So Depressed Cant Function

Anyone who has ever suffered through a bout of prolonged depression can attest to how depleted it makes you feel. In what seems like an instant, you feel so down that you can’t function. Even the most mundane tasks are so hard to complete.

The effects of the depression touch all aspects of life. Coworkers will complain that you are not pulling your weight. Loved ones will feel they are being neglected. Even your health will begin to suffer. Depression is a serious mental illness that should not be ignored.

Crawling out of the dark hole of depression takes effort. When in the thick of it you might not feel you can muster up the strength to beat it. But with expert psychiatric help, and lots of patience, daily functioning and quality of life will be restored.

What Causes Depression?

Why do some people manage to cycle through setbacks while others get stuck in depression? Life events, such as loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or financial problems can be so hard. Why are some people better able to cope with these?

Science is still unclear about the exact cause of major depression. Studies are ongoing, seeking answers through the study of the brain, gut health, and genetic markers. Still, depression is complex and hard to get a handle on.

There are some factors that can lead to depression. These include:

  • Genetics. Family members who also have struggled with depression.
  • Abuse. Past history of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Trauma. Seeing or experiencing a highly traumatic event.
  • Loss. Sudden loss of a loved one.
  • Health problems. Some health issues can cause symptoms of depression.
  • Medications. Certain drugs can cause depression.
  • Substance abuse. Depression can co-occur with substance abuse.

The Symptoms of Depression

When you are not being able to function at even the routine daily tasks, you may indeed have depression. According to the DSM-5, depression exists when the symptoms (a cluster of five or more) persist for more than two weeks. The symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sadness or despair most of the time.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Slowed thought functions and movements.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Sudden weight change.
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyed.
  • Feelings of guilt or shame.
  • Having trouble making decisions or staying focused.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

How is Depression Treated?

The treatment plan for major depression includes both antidepressants and therapy. In recent years, holistic therapies have been also found to enhance the overall treatment outcomes.

Antidepressant Drug Therapy

Currently, there are about thirty antidepressant drugs on the market. These drugs are classified into four groups, including:

  •  SSRI
  •  SNRI
  •  MAOI
  • Tricyclics

These drugs remain the core treatment method for depression. The effects of the medication may take 4-6 weeks to be felt. Sometimes doses need to be tweaked or other drugs trialed to find the best fit.

Antidepressants come with an array of side effects that make these drugs hard to prescribe. A doctor will weigh the benefits against the side effects when he or she decides to prescribe them. Common side effects include weight gain, sexual issues, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, and insomnia.


Psychotherapy is part of the core treatment for depression. The type of therapy chosen is based on the type of issues that factor into the depression. Psychotherapy can be offered in one-on-one sessions as well as group sessions.

Some of the types of therapy include:

  • CBT. CBT is a short-term therapy that assists patients in changing thoughts that hurt their mental health. They are taught to reshape them towards more positive thoughts while also changing behaviors.
  • DBT. DBT helps patients manage emotions and better cope with stress. DBT also helps teach healthy interpersonal skills.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy. Focuses on feelings and pain caused by past events, trauma, or childhood issues.
  • Interpersonal Therapy. Focuses on relationships, social skills, and helps with problem areas that might be factors in depression.
  • MBCT. Combines cognitive therapy with mindfulness to manage thoughts.

Holistic Therapies for Depression

There are some actions that can help a patient better manage their emotions and stress levels. When stress is controlled it can help to improve mood. Knowing how mind and body connect, mental health workers now include these in treatment. Some of these actions include:

  • Keep a journal. Patients find relief when they unload their thoughts and feelings on to the written page. This helps reduce the power of the problem while also helping them to process their feelings.
  • Mindfulness. This can help patients focus on the present moment instead of being distracted by negative thoughts.
  • Acupuncture: This ancient practice has shown promise as a natural treatment for helping to reduce low mood. Tiny needles are placed at certain parts of the body to help balance energy flow.
  • Aromatherapy. Certain essential oils can help boost mood. The essence of the oil is diffused into the air to be inhaled, or is rubbed onto certain points on the body.
  • Yoga. The yoga postures combined with deep breathing can increase GABA and help patients find some relief from depression symptoms.
  • Exercise. Regular cardio exercise is also a mood booster. This is because it can produce hormones that impact our state of mind. It can also help improve sleep quality and regulate stress, both of which will contribute to wellbeing.
  • Diet. A diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and fresh veggies and fruits also helps our mood.

When you feel like you can’t function it is time to seek help. There are many ways to improve mood and thus improve your life. Seek the mental health help you need today.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Comprehensive Depression Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a residential mental health program in L.A. If you are feeling so depressed that you can’t function, contact the team at Elevation. We are here to help you overcome depression and get your life back. Contact us today at (888) 561-0868.

Can You Go to Rehab for Depression

When you think of rehab, you probably think most often of treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. Many people, though, seek help at residential treatment centers every year for mental health issues. Inpatient treatment for depression can help improve the life of someone struggling with this serious mental health problem.

If you are having thoughts about harming yourself, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Understanding Depression

Depression is not something to be taken lightly. Nearly 7% of American adults are experiencing major depression in any given year. Pause for a moment and think about this. Take a sports stadium holding 40,000 people. This would mean that about 2800 people in the crowd have depression. It helps you see just how many people struggle with this difficult issue.

There are different types of depression. These may include major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, substance-induced depressive disorder, and postpartum depression. Since there are many types of depression, it is important to seek help from a trusted mental health worker. These experts can identify the exact type of depression, which allows them to treat it.

There are many self-help resources available, like anxiety and depression worksheets, self-help books, and support networks. Dealing with depression, though, often requires clinical therapy and medication. By working with a therapist and/or psychiatrist, you can get the right help. They will address the depression and help you recover fully. Without help, depression can escalate. There are many adverse affects of untreated depression.

According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, people with depression are four times as likely to have heart attacks. Depression is the cause of over ⅔ of suicides in the United States. There is no need to suffer like that. The National Institute of Health estimates that about 80% of those who seek help will improve in only 4-6 weeks. Sadly, over half of people who suffer from depression never seek clinical help.

Rehab for Depression and Anxiety Near Me

rehab for depression

While therapy, support groups, and meds can all be useful in treating depression, sometimes you may need a higher level of care. There are treatment centers that care for people struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Some of these rehabs address co-occurring disorders. This means the person has both a mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder.

At a rehab for depression, patients are offered professional care to help them recover. Through various types of therapy, the person works with a trained clinician to address their issues and improve. These therapies include CBT, interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and more.

In many cases, antidepressants and mood stabilizers are prescribed. A doctor will review each patient to determine his or her needs. During their stay, the person’s state of mind is closely observed to tell whether the medication is working. Together with the support network and therapy offered, the person improves. Slowly they begin to climb out of the depressed state.

Treatment centers that are primarily addiction rehabs may not have the right staff or program to address mental health disorders. Can you go to rehab for depression? Yes. But make sure you find a program that is truly equipped to help. With proper help at a depression rehab facility, people have the opportunity to fully recover and improve their quality of life. Depression is highly treatable.

When to Seek Inpatient Treatment for Depression

It may be helpful to seek help from a psychologist as a first step. As you build a relationship with a therapist, they will get to know your needs. Although depression will surface in certain ways, we are all unique. When a trained therapist sees you in ongoing sessions they begin to develop a plan for your care. Their expert help will go a long way in helping you manage your depression and improve your quality of life.

If you think you may need help, reach out. Find a center that offers inpatient treatment for depression and give them a call. We are just not equipped to figure out our depression on our own. Although you may not feel that you need inpatient treatment, it could perhaps be beneficial.

The biggest piece here to remember is that there are professionals out there to walk you through your situation. Suffering from any depressive disorder is painful, difficult, and can leave us feeling hopeless. Nobody has to go it alone. There are people willing to guide you through finding treatment, but first you need to ask for help. Although it may not feel like it, depression can be treated. It may take a little time to find the best treatment, but there are many methods out there. Reach out and get the help you need and deserve.

care for a loved one with mental illness

COVID-19 changed our world drastically.

There is never-ending news, alerts, bans, orders, double notifications, shortages, diplomacy, financial consequences. Most are too heavy to handle and absorb. The mental tension will calm down after the initial uncertainty, worries, anger, and frustration. Many would adapt to the growing environment as we adapted to the twists and turns of life.

It is important to keep in mind some of these symptoms are encountered by everyone from time to time, but may not inherently mean a person is depressed. Likewise, not every person who has depression would show any of those signs.

The real imbalance is of particular concern to those who lack social support. Depression risk factors, experience, and community supports can make it harder for others to adapt. Many with complex transition responses with signs of chronic distress, excessive anxiety, obsessions, isolation, and traumatic stress may suffer long-term consequences.

More so, in struggling days like this, there are many ways on how to cope with depression such as engaging in many entertaining online courses or enrolling in music lessons. Well, we got more for you.

Here, we have provided you a good read that would help you know how to care for a loved one with mental illness during lockdown.

Let’s start off with:

How Might the Pandemic Affect Those Experiencing Depression?

The tension of social isolation, anxiety about work, finances, and wellbeing and the intense feeling of deprivation that most of us are facing at the moment could intensify symptoms of depression if you have been already diagnosed.

Everything can feel incredibly gloomy and helpless when you’re suffering from depression. This will mess with your ability to think rationally, destroy your strength, and makes it terribly hard to keep going through the day challenging.

Signs That Someone May Be Depressed

Feeling down occasionally is a normal part of growing up. However, depression is considered when thoughts and feelings like despair and hopelessness take shape and just don’t go away.

More often than mere sadness in reaction to the difficulties and missteps of life, depression affects the way you think, feel, and function in everyday activities. It can interfere with learning, work, eat, sleep, and better living. It can be unbearable only to try and get through the day.

Tips to Help Someone Who Seems Down:

It is natural to feel down, or discouraged from time to time. But if those emotions last two weeks or more than that, or begin to affect daily life, it can be a symptom of depression.

Depression can unfold slowly. Someone who is miserable does not always realize or recognize that they do not feel or act as they normally do. It is often a friend, family member, or carer who first discovers the need for support. They may be encouraging their family member or friend to see their GP or finding some other support.

Here are the tips you should take note of.

  • Learn About Depression on Your Own

How many instances have you seen anyone sound sad because they’re a little frustrated or angry about it? Many may use the term ‘depression’ to describe a lot many different items, or just to make comments. But depression is truly a disease we all need to take at face value. It is natural to feel sad occasionally. While feeling depressed is a warning that you may require extra help.

You should therefore also know yourself that mental illnesses are diseases that affect your mind. Depression has an influence on your attitude and the way you act. It leaves you feeling very close to zero, helpless, or unhappy. Changes of attitude in certain areas of your life will trigger major changes.

  • Accept Them as They Are, Without Judging Them

When someone you love is distressed, there are a variety of complicated feelings you may feel, including hopelessness, disappointment, rage, anxiety, remorse, and sorrow. All those sentiments are reasonable. It isn’t easy to deal with depression from a friend or family member. And it may get frustrating if you ignore your own wellbeing.

That being said, if your loved one is to survive, your friendship and help will be essential. You can help them recover with depressive symptoms, surmount bad emotions, and restore their energy, positivity, and life enjoyment.

Begin by learning everything you can regarding depression as well as how to talk to your friend or relative about it. Even when you step out, don’t neglect to look after your own mental health — you’ll want it to get your loved one’s all-out help.

  • Talk and Be Open

The mere act of conversing face to face can sometimes be a huge blessing to someone experiencing depression. Motivate the depressed person to speak about their emotions and be ready without judgment to listen.

Don’t expect the end of a single conversation. Depressed people tend to retreat and dissociate themselves from others. You might need to communicate your interest and ability to listen again and again. Be patient and yet strong.

  • Listen and Reflect

Even when you speak to others about depression it is hard to know what to do. You could be afraid that the person might get angry, feel offended, or disregard your worries if you start bringing up your concerns. You can be uncertain as to what questions to pose, or how to answer them.

It is important to remember that it is much more essential to be an empathetic listener than to give advice. You needn’t try to “fix” your friend or family member; you just need to be a good listener.

  • Offer Practical Support

Your loved one may not realize they ‘re coping with anxiety, or they may be uncertain how to find help. Also though they realize counseling could improve, finding a psychiatrist and scheduling an appointment may be overwhelming.

When your partner seems to be engaging in therapy, try to have them review therapists. You will help your friend remember questions to ask future therapists in their first appointment and the stuff they want to say.

Inspiring them to make that first meeting, and continuing to support them, can be so beneficial if they find it difficult.

  • Try to Be Patient

Depression usually develops with treatment, although a lengthy phase that requires some different techniques may be required. Until they discover something that improves their problems, they can need to seek a few specific therapy strategies or drugs.

Yet good treatment doesn’t necessarily mean sadness falls away absolutely. Your friend might keep on having symptoms from time to time. While, they are sure to experience some positive days, and some bad days.

Stop thinking a decent day means they ‘re “healed,” and seek not to get upset if a series of rough days makes it seem as though your friend’s never getting better.

  • Get Support for Yourself

If you’re worried about those struggling with stress, it’s easy to drop everything and be at their side and support them. Wanting to help a friend is not wrong but taking care of your own needs is also essential.

Setting limits can help. You could let your friend realize, for example, that you are ready to connect when you get home after work.

When you’re concerned about them thinking they can’t touch you, so try to help them come with a backup plan if they need you throughout your working day. That may mean having a number that they should dial or coming up with a code word that they should send to you while in distress.

You will be promising to come every other day or carry a meal twice a week, rather than wanting to support daily. Engaging other friends might help make a bigger base of connections.

Bottom Line:

When you’re particularly worried about your loved one, you may fear that referencing them could trigger suicidal thoughts. Yet simply speaking about it is good. Ask your loved one if they have contemplated suicide seriously. They might want to speak about it to someone but are confused about how to bring up the tough subject.

Empower them to explore certain feelings with their psychiatrist, whether they have not already done so. Volunteer to help them develop a safety plan that they can use if they think they can act upon those thought processes.

i don't want to get out of bed

Learn About the Symptoms of Depression

Our mental health may be more fragile than we realize. We all have a certain amount of resilience, but when events begin to spiral our mental health can really suffer. This is when depression can set in.

Depression is a very common mental health issue. More than 17 million adults struggle with this mental health problem every year. Depression takes a toll on many aspects of daily life. It hurts our relationships, our careers, and our health.

When depression becomes so severe that you can’t get out of bed anymore it is time to get some help. There are treatment methods that can help manage the symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

The Signs of Severe Depression

It is hard to describe severe depression to someone who has never felt its affects. Loved ones may wonder why you can’t just snap out of it. It helps for these folks to have a better sense of what depression looks like. Symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad. Feeling hopeless and sad is a main symptom of depression. The person sees him or herself in a bad light. He or she might even blame themselves for what they see as their faults and flaws.
  • Changes in Eating Habits. There may be a sudden change in weight. Some may have an increased appetite and eat more as a way to cope. This results in weight gain. Others may become so depressed that they have no desire to feed themselves. This can lead to weight loss.
  • Loss of Interest.  One of the most common signs of severe depression is the sudden loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. When so depressed, they have no desire to attend social events or to even see friends.
  • Sleep Disturbances. Feeling depressed can cause changes in sleep habits. In some cases the person will wants to sleep much more than normal. It can also cause problems falling asleep or staying asleep.

Additional Symptoms include:

  • Anger or Feeling Irritable. Anger symptoms are more common in depressed men, although depressed women can also exhibit mood swings. The source of the anger may be due to frustration or a sense of feeling out of control. Depression can make someone feel annoyed and even prone to angry outbursts.
  • Fatigue.  A pronounced loss of energy is one of the common signs of severe depression. The person feels so tired they can barely function. Even daily hygiene habits or fixing meals requires too much effort.
  • Increased Substance Use.  Some who feels very depressed may begin to self-medicate through the use of a substance. Substance abuse is a reaction to feelings of despair. The person may drink or use drugs to numb the emotional pain.
  • Suicidal Ideation. People who are depressed often obsess about dying or even taking their own life. In fact, 90% of the individuals who commit suicide had an underlying mental health disorder like depression.

Suicide Warning Signs

Recent statistics show that more people in the United States now die by suicide than in car accidents. About 44,000 adults choose to end their lives each year. In many cases, there may have been red flags that were missed. These warning signs and symptoms might include:

  • Symptoms of depression
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Feeling guilt or shame
  • Anger
  • Substance abuse
  • Avoid family and friends
  • Aggression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Over sleeping
  • Saying they are a burden to others
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Saying they have no reason to live
  • Sharing that they are in pain
  • Gives away prized things
  • Talks of killing self

In the event a loved one is showing signs of a mental health crisis or suicide warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Treatment for Depression

When someone is in the grip of depression they may not be aware of how serious the problem has become. Often it is a loved one who becomes alarmed at the rising signs of depression in their family member. They will then reach out to a mental health worker to get the person help.

Depression treatment consists of a blend of antidepressants and therapy. Other actions, such as yoga and mindfulness training can increase the effects of the treatment. Changes in diet and getting daily exercise can also improve mood.


Medication is the first-line treatment for people with depression. Antidepressants are drugs, such as SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, or tricyclics that help adjust brain chemistry. Over time these drugs can reduce the symptoms of depression.

Therapy sessions

One-on-one talk therapy sessions can help to guide the person toward new thinking patterns. Changing thought patterns also changes the attitude. Also, any past trauma, childhood abuse, grief and loss, divorce, or other painful life events can be worked through.

Support groups

Small groups discuss topics introduced by the therapist. This helps the group members to engage in sharing their feelings and life stories. This provides a sense of peer support with others who are also struggling with depression.

Holistic therapies

There is a growing trend in mental health treatment to include holistic therapies as part of the treatment of depression. These can help reduce stress and help create feelings of inner peace and calm. These include massage, yoga, art therapy, and mindfulness.

If there is a mental health crisis, like a suicide attempt, a higher level of care is proper. A treatment program that offers acute stabilization and extended care for severe depression would be needed. The residential rehab setting can provide a more focused treatment plan for a loved one with depression.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Depression Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a full-spectrum mental health center that provides mental health treatment in a private home setting. We also offer transitional housing and outpatient services. Elevation Behavioral Health believes in a combined approach to treating depression. This involves evidence-based therapies and holistic activities for a well-rounded program. For more details about our program, please reach out to us today at (888) 561-0868.

depression risks in young adults during covid

Studying the effects of the pandemic on various age groups is revealing a startling picture of how the COVID-19 crisis is negatively impacting young adults in particular. So much of the focus has centered on the health risks for older Americans with underlying health conditions who are vulnerable to the virus. It hadn’t really been considered until recently how deeply this pandemic was affecting young adults.

Think about it. Young adulthood, which includes men and women between the ages of 18-30, is the time when young people are just getting started in their lives. But now with the pandemic, they may be college students who have had their classes moved online. They may be a newly married couple just starting out having to shelve their plans to buy a home. Or maybe a young adult who had finally landed the plum job in 2019, only to be furloughed or laid off in 2020. It is easy to understand why this age cohort has been dealing with rising debilitating depression rates.

The depression risks in young adults during COVID-19 are substantial. These young people have basically had their dreams cancelled while in the prime of life. Because of their youth they may not have the life experience to maintain a healthy perspective that this too shall pass, and instead become despondent and hopeless thinking the COVID-19 event will never end.

How the Pandemic has led to Higher Depression Rates in Young Adults

Since childhood, young adults had been groomed to look forward to a promising future. They were encouraged to complete a college education and to pursue career paths that would hopefully prove successful. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned all of that on its head, at least for the time being. For college-aged young adults, the internships or part-time summer jobs were likely cancelled, as were study-abroad programs and most forms of travel. In fact, a survey taken among college students by the non-profit Active Minds showed that 80% of those questioned said COVID-19 had negatively impacted their mental health, and of those 20% reported their mental health had significantly worsened during the pandemic.

As a result of academic or career goals being stalled, some depression risks in young adults have arisen during COVID. Some may be struggling with social isolation due to distancing guidelines, which only enhances the symptoms of depression. Young adults place a high value on socializing and indeed thrive on social interactions, so when deprived of this core aspect of their lives it can lead to depression.

Young families have also been met with real mental health challenges. Unemployment has crippled many young adults, and spotty financial relief packages have not been dependable. For a young parent with children to support, this inability to earn an income can cause feelings of guilt, shame, or despair.

Depression Risks in Young Adults

When discussing depression in young adults you cannot avoid acknowledging the very real risk of them turning to drugs or alcohol as an escape from uncomfortable emotions. Young people are not accustomed to worrying about job security or money issues, so this is a stark wake-up call for them. If they have lost their job or were placed on a long-term furlough, feelings of boredom or stress over financial concerns can take a toll.

In addition to self-medicating through substances, the risk for suicide is also increased among young adults. The American College Health Association surveyed 18,700 students about their mental health. Forty-one percent of the students reported feeling depressed compared with 36% in 2019. In addition, the suicide risk increased by 10%, from 25% to 27.5%. Young adults see their lives and plans disrupted significantly, and with such an unpredictable pandemic they begin to feel hopeless, thinking that this will never end.

Highest Level of Young Adults Living with Parents Since the Depression Era

To add salt to the wound, young adults have had to return to the family home due to college closures or loss of employment. Just this week, CNN reported that 52% of young adults are now living with their parents, which is the highest level since 1940. For young people just starting out in life, it is a significant blow to their self-esteem to have to return to the family home. But the harsh effect of coronavirus on the economy has led to unprecedented job losses that did not spare the young demographic. Living back at home with the parents can be distressing to young adults seeking to become independent and autonomous at this time of life.

The Pew survey showed that there was virtually no difference between these young adults in terms of ethnicity or gender, but that young people of all racial backgrounds, both males and females, rural or urban had been forced to return to their parent’s home. There were, however, a higher number of 18-24 year olds, or Gen Z, as well as the youngest millennials, who have had to move back home with their parents as a consequence of the pandemic.

How Young Adults can Reduce Risk of Depression During the Pandemic

To help minimize the negative impact on mental health, young people can incorporate some healthy lifestyle habits into their daily routine. These actions can help them better weather the pandemic by keeping their physical and mental health in the best shape possible. Consider these positive changes:

  • Keep a regular schedule. Don’t fall into the bad habit of staying up late and sleeping in late. Get up at the same time each morning to maintain as normal a body rhythm as possible.
  • Improve sleep quality. Set a routine sleep schedule so you can regulate the circadian rhythm, in addition to also reducing screen time at night for better sleep.
  • Stay physically active. Regular exercise is essential for maintaining mental health.
  • Remain socially connected. It is possible to stay connected during the pandemic through Zoom gatherings, or outdoor hikes, bike rides, or beach outings that are socially distanced.
  • Find ways to be productive. Even if you are currently unemployed, find ways to remain productive and positive on a daily basis.

Most importantly, if you are feeling yourself sinking into depression, seek out the professional help and support that will guide you back to wellness such as private mental health facilities. Most mental health providers are seeing clients in person, but if that is not the case in your region, access tele-health services for online therapy sessions.

Elevation Behavioral Health Treats Young Adult Depression

Elevation Behavioral Health is a residential mental health center set in a private home environment. This intimate setting allows individuals struggling with depression to receive a higher level of personal attention and care. Our compassionate team understands the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and can help guide the individual back to healthy functioning. If you have questions about the depression risks in young adults during COVID, please contact us today at (888) 561-0868.

i feel empty

One day, just like that, it dawns on you. Suddenly you realize, “I feel empty.” For weeks you may have tried to valiantly push through your days, but the grip of anxiety and depression offered much resistance. Nothing can deplete your spirit quite like depression and anxiety together. These two mental health disorders seem to conspire against you when they co-occur, which, unfortunately, they often do.

We might go about our daily lives feeling under the weather and not really understanding what is causing thoughts such as “I feel empty.” You might initially assume you are fighting a bug or some other medical issue, when in reality dual mental health conditions are at fault. So, get to know the signs of depression and anxiety disorder. In recognizing the symptoms of these disorders, hopefully you will be prompted to reach out to a mental health provider who can guide you back to wellness.

About Co-Occurring Depression and Anxiety

It is eye opening how many of us struggle with mental health conditions, especially anxiety and depression. Separately, these two mental health disorders impact over 56 million Americans each year. When both depression and anxiety are present together it compounds the negative effect, as each disorder will trigger or intensify the other.

Symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety disorder consists of a spectrum of mental health disorders that share certain features, but also are divided into separate disorders under the anxiety disorder umbrella. There are several distinguishing features that help the clinician determine which type of anxiety disorder is present:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder. GAD features excessive worrying, feelings of dread and fear, muscle tension, irritability, nausea, insomnia, trouble concentrating.
  • Panic disorder. Panic disorder is characterized by sudden and unpredictable feelings of overwhelming fear, heart palpitations, chest tightness or pain, shallow breathing, dizziness.
  • Social anxiety. Social anxiety involves the intense and irrational fear of being humiliated, criticized, or judged publicly. People with social anxiety tend to isolate themselves as a result.
  • Specific phobia. With phobias, a person exhibits an irrational and intense fear of a thing, place, or situation, resulting in avoidant and isolating behaviors.
  • Agoraphobia. When someone is agoraphobic they have intense anxiety symptoms when feeling they are in an unsafe place and do not perceive a way out.
  • Trauma disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder features prolonged symptoms after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, substance abuse, and avoidant behaviors.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is characterized by irrational worries that are followed by compulsive or repetitive behaviors as a method of quelling the anxiety caused by the worry.

Symptoms of depression: Similarly, depressive disorders also encompass a collection of different presentations of depression based on the unique features:

  • Major depressive disorder. MDD features prolonged feelings of sadness or despair, fatigue, sudden weight changes, loss of interest in usual activities, change in sleeping habits, trouble concentrating, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Persistent depressive disorder. Also termed dysthymia, this disorder features a milder version of MDD but one that lasts more than two years.
  • Postpartum depression. This type of depression affects a mother with feelings of sadness, intense irritability, insomnia, loss of appetite, mood swings, and thoughts of harming baby or self.
  • Seasonal affective disorder. Regions that are further from the equator are more prone to people getting seasonal depression when the days are short. Lack of sun exposure can lead to vitamin D deficiency, which is one of the key symptoms behind the depression.

There are many reasons to seek out help for depression and anxiety. For example, someone with co-occurring depression and anxiety are more susceptible to substance abuse. A substance, such as alcohol or prescription drugs, may be misused in an effort to mask the mental health symptoms being experienced. Also, undiagnosed and untreated mental health disorders can result in job loss, damaged relationships, poor health, and isolation.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

One serious mood disorder that has elements of both anxiety and depression is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by intense shifts in mood that are often unpredictable. Moods alternate between mania and depression, and can be very destabilizing. There are four different ways that bipolar disorder presents. These include:

  • Bipolar I
  • Bipolar II
  • Cyclothymic disorder
  • Otherwise unspecified bipolar

Treatment for bipolar disorder is essential. Medications such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers are prescribed for this disorder, along with psychotherapy. In therapy, the individual will learn how to better recognize the signs of an impending episode, learn ways to promote relaxation, and to better manage the oncoming symptoms.

Treatment for Co-existing Anxiety and Depression

Comorbid anxiety and depression present a more complex diagnosis than either one of these disorders on its own. In fact, individuals with both anxiety and depression will usually have a more enhanced severity of symptoms, more functional impairment, and a longer recovery period.

Treating anxiety and depression will rely on foundational methods, such as psychotherapy and medication, as well as adjunctive therapies and lifestyle modifications. During the initial intake interview with a therapist or psychiatrist a thorough evaluation of the presenting issues and symptoms will be conducted. The interview itself can often provide valuable information to assist the therapist in assessing which disorder, the depression or the anxiety, is predominant. Diagnostic criteria provided by the DSM-5, as well as other assessment tools, and any accompanying features help the clinical staff arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

When treating both anxiety and depression it is important that both mental health disorders are treated simultaneously for the best treatment outcome. Treating just one or the other will not be effective, as the remaining disorder will sabotage any gains made in managing the other disorder.

Treatment interventions for individuals with depression and anxiety who say, “I feel empty” will encompass a variety of therapeutic activities. These include:


The core treatment protocol for depression and anxiety continues to center on antidepressant drug therapy. These are antidepressants that have been found to help the symptoms of both disorders. In addition, benzodiazepines can be useful in managing panic disorder.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the evidence-based approach most often used for treating anxiety and depression together. CBT helps individuals better cope with stressors, and guides them toward making positive shifts in their thought patterns. If depression and anxiety is the result of a traumatic experience, then prolonged exposure therapy is also beneficial.

Holistic activities

Learning methods to self soothe when experiencing anxiety are key to better symptom management. There are several complementary activities included now in mental health treatment programs that teach patients to do exactly that. These may include learning how to practice mindfulness, yoga, and deep breathing techniques.

Diet and Exercise

Nutritional counseling is often included in residential mental health programs, as there is a direct connection between what we eat and our mental health and brain functioning. Exercise is also included, as physical activity can reduce stress and elevate mood.

Sleep quality

Patients are taught that regulating the circadian rhythm is essential for improving overall mental wellness and functioning. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule helps the body create a predictable pattern for rest. A minimum of 7 hours of sleep is optimum.

Levels of Care for Treating Depression and Anxiety

When recognizing that the co-occurring anxiety and depression is causing impairment and harming your quality of life, it is helpful to understand the different levels of care available. Mental health treatment generally falls into two categories, outpatient or residential care:

  • Outpatient treatment. When you find yourself struggling emotionally, you may first seek out help from your doctor. Mental health conditions often cause physical symptoms, such as fatigue, edginess, sleep problems, or intestinal distress. After the doctor has ordered labs and conducted an exam, he or she may find there is no medical condition present. This is when a referral to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist is made. The mental health provider will then help manage the symptoms by prescribing medication and talk therapy. If the condition worsens and more intervention is needed, the mental health professional might refer you to an outpatient program where you will participate in support groups, individual psychotherapy, and psychosocial education classes for a more intensive approach.
  • Residential treatment. A residential mental health program offers a higher level of care than any of the outpatient options. The residential treatment setting allows someone to focus on learning how they can better manage their condition. Without the usual distractions or stress-inducing triggers, the person feels safe in the residential setting. Because the individual will reside at the center for a specified period of time, they will be receiving a higher degree of attention and support. Treatment plans are highly tailored to address the person’s specific mental health needs. Residential programs for depression and anxiety usually provide acute stabilization services for individuals experiencing a psychiatric emergency, such as psychosis or a suicide attempt. Following discharge from the residential program, the individual might step down to an outpatient day program.

Whether receiving outpatient or residential treatment, the objective is the same, to restore mental health functioning and improve quality of life.

Elevation Behavioral Health is a Premier Los Angeles Residential Mental Health Center

Elevation Behavioral Health offers an intimate setting located in a beautiful, tranquil location that allows someone accustomed to saying, “I feel empty,” to find their way back to the fullness of life. Elevation provides a fully customized treatment program that is designed specifically to the individual’s needs. Using a blend of evidence-based therapies and holistic elements, Elevation addresses all aspects of a person, healing mind, body, and spirit.

Holistic Wellness Meditation

Every morning, the clients of Elevation engage in mindful meditation to start out the day with calmness and mental clarity. In recent years, practicing this mindfulness has become a mainstream practice, and for good reason. According to Mayo Clinic, physicians recommend meditation to help their patients manage the symptoms of a wide range of conditions, from cancer to asthma and heart disease to insomnia.

What Exactly is Meditation?

When someone thinks of meditation, images of people sitting cross-legged on the floor chanting “ohm” may come to mind, but the truth is, it is simply the act of quieting the mind and focusing your attention on the present moment, and it can be done anywhere and in any position.

During meditation, when conscious thoughts arise, they’re simply acknowledged and then sent along like a leaf floating downstream. the practice has a number of far-reaching benefits for people in recovery.

Meditation and Stress, Anxiety and Depression

It’s understood that stress and mental illnesses like anxiety and depression are major factors for substance abuse and relapse.

Meditation is a potent stress reliever, according to Journal of Substance Abuse. The study found that practicing the holistic method reduced incidents of stress-related relapse among participants in an outpatient addiction treatment program. Meditation also helps the brain and body respond better to stress in general, further mitigating stress as a factor in relapse.

A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindfulness helps ease anxiety and depression, which are also associated with substance abuse and relapse. Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, notes that mindfulness helps people recognize unhealthy thoughts and mindfully replace them with those that are healthier.

Becoming free of negative thought patterns is a major consideration in addiction treatment, because negative thoughts foster negative behaviors. Clarity of thought gained through mindfulness is associated with making better choices that positively impact life in recovery.

Meditation and Cravings

Regular meditation can have a big impact on cravings as well. Increased mindfulness leads to fewer negative automatic responses to cravings as practitioners learn to listen to their body and mind and respond to its cues and sensations with mindful awareness and deliberateness. As they learn to accept thoughts and feelings without judgment, evaluate their attitude and quiet the mind’s chatter, it becomes easier to respond to cravings and other negative experiences in healthy and productive ways.

Meditation as Part of a Holistic Approach to Treatment

A large body of research points to the range of benefits of mindfulness in recovery. A high-quality treatment program that takes a holistic approach to treatment offers the best chances for long-term recovery.

Beating an addiction isn’t easy, but a holistic program that addresses issues of body, mind and spirit through various traditional and non-traditional therapies like meditation can lead to real and meaningful change and a better chance of successful long-term recovery.

mental health during covid 19

As Americans settle into very lengthy stay at home policies enacted across the nation, many might begin to experience some mental health concerns. After all, we are not built to go through weeks or months without our daily freedoms. Losing those personal freedoms for the sake of national health is something we have had to get accustomed to, whether we are comfortable with the edicts or not. It is the way it is, and the best thing we can do to protect our mental health during the COVID-19 crisis is to come to a state of acceptance.

In fact, the way people have responded psychologically to this event has been lined up alongside Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s infamous work, The 5 Stages of Grief. These stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Collectively, many of us are now experiencing the depression phase as shelter orders have lost their luster. While the measures are in place for good reason, to prevent loss of life, many are now coming to the realization that the coronavirus has caused significant unwelcome changes in daily life.

So how do we go about protecting our mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic? What steps can we take to shore up our resolves and get through this event psychologically intact? While there is no magic wand to make all of this go away, there are some protective steps to take that will help us maintain our sanity for the meantime.

10 Steps to Protect Mental Health During COVID-19

It is true that our emotions have been all over the map since this began back in early March. One day we are calm and reflective, and the next day we feel agitated and irritable. These fluctuating emotions are to be expected as we wade into uncharted waters, not know what each day will bring. To help offset some of the anxiety and feelings of depression that might be taking root, consider these 10 tips:

  1. Practice gratitude. You wouldn’t think that there would be anything to be grateful about when every normal daily activity has been removed from your milieu. It is surprising to discover that there are plentiful things to be grateful for, especially when you realize you are still healthy and safe. Count your blessings for having a loving family, a cute pet, a roof over your head, and hope for the future. Each day, try to list 3 things for which you are grateful.
  2. Turn off the news. News overload can have negative effects on our mental health. Mainstream news outlets are enjoying their surging popularity and may enhance the dramatic in order to keep viewers engaged. This can lead to feelings of anxiety or distress for individuals who are sensitive or have experienced a past trauma. While it is fine to grab the headlines once or twice during the day, instead of keeping the news on all day long turn the TV off and enjoy some old reruns on Netflix for balance.
  3. Enjoy a simpler lifestyle. Now that we are slowly adjusting to living a very small life, we are beginning to notice some benefits of a simpler lifestyle. Instead of rushing around, racing between this or that appointment, lesson, sports practice, or a long list of errands, we are slowing down and actually smelling the roses. There is something to be said for a quieter, more leisurely pace of life.
  4. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps us redirect distracting and negative thoughts that keep us feeling off-balance, drawing the mind back to the present moment. Train yourself to focus attention away from anxiety-provoking and fear-based thoughts that rob you from the pleasures of that moment in time. Be in that cozy moment, focus on the aroma of the coffee, enjoy drifting off to a different world through the book you are holding, and feel safe and secure inside that soft, snuggly blanket.
  5. Enjoy the sunshine. Health professionals are reminding us how important it is to have a strong immune system during the COVID-19 crisis. One of the best actions to take that will improve immunity and boost mood is getting plenty of vitamin D. Vitamin D is a byproduct of sun exposure. So, grab any opportunity you can to enjoy some time outside on a sunny day. Fresh air and sunshine are essential to our health and wellbeing, and you will also enjoy a noticeable change in your attitude for the better. If sunshine is scarce in your region, be sure to supplement the diet with some vitamin D3.
  6. Revisit your passions. With our usual busy lives, how many times have you looked at your bookcase and lamented having no time to read? With plentiful free time available now, grab the moment and indulge in the things you never had time for before. Read some books, make some artwork, explore new musical artists, or write a novel. We may never have the luxury of time again like we do right now to rediscover old passions or to discover brand new ones.
  7. Stay social. Social distancing has shown us a powerful truth—people need people. We all have varying degrees of sociability, with some of us wired toward being introverts and others as more extroverted. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, enjoying both social time and time for introspection. To nourish our need for social connection during COVID-19, which will have positive effects on our mental health, make the effort to reach out to friends and family members. With so many ways to connect with people, don’t be shy. Just check in, say hello, and ask how your friend is doing. We actually need human connection for our mental health during COVID-19.
  8. Stay physically active. For those who are free to get outdoors, take a couple of hearty walks, a bike ride, or a run every day. This will expose you to vitamin D through sunshine, which can help improve mood, as well as provide the many mental health benefits from regular exercise. If movement is tightly restricted, indoor exercise activities can be achieved through yoga or workout routines posted on YouTube. The videos offer a variety of toning, stretching, and movements that can keep you in shape during the lockdown.
  9. Keep a journal. Whether it is a leather-bound journal, a spiral notebook, or a Word document on the computer, recognize that we are living through an historic event and it would be very interesting to look back someday on the coronavirus pandemic from your own perspective. Jotting down thoughts and feelings is also therapeutic, as writing allows you to offload feelings of unrest, sadness, fear, or stress onto a piece of paper. This practice somehow releases the effects of these emotions on your psychological health.
  10. Stay flexible. With the coronavirus crisis, no one really knows how it will unfold over time. This virus is novel, meaning it has never existed before. As we all cycle through the cascading events together, it is good to remain as nimble and flexible mentally as possible. Try to avoid having firm expectations about how long we will have to remain at home or how the virus affects people. Collectively we will do better psychologically if we roll with events as they unfold, rather than having rigid expectations.

Signs of Deteriorating Mental Wellness

It is difficult to predict who among us will be able to manage our mental health during COVID-19 and who will struggle. Many factors play into the way we will respond to the stress and uncertainty, both in terms of the health scare and the financial fallout. We all are going to struggle from time to time as we experience the impact of the virus on our lives. However, when mental health begins to seriously deteriorate it is critical to get the professional help you need.

Be aware of the following warning signs of a serious mental health issue:

  • Sudden changes in eating habits leading to unintended weight gain or weight loss
  • Changes in sleep patterns, disrupted sleep, nightmares, or insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness and despair
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Heart palpitations, racing heart rate
  • Increase in somatic symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, diarrhea
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Loss of interest
  • Isolating behaviors
  • Angry, violent behavior
  • Experiencing delusional thoughts or hallucinations
  • Suicidal ideation, obsessed with death

Most mental health providers are offering tele-mental health video services during COVID-19. If you or a loved one is experiencing the signs of deteriorating mental health during the pandemic, reach out to a mental health provider for immediate support.

Getting Mental Health Treatment During COVID-19

Mental health treatment is still readily available during this event. Many outpatient mental health programs are now providing psychotherapy and group therapy via Zoom platforms, where a licensed mental health provider will be able to offer therapy and support. There are outpatient intensive outpatient programs that are designed to be administered through video conferencing platforms.

Residential mental health providers are still operating during the COVID-19 event. These facilities have adopted all of the CDC safety guidelines to provide a clean, sterilized therapeutic environment.

Elevation Behavioral Health Offers Residential Mental Health During COVID-19

Elevation Behavioral Health is a luxury residential mental health center in Los Angeles. Elevation Behavioral Health has made the safety of our residents and staff the top priority, and have adhered to all the CDC safety recommendations including personal protective equipment, thorough cleaning and disinfecting of our facility, screening protocols for the virus, and practicing social distancing the best we can. If you or a loved one is in need of more intensive, customized mental health treatment, please contact our team today at (888) 561-0868.

depression and alcohol

There are many reasons why individuals suffer from alcoholism, and genetics, environmental factors and mental health issues are just a few explanations. Co-occurring disorders occur when an individual suffers from both a mental health issue and an addiction such as depression and alcohol. Though they are completely treatable, co-occurring disorders are especially delicate and require integrated clinical therapy to achieve lasting results. >/p>

Depression Statistics

Nearly a third of individuals who suffer from major depressive disorder also suffer from alcoholism. Though it can be hard to determine with certainty, in many cases the depression is present before the addiction takes place.

These numbers are compounded by the fact that 10 percent of Americans experience depression, yet more than 80 percent of those who deal with depression go undiagnosed and untreated. In the absence of professional treatment, it’s not uncommon for those suffering in silence to deepen their relationship with alcohol.

Negative Feedback Loops

Whether alcoholism is caused by depression or vice versa varies on a case-by-case scenario, but what remains the same is the impact that the two have on one another. For an individual struggling with alcoholism and depression, the negative feedback loop is self-perpetuating.

A person drinks in an attempt to feel better, only to find that the relief is merely temporary, if at all. This may lead to further attempts to self-medicate by drinking larger amounts with more frequency. Through this process, depression compounds these factors, leading the individual to quickly descend into addiction.

Social Consequences

The seemingly endless cycle of addiction has residual social repercussions as well. Many times people find themselves not caring about anything outside of their addiction. They may be unwilling to speak with others, show up at work or do anything that might interfere with their drinking routine. The inability to listen to reason, combined with disconnection from the world around them, produces a potent fertilizer in which depression, anxiety and addiction can grow.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Quitting cold turkey can not only be ineffective, it can be dangerous. Receiving help from certified professionals through a medically supervised detox program will greatly increase chances of recovery and decrease the dangers that come along with detoxing.

Trained specialists look at the root of the addiction and mental health issue and treat them both from the very start—healing both mind and body. Peoplecan learn new ways to cope with their mental health issues and begin to discover the potential that they may have thought was gone forever.

Types of Therapy

Many dual-diagnosis treatment facilities go beyond conventional individual and group therapy, giving individuals the chance to get to know themselves again through activities like art, yoga, exercise and music. When administered effectively and adhered to, therapy can help resolve co-occurring disorders and give people suffering from addiction the tools they need to overcome obstacles in a healthy and positive way.

Anyone who is suffering from alcoholism or who may be developing a drinking problem shouldn’t wait to treat these issues. The more time that passes, the more difficult it will be to break the negative feedback loop.