depression-iconIt’s normal to feel a little low or sad once in a while. However, clinical depression is much more than just feeling down. Depression is common and quite serious. Depressed men and women experience feelings of overwhelming sadness that interfere with daily life. Often, depression symptoms may not be noticed by friends, family or even the patients themselves.

The supportive team of depression treatment professionals at Ascension Seton Behavioral Health Care in Austin, Texas is committed to ensuring that you or your loved one receives the help and guidance needed through every step of the healing process. Please call us at 512-324-2039 or contact us online to learn more.

About Depression

Depression was not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders until the 1980 edition. Depressive episodes may occur only once in a lifetime or may be recurring. There are several common depression symptoms. Many of these sound quite normal, which is why they can be easily overlooked:

  • Sadness and low mood
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Low self-esteem
  • Pervasive sense of hopelessness or futility
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • General health decline, such as not keeping up with personal hygiene

Depression often goes undiagnosed. This is because treatment is dependent upon the patient recognizing that he or she has a problem. Yet the symptoms of depression are often overwhelming. This makes finding the motivation to seek help typically out of the question for most clinically depressed patients.

The causes of depression are many and varied. There is rarely just a single contributing factor for this mental health disorder. Risk factors include genetics, traumatic psychological events, and brain chemistry. In some cases depression may be induced by substance abuse.

There are currently several different types of depressive disorders:

  • Dysthymia: Sometimes called dysthymic disorder. Dysthymia is classified as a long-term but lower-grade depression. Depression symptoms are persistent and last a long time, often two or more years. Yet they may not be serious enough to interfere with normal routines. Dysthymia can still affect personal and professional relationships, even if symptoms are not fully disabling. Often those who suffer from dysthymia may have one or more major depressive episodes later in life.
  • Postpartum Depression: Sometimes mistakenly dismissed as the “baby blues,” postpartum depression can affect many women after childbirth. The causes are primarily due to rapid hormonal and physical changes. These, combined with the heavy commitment of caring for a newborn, can lead to postpartum depression. Symptoms can be serious enough to compromise the health and wellbeing of the infant.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Less natural sunlight during winter months can cause symptoms of depression that lift when the weather changes. In many cases patients diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder can be treated with light therapy. More persistent symptoms of SAD can be treated like clinical depression, either with or without additional light therapy.

Depressive symptoms can also occur in patients with bipolar disorder. However, bipolar disorder is a separate condition that requires different treatment from clinical depression alone.

Our Treatment Philosophy

Ascension Seton Behavioral Health does not treat the signs of depression as an isolated occurrence. Instead we closely examine our patients’ medical histories and lifestyles. This helps us determine the most likely cause of their symptoms. From there we can better customize our treatment. At the same time, we address multiple aspects of physical and mental health. This allows us to provide the most effective treatment possible:

  • A combination of anti-depressant medication and ongoing counseling provides the physical and emotional support needed to help patients overcome depression
  • A caring, supportive environment helps patients feel more hopeful about their condition and life overall
  • Patients are encouraged to address and correct unhealthy mental and emotional patterns; looking at these may limit future recurrence of depression symptoms

Our depression treatment includes many traditional elements. However we also look into the most recent advances in medical science and research. We consider the potential physical factors of depression, such as brain chemistry. We also address behavioral patterns, past trauma, and other psychological factors. The underlying causes of a major depressive episode can be multiple. This is why we examine several areas to make sure the right approach is taken.

Ascension Seton Behavioral Health offers both inpatient and outpatient programs for mood disorders. Our outpatient program offers independence without leaving patients feeling isolated. The inpatient program takes place in nurturing, compassionate surroundings. Both options are designed to be as supportive and stress-free as possible. We also provide an important sense of belonging and connection that is essential for overcoming the often overwhelming signs of depression.

If you’re ready to reclaim your life from the limitations caused by your depression symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at 512-324-2039. Our individualized approach toward depression treatment is completely focused on helping you achieve a successful recovery and enjoy a vibrant life.