Depression is a complex disease. Symptoms can range from irritability, feelings of worthlessness and loss of energy, just to name a few. (Some individuals even report physical changes such as gastrointestinal problems and chronic joint pain.)
The signs and symptoms of depression vary and the therapies designed to manage the condition are diverse as well. And, patients react to those treatments in different ways. Given that, how can clinicians pinpoint which therapy (or combination of therapies) for depression will work the best?
Answering this question underlies the basis of the research directed by Conor Liston, a psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College. Liston and his team are currently working to classify the various subtypes of depression using MRI scans of the brain and then identify the most effective treatments for each subtype.
The scientists first scanned the brains of 1,118 research participants. Among those, 458 had already received a clinical diagnosis of depression. Specifically, they wanted to better understand the level of activity among the medial prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain. After reviewing the MRIs for various patterns of brain activity, Liston and team were able to identify four distinct depression subtypes.
And their results were remarkable. Among those with depression, they found that each subtype responded very differently to various therapies and medications. Based on the research findings, the scientists could predict how to best treat the patient for depression just by reviewing an image of their brain activity. In general, patients that exhibited a lot of activity in their medial prefrontal cortex responded more quickly to cognitive behavioral therapy in contrast to individuals with lower levels of activity in that region of the brain.
“The type of brain that responds to psychotherapy is where there’s a strong pattern of connectivity between the frontal areas of the brain, which are involved more in thinking, talking, and problem-solving, etc., with other portions of the brain. Whereas people who have low connectivity — the opposite pattern — respond to the medication,” says psychologist W. Edward Craighead, one of the authors of this study.
Individuals with behavioral health issues, such as depression, often struggle with addiction. That’s why we specialize in offering a variety of mental health services for Christians. To help address a complex dual-diagnosis, we can help with medication management, group and individual therapy and faith-based support. If you are dealing with behavioral health and addiction issues, please call (877) 310-9545 to explore your addiction treatment options at Christian Rehab Network.
It’s a staggering statistic. 17.5 million adults currently suffer from a serious mental illness according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). And, among those with behavioral health issues, four million adults also have a co-occurring addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Given the fact that so many individuals need help for both substance abuse issues and mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, more addiction recovery specialists recommend treatments, like talk therapy, that can help patients address both conditions concurrently.
If you are seeking help for a co-occurring condition, your addiction recovery team may recommend that you participate in psychotherapy (a.k.a. talk therapy) to help you process your feelings and find healthier alternatives to destructive behaviors.
But, if you have reservations about participating in talk therapy, you shouldn’t. By taking the time to learn more about this therapeutic option, you can ease your fears.
FACT: One of the biggest misconceptions about talk therapy is that it only focuses on what is wrong. In contrast, the focus of talk therapy is all about helping the client seek out and implement solutions for their problems.
FACT: In reality, there are a wide range of professionals you can see to participate in therapy sessions including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and counselors.
FACT: Over the past few decades, thousands of people have benefitted from going to therapy to help them work through challenging periods of their lives including divorce, starting a new career or the loss of a loved one. In fact, when individuals seek help for addiction or behavioral health issues, it is a positive sign that the individual is strong enough to prioritize their well-being.
Are you coping with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and suffering from a behavioral health issue like depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder? At Christian Rehab Network, we can help you get the comprehensive help you need to make you whole again – while also strengthening your relationship with Christ. Learn more about our mental health services for Christians by calling (877) 310-9545.