Approximately 350 million people globally are affected by some form of depression. Whether it’s due to the stigma attached to mental illness or a lack of information, it’s estimated that half of the Americans who struggle with depression, never seek treatment. I’m hopeful that after reading this blog, someone out there will gain the information and courage needed to seek the help they deserve.
– John Mopper, LAC
Types of Therapy for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety in NJ
There are a ton of different types of therapy that are effective in treating depression. I’m going to list a few just to give you a general overview of what to expect.
Negative thought patterns can cause—or contribute—to depression and anxiety, and cognitive therapy aims to turn that thinking around.
During treatment, you’ll learn how to recognize harmful or irrational thoughts and replace them with more constructive ones.
As cognitive therapy targets negative thoughts, behavior therapy can help you overcome problems by changing your behavior.
For example, one common technique to treat anxiety disorders and phobias is “desensitization,” in which a patient is gradually exposed to (or asked to imagine) anxiety-inducing situations as a way to become more comfortable with them.
Behavior therapy is often paired with cognitive therapy in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), an umbrella term that refers to many methods that incorporate both techniques.
In this type of treatment, you’ll learn to distinguish healthy emotional responses from those that are misguided or harmful.
But unlike some types of therapy in which the patient-therapist relationship is strictly neutral, experiential therapy is characterized by the supportive, empathetic relationship that the therapist cultivates with the patient.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a structured therapeutic treatment that emphasizes balance between acceptance and change.
The core skills of DBT are zen mindfulness-based, teaching clients how to increase awareness by noticing thoughts, feelings, and body sensations and then strengthening attention back to the present moment. Over time, this helps clients cultivate the experience of living life from a place of “wise mind”, or centered intuition, instead of reacting to life through behavioral patterns, emotional impulses, and black and white thinking.
Developed in the 1970’s, DBT is one of the most successful and effective treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT also helps reduce impulsive behaviors, such as suicidality, self-harm, substance abuse, eating disordered behavior, aggression, isolation, rumination, dissociation, anxiety, depression and panic attacks. DBT teaches skills to control these behaviors by helping clients build a life worth living through tolerating distress, learning how to bear pain skillfully, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others.
You can learn more about DBT, here.
Levels of Care
The level of care when treating depression varies depending on the severity of the case. It can range from inpatient hospitalization to weekly outpatient meetings with a therapist. In between those levels of treatment, you have Partial Hospitalization Programs and Intensive Outpatient Programs. You can learn more about these levels of care, here.
The Use of Medication in the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety in NJ
Medication is not always necessary in the treatment of depression and anxiety but can be effective in some individuals when combined with therapy.
When treating depression, several drugs are available. Some of the most commonly used include:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Brintellix, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft are newer medicines that both act as SSRIs and also affect other serotonin receptors.
Selective serotonin & norepinephrine inhibitors (SNRIs), such as Cymbalta and Effexor
Tetracyclic antidepressants that are noradrenergic and specific serotonergic anidepressants (NaSSAs), such as Remeron.
Drugs with unique mechanisms such as Wellbutrin.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as Emsam, Nardil, and Parnate.
Your healthcare provider can determine which drug is right for you. Remember that medications usually take four to eight weeks to become fully effective. And if one medication does not work, there are many others to try. In some cases, a combination of antidepressants may be necessary. Sometimes an antidepressant combined with a second antidepressant from a different class, or a different type of medication altogether, such as a mood stabilizer (like Lithium) or atypical antipsychotic (like Seroquel or Abilify can boost the effect of an antidepressant alone.
When treating anxiety disorders, antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs, have been shown to be effective. Other anti-anxiety drugs include the benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Ativan and Xanax. These drugs do carry a risk of addiction or tolerance (meaning that higher and higher doses become necessary to achieve the same effect), so they are not as desirable for long-term use. Other possible side effects include drowsiness, poor concentration, and irritability. Some anticonvulsant drugs (such as Lyrica or Neurontin) and some atypical antipsychotics (such as Abilify or Seroquel) are also occasionally used “off label” to treat anxiety symptoms or disorders.
GenPsych PC Provides Mental Health Services in New Jersey
GenPsych, PC is a NJ outpatient treatment provider with various levels of care. We offer a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Individual Outpatient services at four different locations across NJ. We treat adults, adolescents and children through such modalities as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Art Therapy, Pet Therapy, Music Therapy and Reality Based Interventions. Diagnoses such as, Depression, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Eating Disorders and Substance abuse are all treated by a highly trained staff in a warm, non-judgmental atmosphere.
Learn more about GenPsych’s mission and Mental Health services in New Jersey, here.