Understanding and Treating

Depression at Pathways Behavioral Health

Depression is a pervasive and serious mental health issue affecting millions of individuals across the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 17.3 million adults in the U.S. have had at least one major depressive episode. This number represents 7.1% of all U.S. adults. Alarmingly, the same data shows that only a fraction of individuals suffering from depression receive treatment, highlighting the critical role of facilities like Pathways Behavioral Health in providing accessible and effective care.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that affects how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. There are several different types of depression, each with its unique set of symptoms and risk factors:

  1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): This is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, difficulty concentrating, and physical symptoms such as changes in appetite and sleep patterns.
  2. Persistent Depressive Disorder: This type, also known as dysthymia, involves the same symptoms as MDD but lasts for at least two years.
  3. Bipolar Disorder: Previously known as manic depression, individuals with bipolar disorder experience episodes of extreme highs (mania) and extreme lows (depression).
  4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Depressive episodes occur during specific seasons, typically the colder, darker winter months.
  5. Postpartum Depression: This type of depression occurs after childbirth and can manifest symptoms such as extreme sadness, anxiety, and fatigue that may make it difficult for new mothers to care for themselves or others.
  6. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): A severe, sometimes disabling extension of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) associated with significant mood shifts, irritability, depression, or anxiety in a week or two before your menstrual period starts.
  7. Situational Depression: Unlike the other forms of depression, situational depression is triggered by a traumatic event or significant life change. Symptoms are similar to those of MDD but are usually resolved once the individual has processed and come to terms with the triggering event.

Remember, each type of depression has its unique set of symptoms and risk factors. It’s crucial to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan from a healthcare professional, including psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these treatments.

Depression at Pathways Behavioral Health

What are the Risk Factors

for Depression?

Depression, a complex mental health condition, has multiple risk factors. It’s important to note that depression can affect anyone, regardless of age, and its causes are often a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Here are some of the key risk factors:

  • Genetics: If there’s a history of depression in your family, you’re more likely to experience it yourself. Depression can be due to certain genes that make an individual more susceptible to developing depression.
  • Trauma: Experiencing traumatic events, especially during childhood, can trigger changes in the brain that may lead to depression later on in life.
  • Substance Abuse: The use of alcohol or drugs can contribute to depressive disorders and complicate the treatment process.
  • Biochemical Factors: Depression may be triggered when neurotransmitters in the brain are out of balance. These chemicals play a significant role in regulating mood.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions such as chronic illnesses, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can increase the risk of depression.
  • Death or Loss: Grieving the death of a loved one or dealing with a major loss can sometimes trigger depression.

It’s important to note that depression can affect anyone, regardless of age, and its causes are often a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. In order to understand if you are experiencing depression, you will need to be examined by a medical professional. Only a qualified mental health professional can determine what your specific symptoms mean.

Coping Strategies for Depression

Coping strategies are techniques that help an individual deal with stressful situations. They can be essential in managing depression. Here are some of the key strategies:

  • Psychoeducation: Understanding depression is a crucial step in managing it. By learning about the symptoms, causes, and treatments, you can better understand what you’re experiencing.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness involves staying focused on the present moment, which can reduce depressive symptoms. Techniques may include meditation, yoga, and other relaxation exercises.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help you manage depression by changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. This can improve mood and reduce feelings of depression.
  • Social Support: Connecting with supportive friends, family members, or support groups can provide emotional assistance. Social interaction can significantly improve your mood and outlook.

Remember, it’s important to consult with healthcare professionals when dealing with depression. They can provide tailored advice and treatment options based on your specific needs.


 Changes for Depression

Lifestyle changes can also have a significant impact on managing depression. Making small but routine shifts in your behavior can lead to lasting changes. These include:

Regular Exercise:

Regular physical activity increases the production of endorphins, known as “feel-good” hormones, which act as natural anti-depressants.

Balanced Diet:

Eating a balanced diet can boost your overall health and mood. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, and folic acid, such as spinach and avocado, can help ease depression symptoms.

Adequate Sleep:

Depression often involves sleep problems. Ensuring you get sufficient quality sleep can have a significant positive effect on your mood and energy levels.

Limit Alcohol and Avoid Drugs:

These substances can increase depression severity and make it harder to treat. It’s best to limit or avoid them.

Remember, it’s important to consult with healthcare professionals when dealing with depression. They can provide tailored advice and treatment options based on your specific needs.

Treating Depression at

Pathways Behavioral Health

At Pathways Behavioral Health, we believe in a comprehensive approach to treating depression. Our treatment modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and medication-assisted therapy. In CBT and DBT, our highly trained therapists work with individuals to recognize negative thought patterns and develop coping strategies to manage depressive symptoms.

Depression can also be treated with various forms of medication, ranging from Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) to Atypical Antidepressants. The choice of medication is highly individual and depends on the patient’s unique symptoms and health history.

Our Programs

Pathways BH offers different levels of care to suit the needs of our clients. These include Outpatient Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Our Outpatient Treatment includes individual therapy and group therapy sessions tailored to the client’s needs. The IOP is a more intensive program designed for individuals requiring a higher level of care.

Depression at Pathways Behavioral Health

Reach Out for Depression Treatment in NJ

Depression can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone, and help is available. If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, reach out to Pathways Behavioral Health. We’re committed to providing compassionate, evidence-based care to help individuals conquer depression and reclaim their lives. Contact us today for more information about our depression programs.

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