Treatment Options for Young Adults with Depression

Treatment Options for Young Adults with Depression and Anxiety

The trend in the U.S. for young adults grappling with depression and anxiety is most definitely on the uptick, a disheartening sign of the times.  In fact, a 2009 study based on commonly used psychological surveys, such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), shows that 85% more college students today report depression and anxiety than did the same age bracket in 1930s.

Young adulthood is supposed to be a time for fulfilling goals and aspirations, falling in love and getting married, even starting a family.  During this first leg of adulthood, life should be simpler—before the challenges of life start to add up in later years.  But, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, just as many young adults aged 18-29 experience anxiety disorders as adults aged 45-59.  The statistics for depression in the young adult demographic of ages 18-25 is even more startling, with rates 30% higher than the 26-49 age group and 100% higher than those aged 50 and older.

Reasons Young Adults Suffer From Anxiety & Depression

There are several possible explanations for the rise in mental health disorders among young adults.  A few to be considered include:

  • A more materialistic society creates more pressure to “Keep up with the Jones’s” at a time when jobs for this demographic are waning along with wages.
  • Social media has created real time platforms where one’s social “brand” or identity is constantly being scrutinized and openly hostile criticism is common.
  • Overwhelming pressure to fulfill parental expectations by excelling at a quality university and landing a high-paying, high-profile job soon after graduating.
  • The breakdown of the family unit and the scattering of family across different geographical regions create a sense of isolation and insecurity.
  • A lack of faith or spirituality contributes to the feelings of helplessness and despair, as well as a lost sense of belonging to a faith community.
  • An overemphasis on physical appearance contributes to social anxiety and eating disorders.

Treatment Options for Young Adults with Depression and Anxiety

 Medication:

Clinical treatment for mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety commonly include a combination of medication and psychotherapy.  The most common drug classification for treating young adults with depression and anxiety is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) group of medications, including names like Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Zoloft, and Paxil.

 Psychotherapy:

Therapy sessions that are based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are effective in helping young adults with depression and anxiety identify negative thought patterns and replace them with new, healthy responses.  CBT is a short-term therapy that involves the patient’s active participation in establishing new, constructive behavior and thought patterns.

Relaxation:

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness training, and yoga can dramatically help the effects of depression and anxiety.  In addition, finding a new hobby can open up avenues of renewed self-worth as they master the new activity.  By stoking their interests and passions, young people find new sources of pleasure that may even lead to a new, fulfilling career.

Volunteering:

Being of service to others is particularly satisfying.  Volunteering to serve less fortunate people with an authentic desire to provide joy to others can buoy the young adult’s spirits and give them a new sense of perspective.  Providing service to others helps them get out of their own heads and be entirely in the moment, improving mood and self-esteem.  Volunteering also gives a young adult a sense of purpose.

Diet and Exercise:

Countless studies have demonstrated the importance of diet and exercise on mood and quality of life.  Teens and young adults notoriously forgo healthy meals in exchange for fast food and junk foods, or consume too many sugar-laden beverages, snacks and treats.  By reducing sugar intake and increasing the amount of lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain rice, bread, and pasta, and good ole water in the diet, the young adult will improve brain health.  Along with that, a regular exercise regimen—at a gym or outdoor activities—will increase endorphin and serotonin levels in the brain, also improving mood, sleep, and concentration.

 Addiction Helplines Can Help Find Mental Health Providers

Finding the right treatment provider for young adults with depression and anxiety can be a daunting task.  Addiction Helplines will simplify the selection process for you!  Our extensive network of mental health and dual diagnosis treatment providers offers many treatment programs across the U.S. to help you located treatment options for Young Adults with Depression and Anxiety.  Allow our Treatment Specialists to connect you with the perfect treatment match for your needs.  Call us today for a free confidential assessment and insurance verification at (877) 228-3270.

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Depression After Drug Addiction

The Common Struggle with Depression after Drug Addiction

When it comes to understanding the connection between depression and drug one question that comes to mind is: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Whether an individual was first suffering from depression and then used drugs to self-medicate or if the depression appears after drug addiction, the resulting anguish is the same:  Depression hurts.  For the purposes of this blog the focus will be on depression after drug addiction.

It is well known that drug addiction literally rewires brain chemistry and neural pathways, distinct changes that are visible in an MRI of an addict’s brain.  Over the course of the addiction these physical and physiological changes wreak havoc on the brain’s mood center, the limbic region, impacting brain pathways involved in stress, reward, sleep, learning, pain, and memory.  After chronic drug use, the body becomes unable to produce the chemicals normally associated with pleasure—this biological process has been shut down.  This results in a period of depression after drug addiction that can last for a month to several years.

What Causes Depression after Drug Addiction?

Depression is often a co-occurring condition with substance use disorders, sometimes the impetus that led to the addiction and sometimes the result of the addiction.  When the devastation to one’s life through a drug dependency begins to include the loss of everything one cherishes—loss of custody of children, dissolution of a marriage, loss of a job, being abandoned by friends and family—deep depression can result.  Shame and guilt for the damage caused to loved ones and personal finances rise to the surface now that there is no drug being used to help numb these emotions.

But it is the brain’s reward center itself that is no longer able to produce the natural feel-good chemicals (dopamine and serotonin) after a prolonged period of drug use, and that leads to a pervasive sense of sadness.  The ability to experience pleasure has been shut off, and life just feels flat and joyless.  The addict’s physical and mental state are depleted as a result of the addiction, and emotionally he or she may feel numb and hopeless.

Steps to Take to Alleviate Depression

During the early months of recovery getting help for the depression is imperative.  For the addict in recovery this is a vulnerable period and there is a high probability that he or she will relapse in an attempt to experience euphoria or pleasure once again.  Any symptoms of depression that persist after 30 days of sobriety should be addressed.  Some steps that will help with depression after drug addiction include:

  • Addiction specialists may introduce an antidepressant at this point.  Common medications prescribed for depression, following discharge from a treatment program, are Lexapro and Paxil.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a short-term therapy modality that helps the recovering addict recognize the connection between their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.  Identifying the triggers or thoughts that could derail recovery and replacing old behaviors and responses with new, positive ones can avoid relapse.
  • Avoid isolation. Making the effort to get out and socialize with (sober) friends and family and be physically active will help prevent further withdrawal into depression.  In addition, participating in some kind of service for others can give the newly sober person a sense of purpose.  Getting outside of your own head and helping others is very therapeutic.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A run down body goes hand in hand with a depressed spirit.  Restoring health is essential in the early phase of recovery.  Eat a diet rich in proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts.  To avoid hunger, eat six times a day (3 meals and 3 snacks) and avoid sugar.

Addiction Helplines:  Your One-Stop Resource for Drug Addiction and Depression Treatment

Addiction Helplines can help you get the help you need, whether you are ready for drug addiction treatment or have completed a treatment program but are suffering from depression.  Our compassionate treatment specialists will connect you with a rehab, mental health services, or a dual diagnosis program from our vast network of high quality addiction and recovery providers.  We have partnered with the finest treatment programs and professionals in the country and can match you with one that meets your needs and budget.  Call us today at (877) 228-3270.

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alcohol addiction

Alcohol Addiction with 12 Step

Perhaps you heard about 12 step programs and decided to finally seek help for your alcohol addiction. After all, trying to recover on your own just did not work out, even though you tried to quit drinking several times in the past. Receiving addiction recovery with 12 step program treatment became the answer for countless numbers of people over the years, since the publication of the first edition of the “Big Book,” in 1939.

Learn How Others Benefit from Alcohol Addiction Recovery with 12 Step

Research demonstrates that a variety of treatment services proved successful over the past few decades. According to a report published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “The peer-led, voluntary fellowship known as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) continues to be the most widely accessed resource for people with alcohol problems.”

Research also shows that addiction recovery with 12 step programs are often more accessible for many individuals suffering from alcohol abuse or addiction. When searching for treatment for alcohol abuse, the alcoholic or their loved ones often find other types of treatment programs inaccessible. Perhaps there is a long waiting list or maybe you just decide that a particular type of treatment does not meet your needs.

Another feature that may draw some alcoholics to participate in and do very well in their 12 step alcohol addiction recovery program is the fact that, as stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 12 step facilitation is an “active engagement” strategy, meaning that members actively engage with each other. You learn you are not alone and that others have the same or similar experiences as you in battling their alcohol addiction.

Will a 12 Step Program for Alcohol Addiction Help Me?

In Chapter 5 of the Big Book, the first sentence indicates it is rare that a person fails “who has thoroughly followed our path.” The first step of a 12 step program for alcohol addiction requires admitting that you have a problem. If you were not ready to admit you have a problem, you would not seek out a 12 step program for alcohol recovery. You admit that you lost control and cannot stop on your own. So yes, even people like you benefit from 12 step programs and have the potential to recover, to successfully work your program while in 12 step facilitation therapy and after you leave treatment.

Does my Co-occurring Mental Health Disorder Exclude Me from 12 Step?

The Sonoma County AA points to some of the myths and accusations made when an individual in 12 step has a co-occurring disorder, including:

  • If you take medications you are not sober
  • If you suffer from depression, you suffer from untreated alcoholism
  • All the answers are in the Big Book; you do not need any other help

The article states, “All of these statements are opposed to AA’s principles.” Many people continue other types of treatment when participating in the 12 step process and successfully working their program.

Can I Just Attend Meetings?

While Alcoholics Anonymous meetings offer exceptional support for members, it is not a treatment program. Successful completion of a 12 step-oriented alcohol treatment program, along with aftercare, likely offers you the best chance of abstinence and continued sobriety once you return home. When attending meetings in your hometown, without actual treatment, you run a high risk of relapsing. You are too close to those tempting old people, old places, and old things.

Additionally, in “Outcome Research on 12-Step and Other Self-Help Programs,” researchers discovered that when individuals participate in both treatment and 12 step groups, “these two sources of help appear to strengthen or bolster each other.” Those remaining in treatment longer also demonstrated more long-term success, remaining active in AA much longer than individuals only attending meetings.

How do I get started?

Committing to ending your lifestyle of alcohol abuse and entering into 12-step treatment takes a simple first action. Make the call. When you call to get information and arrange for your treatment, you are treated with dignity and respect. Understanding staff can talk you through the process to start your journey to a better lifestyle with the help of services offered through 12-step treatment.

The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team provides assistance to those suffering from addiction and dual diagnosis conditions find a treatment program that fits their specific needs.  The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team will provide a free confidential assessment and insurance verification.  For more information on treatment programs for yourself or a loved one, contact the Inspiration helpline at (877) 854-7515.

12 Step Program in Depression Treatment

Benefit of a 12 Step Program in Depression Treatment

When you feel depressed, completing simple daily tasks become difficult, if not impossible. It is not unusual for a depressed individual to not want to venture outdoors at all, let alone participate in a depression treatment program. However, a 12 step rehab has the potential to offer the guidance, support and other tools necessary for you to live your life free of the despair often felt by depressed individuals.

How Does a 12 Step Program Help?

Documentation supports the fact that 12 step programs helps people suffering from depression. Research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that when clients participate in a 12 step program for depression, those involved in 12 step facilitation (TSF) had significantly lower levels of depression during active treatment as compared to those only receiving Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT).

Can I just get over it?

This is one of the myths associated with depression. While everyone experiences periods of sadness, frustration or feeling “blue,” depression is much different. When you experience actual depression, you lose motivation to even fulfill your normal activities of daily living such as everyday housework or even taking care of daily hygiene. You no longer enjoy activities you used to enjoy. You no longer feel like socializing.

You cannot treat depression yourself. Friends or family members tell you to “Just get over it,” or to “Snap out of it.” Well-meaning people tell you to “Get out of the house and you will feel better.” When suffering from depression you cannot snap out of it. You cannot very well get out of the house and socialize when you do not feel like getting out of bed.

In the PsychCentral article, “12-Steps to Creating Motivation When Depressed,” Nathan Feiles, MSW, LMSW points out that “The simplest of tasks seem to take maximum effort, and sometimes even beyond maximum.” So no, you cannot just get over depression on your own. You need treatment and a 12 step program for depression offers the ideal treatment for many individuals suffering from depression.

How will I benefit from a 12 step program?

The most important factor in depression treatment is that the treatment program offers competent, professional care. The American Psychological Association explains that “Persons with depression who do not seek help suffer needlessly,” and that untreated depression can actually worsen without treatment.

In a 12 step program for depression, you learn that others suffer the same symptoms and feelings that you suffer from. You learn how to deal with your feelings of hopelessness and despair and regain the motivation to perform the same activities you used to perform at home and on-the-job and how to enjoy family and friends once again.

Treatment professionals realize that you cannot achieve full recovery in just a short time. In a 12 step treatment program, you learn and complete steps at your pace, not the pace of everyone else in the 12 step depression rehab program. Treatment professionals do not pressure you, but rather guide you, providing the support and treatment you need.

What if I am dual diagnosis?

Just because you have co-occurring disorders does not mean you cannot succeed in a 12 step treatment environment. In fact, when discussing the likelihood of individuals with mental health disorders attending a 12 step self-help group (SHG) as often as those with only a substance use disorder (SUD), “With the exception of patients with psychotic disorders, these dually diagnosed patients are as likely to attend 12-step SHGs as are patients with only SUDs,” according to results published in “Outcome Research on 12-Step and Other Self-Help Programs.”

Can I Just Talk to Someone and Recover from my Depression?

Talk Therapy is an important component of many treatment programs. However, completing a 12 step program specifically for depression helps individuals suffering from depression recognize each of their symptoms, regain motivation needed to live a happier, more fulfilling life one step at a time. Individuals learn what to do in case of relapse or worsening of their depression symptoms.

How to Get Started on Your Way to 12 Step Depression Rehab Treatment

Staff and administrators at 12 step depression treatment programs have the training and expertise to help you. Taking the first step to make the call to get help is not easy. However, program staff understands and will guide you through the process and answer your questions.

The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team provides assistance to those suffering from addiction and dual diagnosis conditions find a treatment program that fits their specific needs.  The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team will provide a free confidential assessment and insurance verification.  For more information on treatment programs for yourself or a loved one, contact the Inspiration helpline at (877) 228-3270.

residential treatment programs

Deciding if Residential Treatment is Best for Your Loved One

Mental health disorders affect people to different extents. In some cases, the person may live a healthy life through lifestyle changes or possibly a medication. However, not everyone wants to take a drug that changes them or may have harmful side effects when taken long term. In some cases, the mental health disorder affects the person so severely that it takes a toll on his social relationships and even his normal daily living which may require a residential treatment level of care. Read more