Treatment of depression
Treatment of depression is relatively recent in reference to its effectiveness. Depression is a word coined in English language; it comes from the Latin word depressus and the prefix premere, which means “exert force downward”. Nowadays depression belongs in the mood disorders or affective disorders categories. Whenever the term affection is mentioned in psychology, psychiatry and other related sciences, we will be referring to mood.
A person’s mood has basically two directions of drives, so it is bidirectional: depression can lean toward sadness, melancholy or profound mood depression, or can rise up to happiness and euphoria. In the case of depressions, this is essentially understood as hypothymia and dysthymia: hypothymia is a diminished kind of mood whereas dysthymia is in essence a much more active kind of mood.
From an anthropological standpoint, depression goes through the lens of a trans-cultural view, considered as a meta-concept, that is to say, it has been present forever, in different civilizations and cultures. When we talk about depression historically, we must go back to the exact origins of this deep sadness. For example, the Bible contains so many citations of characters who suffered profound grief, who tried to boost their mood with chants and psalms.
In ancient times a depressed person was deemed a possessed person, who had decided to lose motivation or feel sad. Depression, just like any other mental disease, is not a personal decision; no human being decides purposely to be addicted, schizophrenic, depressed or bipolar.
Philippe Pinel, regarded as the father of modern psychiatry, came up with a classification of different psychic disorders: those deriving in melancholies, alterations of intellectual functions; manias, excessive nervous excitations, with or without delirium; dementias, alterations of the process of thought; and idiocy, conceived as the detriment of intellectual faculties and affections. Pinel himself was the person in charge of taking treatments up to a more humanized level. Treatment therapies prior to Pinel were worse practices even for slaves and animals, in terrible overcrowding conditions, including even physical torture, as intellectual resources to guide treatment were inexistent. Painful procedures was the only way to trigger certain changes in the patients, which was absolutely cruel and degrading.
Years later would appear Emil Kraepelin, father of modern nosology, the man responsible for arranging the most scientific classifications of the different mental diseases, who also described manic-depressive psychosis; in addition, Kraepelin defined depression as involutive or regressive melancholy. This is how the nosological and nosotaxic criteria of depressive diseases was born. In time, it is understood that a person with depression is a human being, an integral being with a soul, a spirit, with illusions and dreams, so often truncated by this disease. Alcoholism can well be treated and responds satisfactorily to the Integral Approach-based treatment we offer at Future Function Rehabilitation and Detox Center.
Many years ago, desert monks differentiated the capital sins, or vices of the soul ―according to them, there were eight of these sins: the same seven we speak of nowadays, plus cowardice―. They later attempted to add sadness to the list; however, when Pope Gregory coined the official list of capital sins or vices, sadness was left out.
We cannot give a disease a connotation of a disease. Even worse, these psychic diseases (those of thought, emotion and affection) were all given demonic attributions. It was actually at the onset of the XXI century that depression would be definitely conceived as a disease.
Depression is not exogenous, there is not a unique intrinsic factor with it in the environment or surroundings. On the contrary, it is endogenous; some endogenous factors include mourning someone’s passing, suffering financial loss, failing at university or losing a job, and it is crucial to comprehend how these events are of easy occurrence in real life. When symptoms related to these and other circumstances prevail, depression can be diagnosed as such. Depression is of an endogenous origin, meaning it happens intrinsically within the brain, inside its functionality in association with a neurotransmitter, serotonin, whose job is to help regulate the person’s mood.
Treatment procedures for depression find some of their roots in ancient Greece in terms of transcendence and life meaning, and later on in the processes of spiritual intelligence described in the famous Letter to Diognetus. After the first schools of psychology, philosophical schools also emerge, and even medical psychology or psychiatry strongly influences philosophy. Sigmund Freud himself, with his psychoanalysis, was the first person who started showing certain effectiveness in the treatment of depression, when psychopharmacology was not still talked about nor made reference of back then.
In essence, psychopharmacology is the science that has been able to design certain medications or medical drugs, which exert a definitive influence upon the brain’s regular/normal performance. The arrival of 1950 saw the start of the development of certain medical drugs: tricyclic antidepressants came first, followed by benzodiazepine-type anxiolytics, then antidepressants such as fluoxetine and others that inhibit serotonin. It was this how pharmacological treatment for depression began to show effective results. Generally, when depression runs its course, psychopharmacological work is absolutely necessary.
When we refer to integral/integrative therapy we mean bidirectional therapy as well. This means therapy consists of the integrated work of a variety of professionals who work on/with the patient, not separately but jointly. This series of techniques was described by one of the personality study greats in the past century, John G. Gunderson, who indicated how prognostics will be notably more favorable when there is a solid work of psychotherapy, psycho-spiritual counseling and psychopharmacology. Treatment at Future Function Rehabilitation and Detox Center, which unite the spiritual and the scientific, guarantee you will receive comprehensive, integral, integrative treatment, which will be of immense benefit for the prognostic. Our statistics and figures have been totally favorable, as backed up by factual evidence.
In treatment of depression, when conducted under a cognitive-behavioral approach, for example, ―it is worth mentioning Aaron T. Beck and his celebrated trio of the origins of depression, more psychological than neurobiological― there is a flaw in connection with self-concept, a completely devalued self, the perception of a hostile environment and the perception of an utterly bleak, miserable future. This gives birth to fatalistic projections, poor self-concept and, in general, a severe deterioration that, sooner or later, will result in a motivational syndrome.
Motivational syndrome is basically a loss of interest, not only in the human being’s actions or circuits that bring pleasure after making an effort, but also a loss of interest in everyday activities such as eating, bathing and leaving home. Therefore, people suffering a depressive disorder close in on themselves, secluding themselves in their homes or even in their bedrooms. Besides, other pathologies come along, such as alcoholism, a variety of addictions, and also disorders the likes of agoraphobia, or even suicide.
This justifies why it is so important to advance a diagnostic approach from the start and establish both exogenous and endogenous factors, determining whether there is some sort of brain deficit, the reason why we must help ourselves with all the techniques of orthomolecular psychiatry. These techniques will help the brain by supplying minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids and salts for the brain to be able to carry out a highly neuroplastic process on its own, in order to regulate its different balances. In this manner, a well nourished brain will favor the production of a homeostatic equilibrium of these processes, essential to the connectivity of neuronal networks.
Our treatment of depression goes way beyond the approach a psychiatric clinic can provide, since we treat our patients in very small groups; we practically offer personalized service which makes it impossible to mask diagnoses and to leave patients without a real benefit of the pharmacological treatment, the way it happens in many other clinics. We offer pharmacological treatment with the best psychiatrists, solidly backed up by their specializations, attendance to the best world congresses, subject matter updates and constant reading of the most advanced knowledge available.
At Future Function Rehabilitation and Detox Center treatment for depression does not only tackle first order symptoms but also digs more deeply, caring for second order symptoms. In this manner, we help patients through all these techniques of counseling, psychology, psychiatry and spiritual techniques of reconciliation and re-signification so patients are able to transcend and find a reason to live and what for. We do support our patients to consolidate a life plan and to develop a fully spiritual sense and meaning of life. Our goal is for our patients to be useful to themselves and to others by elevating, in fact, the global functioning school. We help our patients generate well-being in all of their areas of development for them to achieve self-fulfillment, something of the utmost importance in addictive disorders as well as in mental health diseases, even in depression. The best shield against depression is self-fulfillment, self-realization.
It is crucial to carry out a thorough treatment of depression, one which favors self-esteem, self-control, and leads the person toward the highest of character goodness, autonomy. This means to help people to lift up themselves with self-control, developing proper, sufficient self-esteem. We conceive autonomy as the person’s ability for self-sufficiency in terms of being capable of supplying for him/herself, if not totally, at least partly in their everyday life, and we mean not only material goods but also internal control. During the process of treating depression, the person is always taught to utilize all the assertiveness tools for him/her to express their thoughts and views with freedom so that the individual will not repress their emotions thus being more resilient.
We work with a multi-factorial approach, sustained by psychoanalytical techniques, psychology and cognitive-behavioral perspectives. We strive for the person to reach compliance (as described through existential humanistic constructivism), the being’s ability of acting in favor of their own principles, their own precepts ―beyond the ability to maneuver their impulses under pressure in order to avoid anxieties or searching for pleasure―, thus becoming a self-fulfilled, happier, more peaceful and self-realized individual, with more inner plenitude.