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At Milestones Ranch Malibu, we understand how difficult it can for be for individuals suffering from depression as well as those that love them. Our expert medical staff works closely with our experienced and caring clinicians to provide the best treatment for depression possible. Additionally, we treat any addiction or other mental health issue that is present.


What is depression?

We all feel sad or blue occasionally, but these feelings tend to be mild and fade relatively quickly. When these feelings linger and increase in severity, it is often a sign of depression, a disorder which involves feelings of sadness, despair, hopelessness and helplessness, physiological changes, and impairs the client’s daily functioning.

What causes depression?

Depression is often partly attributable to genetic predisposition (it tends be hereditary), as well as stressful and tragic life events, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, health crises, financial difficulties, or other traumatic events. 
Existing coping skills, social support network, and patterns of cognition also play significant roles in one’s ability to cope with any loss. Substance abuse can create or add to existing depressive symptoms, causing chemical changes in the brain that affect mood and thinking patterns. Also, certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can cause depression.

Early life experiences, such as the death of a parent, issues with biological development, school-related problems, abandonment or rejection, neglect, chronic illness, and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse can increase the likelihood of depression in later life.

What are some common symptoms of depression?

  • Sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism or indifference
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Irritability, anger, anxiety
  • Isolation, withdrawal from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once pleasurable
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Change in sleep patterns (inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, or rise in the morning)
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches and pains without a known medical cause

Who is susceptible to depression?

Clinical depression affects about 7–18% of the population on at least one occasion, before the age of 40. Approximately 14 million American adults are annually diagnosed with depression.

Approximately twice as many females as males report depression or receive treatment for clinical depression, though this imbalance is shrinking. This gender disparity is likely due to factors of socialization that encourage help-seeking behaviors in women, while discouraging expression of emotion and help-seeking behaviors in men.

Clinical depression is currently the leading cause of disability in North America, and is expected to become the second leading cause of disability worldwide (after heart disease) by the year 2020, according to the World Health Organization.

Treatment for depression:

Psychotherapy, combined with medication, is generally acknowledged as the best standard of care.

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, the primary modality at Milestones Ranch Malibu, is an evidence-based treatment shown to be effective in diminishing depression. Depressed persons who are able to make corrections in thinking patterns can show improved mood and coping-skills. At Milestones, we help the client change negative thoughts and actions into more balanced, realistic, and positive thoughts and behavior.

Studies have indicated that regular, moderate exercise, when used in conjunction with medication and psychotherapy, has beneficial effects in the reduction of depression, along with proper nutrition.

We hope the information contained in this article has been helpful to you. Depression is one the mental health disorders most amenable and responsive to treatment. Please feel free to contact us at Milestones Ranch Malibu with any questions or comments you may have. Call: (800) 791-6859 for assistance.


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