Major Depression Treatment in San Diego

san diego major depression treatment

What is Major Depression Disorder?

Experiencing periods of sadness or low emotion is normal, especially when dealing with challenging situations such as the loss of a loved one or going through a divorce. However, for individuals who experience persistent despair, sadness, anger, hopelessness, or frustration, they may be dealing with the symptoms of major depression. Statistics show that an estimated 17.3 million adults in the U.S. experience major depression symptoms, which can impact their ability to function in everyday life and work. Major depressive disorder requires treatment from San Diego mental health services, such as Alter Mental Health depression treatment.


How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.


Major depression causes ongoing feelings of low, depressed mood and a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It is a chronic condition but usually occurs in episodes that last several weeks or months. There are several subtypes of major depressive disorder including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), postpartum depression, and atypical depression. Individuals can also experience other mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Anyone can experience major depression. It may be caused by several contributing factors such as an imbalance of brain chemistry, genetics, childhood development, and stressful life events. While it is a lifelong disorder, with the help of medication management and various types of behavioral therapy, individuals can successfully manage their symptoms to enjoy a happier, more productive life. Getting treatment is often the key to successful recovery and preventing the disorder from getting worse leading to a mental health crisis.

Symptoms of Major Depression Disorder

Like other mental health disorders, major depression exists on a spectrum with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Major depression can show up in several different ways. Some people may be withdrawn or apathetic, while others may be irritable and agitated. Every person will experience major depression differently and can include the following symptoms:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
  • Lack of sleep or sleeping too much.
  • Increase in purposeless physical activities, such as pacing, handwringing, or inability to sit still.
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
  • Slow movement or speech.
  • Changes in appetite, either eating too much or too little.
  • Loss of energy and fatigue.
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

It is important to note that it is natural and normal to feel these emotions on occasion, especially during a stressful event such as when grieving, after losing a job, or after a traumatic event. However, individuals who are experiencing temporary depression can still benefit from mental health services in San Diego to help them get through these events and prevent the worsening of symptoms. These types of cases can also lead to a mental health crisis which may require immediate professional intervention especially if there are suicidal thoughts or tendencies.


How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.


Diagnosis: Major Depression Treatment in San Diego

Only healthcare providers can formally diagnose major depression in a person. When experiencing these symptoms, you can talk to your healthcare provider who can take the necessary steps in assessing your situation and referring you to mental health specialists to receive a proper diagnosis. Major depression is often diagnosed through a series of lab tests and mental health screenings. A mental healthcare specialist will ask a series of questions about your symptoms, medical history, and overall state of health. They may also order blood tests or brain scans to rule out any other medical conditions, such as a thyroid disorder, which may be causing your symptoms.

Diagnosing major depression in San Diego is the first step toward recovery. With a proper mental health diagnosis, individuals can receive the proper medication management and therapies needed to manage their symptoms. With the right treatment, individuals with major depression can go on to live full, productive lives.  

Major Depression Treatment Center Options in San Diego

Major depression is a chronic disorder, and a person can manage their symptoms through ongoing medication management, behavioral therapies, and lifestyle changes. Studies have shown that a combination of medication and psychotherapy is more effective than either one alone. Psychotherapy involves talking to a mental health specialist to identify and change unhealthy thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. They may use various types of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) to find what works best for the person. Individuals can access talk therapy through outpatient services once a week or every other week.

Prescription medications used to treat major depression include various types of antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, or norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). These medications may take time to start working and trying more than one medication to figure out what works best. They may also have some side effects, which improve over time.

Self-care techniques are also important for managing depression symptoms, such as getting quality sleep, managing stress, and avoiding misusing alcohol and other substances. Holistic practices such as yoga, acupuncture, and meditation can also help people with major depression find relief from their symptoms.

Like other mental health disorders, major depression can severely worsen and lead to a mental health crisis. If a person is at risk of hurting themselves or others or is unable to take care of themselves because of their mental health, they may need intensive professional treatment through crisis intervention units. Alter Mental Health provides 24-hour monitoring, clinical staff, and necessary treatments to stabilize anyone experiencing a mental health crisis from major depression to quickly get back to their daily life and on the path toward long-term recovery.

Major Depression Treatment Types

Alter Mental Health San Diego understands that every person has unique needs for treating major depression. We provide our clients with several types of therapy and treatment options to create personalized treatment plans that fit those needs. Clinicians use a whole-person approach to treating major depression and other mental health disorders. We look beyond the symptoms of depression to address all areas of a person’s life that may be contributing to or affecting the disorder. Clinicians will use various forms of therapy to find what works best, including:

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented therapy that has been proven effective for treating major depression. Therapists will use CBT at Alter Mental Health San Diego to reduce negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors common in major depression through coping skills training. Treatment typically involves developing constructive and balanced ways of responding to stressors. Clients learn how to be aware and manage emotions, moods, and thoughts in a healthier way to avoid future depressive episodes.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Comprehensive treatment programs at Alter Mental Health will include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which aims to help clients develop emotional regulation skills, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. Ongoing treatment after crisis stabilization is necessary to fully develop and apply the skills taught through DBT, although clients will experience a decrease in depressive symptoms in a relatively short amount of time as well. This is also an effective therapy for managing other mental health symptoms seen in depressive patients including anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)

Major depression disorder can lead to mental health crises that need immediate care and stabilization. Solution-focused therapy (SFT) focuses on creating solutions for current situations instead of focusing on the problem which can help clients quickly get relief from their symptoms. Therapists will help clients explore and use skills, strengths, and abilities they already possess to resolve mental health challenges. SFT has proven successful in helping clients make the necessary changes in their lives which can lead to a brighter outlook.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Personalized treatment plans at Alter Mental Health San Diego may include motivational interviewing (MI), an evidence-based treatment method aimed at helping clients to find the motivation toward self-improvement and change. Depression can cause feelings of self-doubt and lowered self-esteem which can make it difficult to see the ability to get better. MI can empower clients and reduce insecurities that may hinder their ability to continue with treatment and make necessary lifestyle changes.  

Psychoeducational and Process Groups

Our psychoeducational and process groups at Alter Mental Health connect clients with similar mental health diagnoses so they can learn and heal together. Group therapy has many benefits, including reducing isolation and realizing you are not alone in your struggles. Clients can express their concerns and provide mutual support for one another. Psychoeducational and process groups will be led by one or more of our therapists to educate clients about their disorder and learn how to manage symptoms. This is also an excellent way for clients to develop and practice interpersonal skills learned in therapy.

Holistic Practices

Alter Mental Health San Diego takes a whole-person approach to treating major depression. Holistic practices aim to heal the body, mind, and spirit simultaneously so clients can heal the root causes of their mental health disorders. Part of our holistic practices include nutritional therapy and physical exercise which can help the brain regulate biochemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain naturally. Clients will learn how self-care techniques can reduce future depressive episodes and live a happier, healthier life.


How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.


Why Choose Alter Mental Health for Major Depression Treatment in San Diego, CA

Alter Mental Health San Diego offers a comfortable, private, and safe alternative to inpatient hospitalization for major depression. Our crisis stabilization provides 24-hour monitoring, therapy, and medication management to help clients quickly regain control of their mental health. Clinicians will conduct a thorough evaluation upon being admitted to properly diagnose and create an effective personalized treatment plan. Therapies take a holistic, whole-person approach to ensure we treat every unique aspect of each client’s major depression. Clients will build a solid foundation to manage their mental health and have the necessary referrals for ongoing services so they can continue the path toward recovery.   

If you or someone you know is struggling with major depression, Alter Mental Health San Diego offers the necessary monitoring and treatment needed in mental health crises. Please call us today at 866-986-1481 to speak to an assessment counselor and learn more about our holistic mental health services in San Diego.