Depression Treatment in Orange County, California



Depression is a common mental illness that can be uncomfortable to talk about. In 2017, The National Institute of Mental Health estimated 17.3 million adults in the U.S. suffered a major depressive episode at least once. While this mental condition can sometimes feel impossible to defeat, depression treatment can help you overcome the symptoms.

At SoCal Empowered in Orange County, our depression treatment approach focuses on tackling a variety of depression disorders. We are equipped with various evidence-based treatment options since no two battles are the same. We find the best way for people with depression to heal and be healthy again is with a customized treatment plan. Our goal is for our patients to achieve mental wellness by learning new behavior patterns and thought processes.

It is common for people who battle depression to have suicidal thoughts, causing them to turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. This makes seeking inpatient depression treatment as early as possible vital, and SoCal Empowered is here for you every step of the way.

What is Depression?

Depression, also referred to as major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, is a serious mood disorder that is not uncommon. This mood disorder causes severe symptoms that affect how a person thinks, feels, and handles daily activities. Symptoms must be present for two weeks to be diagnosed with depression.

This mental issue can happen at any age, but usually initiates during adulthood. Today, depression is occurring more frequently in children and adolescents than ever before.

Depression Causes and Risk Factors

Depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. For example, the combination of genetic predisposition and environmental stress can trigger a major depressive disorder (MDD). There is no single cause for MDD, but multiple factors increase the risk of depression.

Risk factors include:

  • Personal or family history of depression
  • Significant life changes, trauma, or stress
  • Certain physical illnesses and medications

Additionally, drug and alcohol abuse can be linked to depression. Research shows that more than 60 percent of adolescents with a substance use disorder (SUD) have the diagnostic criteria for another mental illness like clinical depression.

Medical conditions, especially ones that affect hormone production, can contribute to the cause. For instance, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease may cause depression. Similarly, people who already have mental health disorders such as anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at higher risk for developing depression. It is important to have an experienced, licensed professional who treats these diseases to help make the best treatment plan.

Often, environmental factors such as life circumstances or trauma are the biggest contributing factor. Dramatic changes such as a relationship, profession, location, or financial status can steer towards a phase of depression. When a person encounters trauma, especially younger in life, it alters how their brain responds to stressful situations. These heightened responses can lead to depression, even if the initial trauma experience was a long time ago.

Inpatient Depression Treatment in Orange County


The first step in receiving depression treatment is a diagnosis from a licensed clinical professional. The National Institute for Mental Health lists the following as symptoms for depression. Symptoms can appear differently for each person, but they must demonstrate at least one of the following symptoms for two weeks:

  • A sad or sour mood
  • A persistent sense of anxiousness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt or helplessness
  • An inability to feel joy or pleasure
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Thoughts of suicide



Antidepressants are medicines that are prescribed to help treat depression. They help change depression symptoms by improving the way the brain uses chemicals that control mood or stress. It is essential to give the medication some time because it can take 2-4 weeks to work. Symptoms such as sleep, appetite, and concentration will usually improve before an increased elevation in mood.

A person should not stop taking their medication without the assistance of a doctor. At times the antidepressant can make the person feel better, and so they will stop taking it on their own. Unfortunately, the depression usually returns, so it is best to consult with the doctor about slowly and safely decreasing the dose. An abrupt stop may cause withdrawal symptoms.

In some events, it is possible for children, teens, and young adults who take antidepressants to have an increase in suicidal thoughts or behaviors. This is especially common in the first few weeks or a change in dosage. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also warns that patients of all ages taking antidepressants should be closely watched, especially the first few weeks of treatment.


Psychotherapy, sometimes called “talk therapy,” can help people suffering from depression tremendously. Some evidence-based psychotherapy approaches include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and problem-solving therapy.

Brain stimulation therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a depression treatment used if medications do not reduce symptoms. ECT can be the first-line of depression treatment when a rapid response for improvement is needed. Ordinarily, ECT is a series of sessions consisting three times, for up to four weeks.

The person cannot feel the electric impulses, so this depression treatment therapy is not painful. Although it may cause some effects which include confusion, disorientation, and memory loss. Side effects caused by ECT are typically short-term, however, memory problems may linger. Overall, ECT is a safe and effective depression treatment for most patients due to its advances over the years.

Ways to Help a Loved One With Depression


When a friend or family member suffers from depression, it can make the people around them feel helpless, guilty, and sad. Nevertheless, support from a loved one is vital during the recovery process of depression treatment. Many times, friends and family are the first to recognize symptoms of depression. A good way to help a suffering loved one is to learn as much as possible about depression and be familiar with the common forms of depression treatment.

A huge incentive to get a person suffering from depression to seek treatment is the support of a loved one. Talking to them about what they are dealing with is not an easy conversation. Listen to the person’s feelings and fears to guide them into making encouraging changes. Depressed people lost the will to live and need help finding the joy in life again.

Some pointers that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:
  • Be active and exercise
  • Set realistic goals
  • Try to spend time with other people and entrust in a trusted friend, relative, or support group
  • Try not to isolate yourself, and allow others to help you
  • Expect a gradual increase of mood, nothing immediate
  • Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation
  • Continuously educate yourself about depression

residential Depression Treatment in Orange County

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects far too many people in the United States. Whether you are internally battling depression, or your loved one is suffering from this disorder, many people feel the effects of depression.

At SoCal Empowered, our depression treatment consists of evidence-based therapies and medications, which is always personalized to the patient’s needs. Give us a call today if you or a loved one is suffering from a major depressive disorder.