Major Depressive Disorder Treatment in Los Angeles, California

Living with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) can feel isolating and overwhelming. It’s a severe mental health condition that requires understanding, support, and appropriate treatment. Explore MDD, its causes, and the available major depressive disorder treatment in Los Angeles, California, at Montare Outpatient. Read on to learn how to cope with depression and how seeking help can significantly improve your quality of life.

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What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

MDD, also known as severe depression, is a severe mental illness characterized by prolonged sadness, lack of interest, and hindered daily functioning, differentiating it from mild or moderate depression. Understanding the disorder is critical to accessing appropriate treatment and support. The symptoms of MDD include prolonged sadness, anhedonia, and a lack of optimism about the future. Additionally, these may be accompanied by irregular sleep patterns, sudden changes in weight, low self-esteem, thoughts of suicide, intense guilt, and a lack of energy. These are common depression symptoms.

It has been estimated that between 5% and 17% of people are affected by disorders, such as MDD, at some point in their lives. Such prevalence underscores the need for practical understanding and treatment of the condition.

What Causes Major Depressive Disorder

The exact cause of MDD is unknown, but it is believed to result from genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Studies have indicated that a temperamental inclination, genetic predisposition, and an individual’s childhood environment can increase the likelihood of developing mood disorders or disorders like bipolar disorder.

An image representing a woman having her major depression treated in Los Angeles

Signs and Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), often referred to as clinical depression, is a complex mental health condition that can significantly impact a person’s daily life. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of MDD is crucial for early intervention and treatment. Several factors may contribute to the development of Major Depressive Disorder, such as:

  • Biological Factors: Imbalances in brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) like serotonin and norepinephrine can play a role in MDD.
  • Genetic Predisposition: Individuals with a family history of depression are at a higher risk.
  • Environmental Stressors: Traumatic life events, chronic stress, or ongoing conflicts can trigger or exacerbate MDD.
  • Chronic Illness: Medical conditions like chronic pain or certain illnesses can lead to depression.
  • Hormonal Changes: Significant hormonal fluctuations, like those during menopause or as a result of other medical conditions, can contribute to MDD.

Now, let’s explore the common signs of Major Depressive Disorder:

Signs of Major Depressive Disorder

MDD can manifest differently from person to person, but some common signs often include:

  • Persistent Sadness: A profound, unshakable feeling of sadness that persists for most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Lack of Interest: A noticeable loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable.
  • Changes in Appetite or Weight: Significant weight loss or gain, along with changes in appetite.
  • Social Withdrawal: Avoidance of social activities and withdrawal from friends and family.
  • Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt: Excessive guilt or feelings of worthlessness that are not related to any actual wrongdoing.
  • Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Thoughts of Self-Harm or Suicide: Persistent thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation should be taken seriously.
  • Inability to Experience Pleasure: A pervasive inability to derive pleasure from any activity, even ones that were previously enjoyable.

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

In addition to these common signs, MDD may also exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia or excessive sleep, often accompanied by waking up early and struggling to fall back asleep.
  • Fatigue: A constant feeling of low energy and fatigue.
  • Physical Symptoms: Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or other aches and pains may become more frequent.

It’s essential to note that for a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, these symptoms must be present for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, and they must significantly impair daily functioning. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it is crucial to seek professional help promptly. Effective treatments, including therapy and medication, are available to help individuals manage and recover from Major Depressive Disorder.

Common Treatments for Major Depression Include:

  • Antidepressant Medications: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are typically the first line of treatment.
  • Therapy: Therapy can help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns.
  • Alternative Treatments: Exercise, meditation, and acupuncture can also prove helpful in managing symptoms.
A woman enjoying the fresh air. An image representing Montare Outpatient in Encino, Los Angeles that treats depressive disorders and other mental health conditions

Montare Outpatient Treatment for Mental Disorders

At Montare Outpatient, located in Los Angeles, California, we offer a range of evidence-based treatments for MDD. These options include:

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): is a structured and evidence-based approach that helps individuals develop coping skills, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used therapeutic approach that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors to improve mental health.
  • Individual Therapy: Individual therapy provides one-on-one sessions with a mental health professional, allowing for personalized treatment plans and a safe space to address personal issues and concerns.
  • Group Therapy: Group therapy involves individuals with similar challenges coming together in a therapeutic setting, providing mutual support, and sharing experiences to promote healing and personal growth.
  • Family Therapy: Family therapy aims to address and improve the dynamics and communication within a family, helping to resolve conflicts and strengthen relationships.

Each treatment plan is tailored to your needs, ensuring the best possible outcomes for those with significant depression.

For those who show no response to medications and therapy for mild to moderate depression, alternative treatments like brain stimulation therapies may be an option. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation are examples of these alternative treatments. The guidance of a mental health professional is crucial in considering these options and determining the best course of action for you.

Coping with Major Depression

Adopting healthy coping strategies and modifying lifestyle can alleviate MDD symptoms and enhance overall well-being. Some strategies to consider include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises and meditation

For individuals undergoing treatment for Major Depressive Disorder, sleep is paramount. Irregular sleep patterns and disturbances can exacerbate depressive symptoms, so establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can be beneficial.

Uncovering purpose in daily activities can also aid in recovering from depression. Engaging in meaningful pursuits, such as work, volunteering, spiritual connections, and relationships with family and friends, can be empowering.

Consulting a healthcare professional and adhering to treatment plans are vital when managing depression. They can guide additional coping strategies and resources to supplement the treatment plan and further manage depressive symptoms.

A person having a major depressive episode

Risks of Untreated Major Depressive Disorder​

  • Untreated MDD can lead to severe consequences, including increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, and physical health complications. MDD is the most commonly linked psychiatric diagnosis with suicide, emphasizing the importance of seeking help and addressing the condition promptly.

Seek Treatment for Major Depression in Encino, Los Angeles

When the weight of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) feels unbearable, it’s the right moment to reach out for the support and guidance you need. At our Los Angeles outpatient center, we stand ready to accompany you on your journey to recovery. We understand the isolation and overwhelm that often accompany MDD, and we’re here to provide the understanding and effective treatment you deserve. Take that crucial first step toward healing by contacting Montare Outpatient through our contact form and let us help you regain control of your life.