What Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Depression?

Life with depression is often challenging. You may experience symptoms that make it difficult to hold a job or be the parent that you want to be. Depression may even make it hard to just wake up and get ready for your day. Severe depression can limit your life when it goes untreated. It can even lead to other mental health challenges such as addiction if you try to self-medicate your symptoms.

Asking what is intensive outpatient treatment for depression is a strong indicator that you already know that you or a loved one needs help, but you might still be unsure of what this type of care involves. Intensive outpatient treatment is specially designed to help people start learning how to manage their mental health conditions with minimal impact on their daily lives. Instead of having to spend the night at a treatment facility, you’ll go home. Many people find this reassuring and easier to plan for when they have responsibilities at home. Learning more about how intensive outpatient treatment addresses depression and other mental health disorders helps you make the best choices for improving your health.

How Do You Know If You Have Depression?

A professional diagnosis is the only true way to know if you have depression since this disorder can often mimic other ones. There are also several different types of depression, and it is important to know which type you have to plan for the right kind of treatment. Depression tends to cause the following symptoms:

  • feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • mood swings that include angry outbursts
  • physical symptoms such as a loss of appetite
  • slowed thoughts or speech patterns
  • difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • sleep disturbances

Most people feel one or two of these symptoms occasionally, but you should be concerned if they last for longer than two weeks. It is also common for people with depression to have only a few of these symptoms, or you might experience all of them. If you experience thoughts of suicide, then it is important to seek emergency medical attention for your own safety. Intensive outpatient treatment can help you begin addressing these symptoms and start putting together a plan that helps you feel better each day.

Are Depression and Addiction Linked?

When it comes to treating depression, you may find that it is necessary to address other mental health disorders. People with depression often turn to drugs or alcohol to help themselves feel better. Unfortunately, this is not successful. Drugs and alcohol might temporarily help you feel better since they create side effects that mask the symptoms of depression.

The problem tends to occur once the effects of the substances begin to wear off. Dealing with withdrawal symptoms on top of your depression can be overwhelming. Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety or feelings of sadness can be added to how you feel with depression, which creates a vicious cycle of drug misuse. In an outpatient program, you’ll learn how to manage your depression through natural methods that make it easier to stop feeling the need to self-medicate.

What Happens In Outpatient Treatment for Depression?

There are several different forms of outpatient treatment, and understanding how an intensive program works helps you to see how it can help you manage your depression without having to plan for a multi-night stay. Intensive outpatient care involves having you come to the treatment facility in the morning for therapy that will continue throughout most of the day. This gives you access to many of the same forms of therapy that you would receive in an inpatient program. Since you won’t be staying overnight, your treatment will be carefully planned to target your specific needs. You’ll likely spend time speaking to a therapist in individual counseling sessions that help you dive deeper into your past history and current challenges. You’ll also go to group therapy sessions that teach you coping skills that include research-based practices such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

As you begin to wrap up your treatment, you’ll focus on how well you implement these new strategies into your life at home so that your therapist can help you fine-tune your plans for recovery. Depending upon your progress, you might also be given the opportunity to engage in follow-up care that helps to slowly wean you off of the intensive treatment program. Are you ready to address your depression in an intensive outpatient treatment program? Reach out to our caring team today at 772-934-6580!