Depression is a mental health disorder that commonly presents with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a general lack of motivation or desire to engage with life in any meaningful sort of way.
Depressed people often find themselves simply going through the motions of day-to-day life without finding any joy. People who suffer from depression often describe themselves as feeling empty inside.
Depression can also have physical side effects, as it can affect sleep patterns and cause people to either suffer insomnia or oversleep. It can also lead to changes in appetite.
Depressed people can also suffer from persistent fatigue even if they have a healthy diet and sleep patterns. Most troublingly, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts.
While feelings of sadness are characteristic of depression, being depressed isn’t the same as being sad. Depression is a mental health condition caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Many people will experience a depressive episode in their lifetime, and many will not seek any mental health treatment because they may not recognize that they need help.
What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Depression?
Many who suffer need treatment for depression will go to individual therapy, take medication, or a combination of both. Some people may need far more care than seeing their therapist once a week but don’t have the option of an inpatient program.
For those people, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) may be the exact type of treatment that they need as opposed to traditional therapy.
Definition and Overview of IOP
An IOP is an outpatient program that offers a flexible but professional treatment plan for individuals who have busy lifestyles but also need support.
Under an IOP, instead of seeking inpatient treatment at a treatment center, a person can continue to live at home and attend multiple therapy sessions a week in order to receive the care that they need. Some research suggests that outpatient therapy helps with depression and is as effective at treating depressive disorders as an inpatient program.
What to Expect in an IOP
An IOP can employ numerous methods in order to treat patients. These methods include:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of therapy that focuses on finding a balance between two opposing ideas and is focused on the principles of mindfulness and acceptance.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on the relationships between what a person is feeling and how they behave and act. It is focused on identifying and restructuring harmful thought patterns and giving them the coping skills they need to improve their mental health.
- Group Therapy: At Luxe Recovery, our IOPs include group therapy sessions in order to foster a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding/support among those who are undergoing treatment for mental health disorders.
- Partial Hospitalization: Patients in an IOP can also receive intensive inpatient care while also maintaining their regular outpatient treatment. This allows them to receive the highest level of care while also living their day-to-day lives.
- Family therapy: Our IOPs include family therapy sessions so loved ones are better equipped to help an individual who is in recovery.
Who Can Benefit From an IOP?
There are many individuals who can benefit from an IOP treatment program. IOPs are flexible enough to allow people to live their lives while also continuing to receive the treatment that they need to manage their depression. These individuals include:
- Individuals in transition: Some individuals complete inpatient treatment for their depression or have reached significant milestones on the road to recovery and are in a place where they need to return to their normal lives. An IOP allows them to continue receiving treatment from qualified mental health professionals while also living their lives.
- Working people/students: Working professionals and students may not always have the option of pausing their professional and/or academic commitments to check themselves into an inpatient therapy program. As such, they’ll have to seek outpatient treatment for depression. An IOP offers them the care they need while also allowing them to meet their commitments.
- Those with families: In the same vein as the above, people with families may not be able to just leave their families for inpatient treatment. An IOP allows them to receive a high level of care while also meeting their familial obligations.
- Those with mild to moderate disorders: Depression does not affect everyone the same way. Some people can function normally whilst being depressed whereas others will barely be able to eat or sleep.
When Do I Know I Need Help for Depression?
Depression is a disorder that can sneak up on you. People who suffer from it may not always be aware that they have it, let alone know when they should seek help for it. Many people who are depressed often feel like they’re just stuck in a rut.
Depression can be insidious in that even if a person realizes that they have it, their condition may have caused them to alienate themselves from their friends and family, isolating them from their immediate support system.
As such, it’s important to realize some of the signs of depression and seek professional help as soon as possible. These signs can include:
- Fatigue: People with depression often report increased fatigue regardless of diet or sleep.
- Loss of interest: People with depression often lose interest in things that used to bring them joy and find themselves withdrawing from social interactions.
- Guilt or worthlessness: Depressed people often feel guilty for no reason and experience very low self-esteem.
- Irritability: People who suffer from depression are often more agitated for no clear reason.
What Causes Depression?
At its root, depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It’s a disease like any other and can be caused by a number of things. These include:
- Genetics: Some people are biologically predisposed to have a variety of mental health disorders
- The weather: There are people who are prone to experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is when a person experiences depressive episodes in the fall and winter. It’s theorized that this is due to the shorter days and reduced amount of daylight.
- Substance abuse: Mild-altering substances can affect brain chemistry and potentially lead to depression.
- Illnesses: Chronic illnesses, hormone imbalance, and chronic pain can all lead to the onset of depression.
Get Help Now
If you’re at a point where you feel like life has no meaning – or you know someone who feels that way – then you or your loved one may be suffering from depression.
Please don’t wait until it’s too late. At Luxe Recovery LA, we’re ready to help you with evidence-based methods that have proven effective in treating depression. Contact us today and begin your recovery. We accept most forms of insurance.