Managing Depression After Residential Treatment Using Technology
Taking control of your depression is a process that requires every ounce of the energy in your mind and body. Although residential treatment will help you through this difficult time and equip you with the tools to manage your depression, you will still experience tough times where symptoms of your illness begin to surface once again. Using the right technological tools, you can supplement what you’ve learned in treatment and overcome these symptoms by maintaining positivity in your life.
“Like mourning the death of someone you once loved—you,” someone suffering from depression explains. “When you look in the mirror you see only dead eyes. There is no spark. No joy. No hope. You wonder how you will manage to exist another day.”
Depression is constant struggle, and the healing process can seem like one that will never end. Despite what you might feel in the moment, overcoming this struggle is possible. Through residential treatment you can regain a sense of worth and become equipped with tools that act on both your physical and mental health in order to manage your depression in the long-term. Using what you’ve learned, you can come to see the world as something worth living and regain the ability to envision a positive future. In addition to the resources you take away from treatment, there are other free tools that can help you and sustain the progress that you’ve made in overcoming your illness.
In today’s technology-based world, a variety of resources and information is available to anybody at any moment, giving us more power to learn and experience what we want. Using the progress and personal growth that you gain from residential treatment, you can continue down this path of positivity using the various effective and convenient technological tools at your fingertips, giving you access to support for living with and managing your illness.
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Online Programs for Dealing with Depressive Feelings
A quick search online will reveal numerous online programs that offer services similar to those therapists use to guide individuals through depression in the treatment setting. Using these programs, you can deal with any depressive feelings that arise outside of the healthcare setting and maintain the progress that you made during residential treatment.
A recent study tested out a digital cognitive behavioral program by the company myStrength that was designed to be used in the workplace to support employees who suffer from depression. Using tools such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and various mindfulness practices, the program offers a way for employees to engage their feelings and emotions privately in the workplace. At the same time, they also have the option of connecting to other people who understand the struggles of depression. The results showed that the group that used the digital program experienced reductions in their depression and anxiety symptoms that were three times as much as those experienced by the control group that did not take advantage of the program.
Apps for Controlling and Monitoring Your Emotions
Using apps designed to help you manage your depression gives you the ability to address symptoms anytime you have your phone. With this convenience, you will always have a fallback when you don’t have access to a doctor or online programs such as the one outlined above.
Color therapy is increasingly being used as an alternative to ease depression for those who want to avoid medication-based treatments. Using various colors, this form of therapy works to induce positive emotions in individuals suffering from depression and facilitate the process of self-healing, leading to an increased mood and boosted energy levels. With a mobile phone, you can access apps, such as Chromotherapy, that provide color therapy wherever you are, allowing you to address your feelings and emotions on-the-spot when they surface instead of letting them linger and exert more control over your life.
When you’re on the brink of slipping back into depression, it can be hard to gauge how your mood and feelings are changing as the days go by. Even though you feel like your depression is under control for the most part, intense feelings of despair can threaten to turn each day into the familiar hopeless canvas where every color seems to be gray. In reality, your mood is likely fluctuating slightly each day, and by being able to monitor these fluctuations, you can better grasp and understand your depression. MoodTune is an app that can assess, track, and improve your depressive symptoms by using data collected by simple tasks that you conduct. Based on over 10 years of peer-reviewed research on neuroscience and depression, this app creates a unique medical profile for each user and can also provide assessments for other mental health conditions including anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
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Games that Help Depression
In the proper context and when used in moderation, videogames can be great ways to battle depression. Whether they’re games that provide easy channels for you to connect with and have experiences with others or those designed to convey what the depression feels like, videogames have come a long way and their medically beneficial influence is starting to become recognized.
With no hope or motivation, pulling yourself out of bed and out of the house is a monumental struggle when you suffer from depression. However, with the popularity of Pokémon Go, many are claiming that the unique mobile game gives them a reason to leave their homes and interact with both the world around them and the people in it. Just 30 minutes of nature exposure each week is enough to reduce the chances of developing depression, and with a game like Pokémon Go, players have plenty of opportunity to explore areas dense with trees and various forms of nature, pushing you into the world and helping you remember what you’ve been missing.
Through the exploration of landscapes based on various emotions, users of Elude embark on a journey to find “passion objects” in order to help them overcome the burdens of their depression. Elude was designed for the purpose of educating friends and loved ones of individuals suffering from depression by contrasting what is feels like to be depressed with other moods—each represented by the games constantly shifting worlds. Through its metaphorical representation of depression, Elude contrasts what it’s like to feel depressed with happier mood states. Designed to be used in a clinical context, it can help family and friends empathize with how their loved ones with depression are feeling and promote feelings of acceptance and understanding in individuals who suffer from depression, ultimately helping them better manage their illness after treatment.
Maintaining Progress and Positivity
Climbing out of the bleak world of depression and re-experiencing the world are possible in the context of residential treatment. It can be scary to feel as if you’re on your own after leaving, but with the tools that you gain through treatment and the various other healthy coping mechanisms, including those mentioned above, you can stay strong and maintain control over your illness.
At the end of the day, leaving treatment doesn’t mean that you’ve been cured—it simply means you now have the ability to control your mind in a more positive way. Managing depression is a lifelong struggle, and understanding how to control it is important when it starts to surface. With the right treatment and proper tools, you can begin to reconnect with your loved ones and, most importantly, remember the person who you truly are underneath your illness.
Bridges to Recovery offers residential treatment programs for individuals living with depression, as well as other co-occurring mental health disorders, substance abuse, and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about the residential treatment process and the various ways that you or your loved ones can manage and control depression after treatment.
Lead Image Source: Unsplash user Ben White