Depression affects people of all ages in all different stages of life. Everyone experiences symptoms of depression at some point in their lives and some will experience it more than others. However, there are some people who experience such severely intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that it affects their ability to function properly on a day to day basis. Clinical depression goes beyond the temporary feelings of sadness that exist as part of being human and extends into all aspects of a person’s life. People who are depressed suffer from such powerfully low emotions that it affects their thoughts, their feelings, their behaviors, their mood, and even their physical health.
You might currently be in a position where your personal, social, and/or occupational responsibilities are being negatively affected due to the debilitating effects of your depression. You might be feeling helpless believing that you have lost the ability to control your emotions. You might be experiencing deteriorating feelings of self-worth due to the fact that you have to struggle just to get through your daily routines. You might even feel as though you are completely isolated from the rest of the world. But you don’t have to feel that way. You are not alone. There is hope for your future if you can find it in yourself to seek out the help that you need in order to gain back the happy and fulfilling life that you deserve.
At Vantage Point of Northwest Arkansas, we strive to meet the individual needs of every patient who walks through our doors. For over 30 years we have successfully served children, adolescents, adults, and seniors suffering from mental illness and drug addiction. Our caring professionals make it their goal to ensure that every person who receives treatment at Vantage Point is provided with services that are tailored to meet each specific need presented by each individual patient.
You do not have to continue suffering from the symptoms of depression. You can get the help that you need and the help that you deserve.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Watching a loved one suffer from depression can be heartbreaking. It can also cause you to feel a sense of helplessness because you may feel unsure as to what you can do in order to help your loved one find the reprieve that he or she needs in order to return to a normal, happy level of functioning. You may even experience feelings of guilt in wondering whether or not you may have done something that caused your loved one to slip into this emotional low. It is important to remember that you are not the cause; the illness is not about you, it is about your loved one. But you can help by working towards getting him or her the help that he or she needs.
If you are unsure as to whether or not your loved one truly is suffering from depression, the following examples have been provided as a guideline to see if your loved one’s symptoms coincide with symptoms that tend to correlate to the existence of depression. That being said, the following examples are not the only symptoms that can occur, nor are they symptoms that absolutely must occur in order for your loved one to be diagnosed with depression. This list is meant to serve as a general guide. Potential signs that your loved one is in need of help can include:
- Sleeping more often than is normal for the person
- Significant changes in eating patterns, possibly resulting in dramatic weight gain or weight loss
- Making statements that suggest that he or she is being overly critical of himself or herself
- Verbally minimizing his or her abilities
- Complaints of bodily pain that cannot be explained
- Noticeable changes in one’s self-esteem and self-confidence
- Seclusion from other people (including family, friends, and other social peers)
- Displaying a loss of interest in things that he or she used to find enjoyment in
- Having difficulty meeting the demands that are expected of him or her in the work place or in an educational setting
- Participating in self-harming behaviors
- Suicidal ideation
If some of these symptoms ring true to what you have noticed that your loved one is experiencing, it is imperative that you make an effort to try and get him or her to seek help. In some cases (especially in situations where the person is partaking in self-injurious behaviors or has made generalized comments about suicide), the decision to seek treatment can be a matter of life or death.
It can be difficult to make the initial approach of mentioning to your loved one that you believe that he or she could benefit from professional help. Such a statement may cause your loved one to feel an instant sense of defensiveness. Being prepared for this type of resistance can help you remain calm and encouraging as the conversation continues. Offer your support without seeming judgmental. Approach them with a sense of empathy, but not in a manner of claiming that you understand what he or she is going through. Help your loved one begin the process of searching for various forms of treatment, offer to make the initial appointment, and then devote yourself to the long-term process of offering continuing support.
Why Consider Treatment at Vantage Point of Northwest Arkansas
If you are suffering from the debilitating symptoms of depression, you are probably familiar with the feelings of helplessness that exist in thinking that there is nothing that you can do to get rid of your emotional pain. This sense of helplessness and hopelessness may lead to a distorted thinking pattern that causes you to refrain from seeking help. You may be scared about the different things that you are experiencing, such as suddenly finding it difficult to make decisions, having difficulty remembering things, suffering from headaches and other unexplained bodily aches and pains, and, most frighteningly, beginning to fixate on thoughts of suicide. But you don’t have to keep suffering. There are programs and interventions that can help you overcome these horrible thoughts and feelings. It is possible to find solace in knowing that you are able to go back to living the life that you want to live.
Inpatient programs have been wildly successful in the treatment of depression. While the thought of admitting yourself to inpatient treatment can be scary, the benefits of doing so can help to alleviate some of those fears. Inpatient treatment allows you to be in a safe environment; an environment where you are surrounded by caring professionals who will make it their goal to keep you safe, to keep you encouraged, and to do whatever they can to aid in your treatment. In addition, many people find comfort in the fact that while participating in inpatient treatment programs they are surrounded by other patients who are struggling with many of the same symptoms that they are. This can help you realize that you are not alone in your suffering. By admitting yourself to an inpatient program, you are also able to experience a temporary reprieve from the stresses of everyday life. Inpatient treatment will allow you to focus solely on getting well. You will work with a treatment team who will work to give you the care you need to grow, learn, and heal.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Vantage Point of Northwest Arkansas, we know that depression and other mental disorders do not present themselves in the same way in everyone; we know that your experiences may differ greatly from the next person. We strive to gain an understanding of what you as an individual are experiencing. We want to help you find meaningful ways to express what you are feeling so that you can help us understand the best way that we can help you. At Vantage Point, we provide a full continuum of care that ranges from acute inpatient treatments to various outpatient treatments. We work hard to ensure that the needs of every patient we treat are met in a way that helps them get well.
Types of Treatment Offered at Vantage Point
When you first arrive at Vantage Point, you will meet with a qualified assessment specialist who will conduct a thorough psychosocial assessment in order to make sure that we understand the depth of each and every one of your specific needs. In doing so, we are then able to customize a treatment plan to meet those needs. Once the assessment is complete, an appropriate level of care will be recommended, and an individualized treatment plan will be devised under the guidance of a psychiatrist, a case manager, and a qualified therapist. Your input will greatly impact the success of that treatment plan.
At Vantage Point, you will be offered a variety of different forms of treatment modalities, tailored to meet your specific needs. The three main modalities that we use are an interdisciplinary approach, trauma informed care, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Each approach will be explained to you by the therapist with whom you work so that you understand each step of the treatment process. We also offer recreation time for all patients, academic programming for school aged children, and occupational and/or physical therapy if needed or requested.
The different aspects of treatment we provide through our inpatient program include:
Medication management: Part of successfully treating and managing depression can come in the form of psychotropic medication. You will work closely with your psychiatrist in order to find a medication that best suits your chemistry and that medication will be consistently monitored throughout your stay with us. If changes in medication are required, the psychiatrist with whom you work will walk you through that process.
Individual therapy: All of our patients will participate in individual (one-on-one) therapy with a qualified therapist at least once per week. However, additional sessions can occur at any time, following the request of the patient or at the discretion of the therapist. During these sessions, patients will have the opportunity to explore and process the various emotions that they may be experiencing, while working with the therapist to identify the negative thought patterns that have led to the different symptoms of depression. Individual therapy is also a time where patients can learn appropriate coping skills that they can apply in order to deal with the stresses that they face on a daily basis.
Group therapy: Group therapy is held on an ongoing basis, meeting multiple times per day every day. These group sessions will cover topics such as developing positive coping skills, exploring emotional disturbances and the causes for them, maintaining mood control, and developing healthy interpersonal relationships. Group therapy sessions are also an ideal time for patients to come together to support one another on their journey of recovery.
Family involvement: At Vantage Point, we understand the importance of family involvement in the success of a person’s treatment. Family therapy sessions are held once a week, but extra sessions can be requested and held at the discretion of the individual’s therapist. Patients are also able to have weekly visitation with family members.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
Planning for discharge begins at the time of a patient’s admission into a program. We know how important it is for our patients to get the help that they need and be able to return to their normal daily lives as soon as possible. By having a discharge plan that starts developing at the time of admission, it allows case managers and care coordinators time to organize future treatment options that can be provided to patients following their discharge. Patients will not be discharged without having the comfort of knowing that the next stage of their treatment is already in place. On the day of discharge, patients will have a final meeting with their treatment team in order to go over the next steps for treatment. Patients will leave our program with the comfort of knowing that they will still have the ongoing support that they need.