What Helps Major Depression? 3 Ways Residential Treatment Paves the Road to Recovery

To understand what really helps depression, it’s important to get to know the person, their life as it is, and the life they really want. Residential treatment centers make it possible to get this personal and to help someone heal from the inside out. This kind of comprehensive care reverses the trend of isolation and frees a person’s true motivations so they can embrace their own treatment path for the future.

Treatment isn’t the end of the road; it’s the beginning. Some people try to weather their depression and end up in treatment when they have no fight left in them. Some people are all out of hope and can’t even access their reasons for wanting to get better by the time they finally face help. But no matter where depression has led up until now—no matter how many detours or dark and uncertain paths it has traced—treatment charts a new and lasting path, and all manner of possibilities are laid out ahead.

What helps depression depends on the tried-and-true treatment options that clinicians have carefully developed over time. But it also very much depends on the individual’s unique needs, the way they relate to life’s challenges, and what motivates them to embrace positive growth. So, the best depression treatment program is one that offers the time and space to explore a person’s struggles and their hopes—and everything in between—and to design proactive solutions to heal the whole person, not just their depression.

Getting Personal: What Helps Depression?


When major depression sets in, it can take over a person’s whole life—their outlook, their emotions, even their ability to function and complete normal tasks throughout their day. It makes sense, then, that treatment should take into account a person’s whole life and approach healing from all angles. In other words, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option for treating depression.

First, a psychiatrist leads a thorough assessment to understand what type of depression or other disorder an individual has and how it’s affecting them in their daily life. Second, the clinician is able to determine the best well-rounded treatment options available to kickstart their healing. In an immersive treatment environment, a person can stay and dedicate their undivided attention to their recovery. In a residential treatment center, there is a focus on comfort and privacy, on supportive community, and on proven strategies for successful recovery outcomes.

1 – Healing from the Inside Out


A comprehensive treatment program helps to narrow in on the triggers and sources of stress under the surface. More than just putting a temporary bandage on the symptoms, comprehensive treatment aims to identify everything that plays a role in an individual’s depression. These may be neurological or hormonal elements, environmental stressors, relationships, thoughts and feelings about oneself.

Effective treatment for depression goes far beyond medication alone—especially since the goal is to pave way for long-term recovery. When a client works closely with clinicians, they are able to gain real confidence in their own ability to cope with stress and depression because they understand what is going on from the inside out. And they have learned and practiced positive strategies that really work to mitigate depressive symptoms.

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2 – Counteracting Isolation


Depression can be a powerfully isolating illness. Even if a person does not necessarily spend their days alone, depressive symptoms can feel like walls keeping everyone else out and keeping the individual stuck in the depths of their negative thoughts and feelings. Whatever the nature of the isolation, it can intensify the symptoms of depression and stall the healing processes.

The best residential treatment environments are communities of healing. Because clients stay for extended programs between 30 and 90 days long, they get to know all of the compassionate staff, each of whom brings a unique perspective and ideas for recovery success. Clients will also live and interact with a diverse group of other clients who are also working toward healing and personal goals. Learning and practicing alongside their peers help clients to believe that they are not alone and that their supportive resources are real and lasting.

3 – Promoting Personal Motivation


Recovery is not done to someone. An individual is a powerful agent in their own healing. That is not to say that someone with major depression should be able to heal on their own. It is, after all, a serious and dangerous mental health disorder that requires a multi-dimensional approach to treatment. But, with the right clinical support, the person at the center of this journey can feel empowered to lead their life with positive new strategies for coping with their depression and stress.

That is why motivational interviewing and goal setting are such important components of long-term treatment programs. It is vital that a client can feel engaged in their own treatment journey. Perhaps they won’t feel a motivating connection with treatment right away, but residential treatment is designed in a way that clients can grow into it—especially as their depressive symptoms begin to lessen under the dedicated clinical care.

When a person’s own interests and goals are woven into their treatment plan, it really can become a rich and successful experience that reaches well beyond the 30–90 days spent in the program. The focus on the other end of recovery won’t just be relief from depression symptoms; it will be the life this person wants to create for themselves for the long term.

Bridges to Recovery offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with mental health disorders as well as process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Los Angeles and San Diego-based programs and how we can help you or your loved one start on the path to healing.