how often, over the past week, they’ve experienced key symptoms of depression including sadness, loss of interest, poor sleep or appetite, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts. Clients rate each item from 0 (rarely or none of the time) to 3 (most or all of the time). Total CES-D scores range from 0 to 60, with higher scores indicating worse depression severity, and a clinical cutoff score of 16 or greater indicating clinically impaired levels of depression.

As depicted visually in the graph below, when it comes to depression symptoms, Sheer Recovery clients get better, and they get better faster than the national average. This is demonstrated by a sharp decrease in CES-D scores after just one to two weeks of treatment.

Best of all, after treatment, our average clients exhibit sub-clinical symptoms and possibly even a full recovery.

Why Depression Treatment at Sheer Recovery Works

At Sheer Recovery, we believe that treating both the psychological and physical aspects of drug and alcohol addiction can lead to lasting recovery. That’s why our dual diagnosis treatment center has an emphasis on both mental health and substance abuse. But why is our depression treatment so effective? It all comes down to individually-tailored, evidence-based treatment.

Each client’s care may vary based on their personal needs, but treatment generally involves:

Correcting Chemical Imbalances

Risk factors such as a family history of depression or mental illness, adverse childhood experiences, and certain social and environmental factors can increase the risk of depression. However, another contributing factor is chemical imbalances.

A chemical imbalance in the brain can develop slowly over time, and drug and alcohol abuse can speed up the process. Even when a chemical imbalance is present, it can be hard to determine if you really have one or not.

On the other hand, correcting chemical imbalances is vital in healing from depression and mental illness. As a result, our medical staff will carefully evaluate your symptoms to diagnose and treat any chemical imbalances you may have. Repairing these imbalances can promote a reduction in depression symptoms and an increase in quality of life.

Starting the Right Medication

In many cases, depression can be wholly treated by getting sober, participating in counseling, and making healthy lifestyle choices. But for others, treating depression involves prescription medications.

There are many prescription medications available to treat depression. Different types of depression treatment medications include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Noradrenaline and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NASSAs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

After a comprehensive medical and psychiatric evaluation, the doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to treat your symptoms. Antidepressants can aid in symptom relief and correcting chemical imbalances.

Participating in Counseling

Psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy,” is an essential component of depression treatment. It is often used alongside antidepressant medications and healthy lifestyle changes to promote symptom relief and positive coping mechanisms. Psychotherapy can be held in both individual and group sessions, involving those with similar backgrounds, family, or romantic partners.

One of the most frequently used psychotherapies is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a behavioral therapy that tries to help clients identify distorted or negative thinking patterns with the goal of replacing those thoughts and behaviors with more positive coping skills.

Patients with depression who participate in CBT can experience significant relief in just 10-15 therapy sessions, or as little as 1-2 weeks in a residential setting.

Developing Coping Skills, Lifestyle Changes, and a Support Circle

Depression can return if you stop treating it, so it’s crucial that you develop healthy coping skills, make positive lifestyle changes, and build a support network. Each of these things can help you maintain optimal mental health, keeping depression at bay.

During therapy, your therapist will examine your behaviors to help you adopt healthy coping skills that work for you.

For example, journaling about your feelings can help reduce the weight they carry and allow you to process them more clearly. Taking a short walk outside in the sunshine when you are feeling low can lift your mood. Venting to a trusted friend when you are upset can help you release pent-up emotions as you express yourself freely.

Each of these coping mechanisms can help you cope with depression symptoms in the future.

Treating Only Six Clients at a Time

Finally, one of the most important reasons behind the success of our dual diagnosis treatment program is our 6-bed model. By only treating six clients at a time, our therapists and medical team have ample time to dedicate to each individual, ensuring high-quality, thorough care.

Unlike your standard mental health and addiction program where 40 to 50 people are treated at once, the 6-bed model allows for unparalleled, individualized care. Clients are immersed directly into our therapeutic model because they can’t hide in a crowd of other clients–they must face their issues head-on and work on them actively.

With such a high staff-to-client ratio, our clients get more attention and individually-tailored care than they will at other treatment facilities, helping them achieve whole-person healing.

Find Evidence-Based Treatment for Depression and Addiction in Orange County California

While depression can make you feel hopeless, there really is hope. Depression is among some of the most treatable mental health conditions, and between 80-90% of people eventually respond well to treatment. One of the hardest parts can be taking the first step by asking for help.

At Sheer Recovery, our team of compassionate mental health specialists understands just how challenging it can be to ask for help and go to treatment, but they also know that treatment here can change your life for the better. Your well-being is our top priority, and we would love to help you start treatment today.

If you or someone you love is ready to begin your recovery journey, please call us today. We’re available 24/7 to help you get started.

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