In today’s substance abuse treatment space, many patients suffer from a co-occurring disorder.

Patients use drugs and alcohol to help alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Most patients do not know that they are removing their symptoms of these mental health conditions by abusing drugs and alcohol. They know they “feel” better, however over time, people become addicted to whatever coping mechanism they are using, whether alcohol, heroin, fentanyl, or one of the other widely abused narcotics. The importance of identifying mental health versus substance abuse is vital to treat a patient properly.

What is Depression?

Feeling down from time to time is normal, but when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take hold and won’t go away, you may have depression. More than just sadness in response to life’s struggles and setbacks, depression changes how you think, feel, and function in daily activities. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Just trying to get through the day can be overwhelming.

While some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men, in particular, can feel angry and restless. However, you experience the problem, left untreated, it can become a severe health condition. But it’s important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depression—not the reality of your situation.

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No matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. By understanding the causes and recognizing the different symptoms and types of depression, you can take the first steps to feel better and overcoming the problem.

Common Signs of Depression:

  • Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness

  • Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation

  • Sleep: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep

  • Whole-body: extreme hunger, fatigue, or loss of appetite

  • Cognitive: lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide

  • Weight: weight gain or weight loss

  • Also standard: poor appetite or repeatedly going over thoughts

What Are the Main Causes of Depression?

  • Abuse. Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can make you more vulnerable to depression later in life.

  • Age. People who are elderly are at higher risk of depression. …

  • Certain medications. …

  • Conflict. …

  • Death or a loss. …

  • Gender. …

  • Genes. …

  • Major events.

Depression can be a debilitating event in an individual’s life that can cause loved ones to pull away from the individual because of a lack of understanding, not a lack of love. The support system needs to learn about this mental health disorder to help their loved ones get through and understand these dark parts of their lives. Modern research and technology are both paving the way for new and innovative treatment modalities that are helping professionals find different ways to treat and help reduce symptoms. Virtue Recovery Center utilizes three different modalities to help our patients in finding relief from depression.


At Virtue Recovery Center our licensed Master’s Level therapists utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and general psychotherapy to assist our patients in getting down to the root causes and conditions that drive their depression. This form of intervention can also be used in conjecture with medication management.


Using medications to help treat the symptoms of depression has been an ongoing treatment modality for many years. The psychiatrist at Virtue Recovery Center utilizes many different pharmacological interventions such as SSRIs, antidepressants, Anxiolytics, and antipsychotic medications to help the other treatment interventions work more effectively.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. TMS is typically used when other depression treatments haven’t been effective. This treatment for depression involves delivering repetitive magnetic pulses, so it’s called repetitive TMS or rTMS. Virtue Recovery Center(s) has these machines on-site and provides this treatment as a last line of defense after the traditional treatment methods have shown ineffective.

Why is residential treatment needed for this mental health condition?

Many patients suffer from depression to the extent that it becomes debilitating in their lives, meaning that they cannot function until their depression symptoms become manageable. Like any other form of a medical condition, no one regiment of medications or therapy works for everyone. Being in a residential treatment setting surrounded by medical and clinical professionals figuring out what treatment modalities are working and what are not working allows the changes that need to happen to occur promptly so our treatment team can maximize the results in a short period. Residential treatment may sound like a life shift, leaving behind family, friends, bills, and your job; however, our versed case managers will assist in applying for short-term disability and FMLA so you can concentrate on healing yourself while at Virtue Recovery Center.  

Depression is a mental health condition that can be scary to deal with on your own. Still, you don’t have to be alone. All of our staff are well versed in dealing with co-occurring conditions and can help you learn a new way of life, so you do not have to deal with the extreme lows that feel as if there is no way out. There is a way out, and that way out is talking through your past and present feelings and conditions to learn coping skills to change the way you interact with the world around you. You are worth a happy life, and you can do it.