[Research] Predicting Depression Treatment Effectiveness

April 21, 2017
Christian Rehab Network
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Depressed women sitting on the floorDepression 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.

Mental Health Treatment for Christians

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.

Seasonal Affective Disorder: When Winter Brings on the Blues

December 14, 2016
Christian Rehab Network
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Woman with seasonal affective disorderEverybody has the occasional bad day when your computer crashes right in the middle of a big work assignment or your mechanic is the bearer of bad (and expensive) news. But, for some people, those bad days can stretch into weeks or even months during winter.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects up to 20 percent of the population causing symptoms including weight gain, overwhelming fatigue and a heightened sense of irritability.

If you are starting a new life of sobriety and think you might have seasonal affective disorder, it’s important to talk to your recovery team to get a professional diagnosis. They can put together a targeted treatment plan to help you avoid turning to drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medicating.

Though, similar to many other behavioral health issues, making healthy lifestyle choices can help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Here are a few you might consider.

(1) Keep your home and office light and BRIGHT.

Many researchers believe that the root cause of SAD is related to the limited hours of daylight during the winter months. While you can’t fast forward to spring, you can alter your environment. Keep the curtains open at home and put a lamp on your desk at the office.

(2) Get some fresh air.

When you don’t feel like yourself, you might be more inclined to stay inside and hibernate. But, that will likely only exacerbate your mood. Make a point of spending some time outside every day. Even just a brief walk around your block can help.

(3) Nourish yourself with walnuts, salmon and flaxseed.

They offer a good, natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat shown to boost brain health. It works by increasing the level of dopamine in your brain and facilitating neuronal growth in your frontal cortex.

Christ-Based Behavioral Health Treatment

At Christian Rehab Network, our team of credentialed therapists and pastors specialize in treating co-occurring disorders that often accompany addiction. With Christ-based care, we can help you start a new life of sobriety and address other issues including depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. If you are searching for help strengthening your relationship with Christ while overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call (877) 310-9545 to learn more.

3 Myths about Talk Therapy, Debunked

October 24, 2016
Christian Rehab Network
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Woman in a talk therapy sessionIt’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.

3 Things You Need to Know about Talk Therapy

  1. MYTH: Therapy is just about talking about your problems.

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.

  1. MYTH: Only psychiatrists offer therapy sessions.

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.

  1. MYTH: Only crazy people go to therapy.

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.

Find Comprehensive Treatment Services for Co-Occurring Disorders

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.

3 Reasons Why the Great Outdoors is So Good for You: Holistic Addiction Treatment

October 17, 2016
Christian Rehab Network
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Woman enjoying being outdoorsHave you ever wondered why you sometimes crave spending time outside? What is it about fresh air and a little sunshine that have such a powerful effect on our mood? Multiple research studies have actually proven that the simple act of being outdoors can have a positive impact on virtually every aspect of our physical health and mental well-being – everything from anxiety and stress reduction to increased brain function.

And, the health benefits of the great outdoors can be especially beneficial for those on a journey to addiction recovery. Living through years of drug and alcohol abuse may have drained you of energy and left you feeling less than your best. Though, there are many holistic addiction treatments available – including spending more time outside - that can support your sobriety by helping you recharge.

3 Reasons Why You Should Spend More Time Outside

(1) It can give you a boost of creativity. The next time you are trying to figure out the answer to a problem at work, trying taking a short walk outside. In a research study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology, participants experienced a greater degree of creative decision making after taking a short walk on a treadmill and a greater benefit when taking a walk outside.

(2) Being outside can help you beat the blues. Researchers at the University of Michigan explored the mental health benefits of walking outdoors and found that group nature walks are linked with significantly lower rates of depression and an improvement in mental health and overall well-being.

(3) You might be able to ward off the flu. In one study conducted by Japanese scientists, research participants spent several days camping and at the end of the study, most were found to have a stronger immune system and less susceptibility to catching a cold or the flu.

The simple act of spending time in the great outdoors has a multitude of physical, mental and spiritual benefits which can benefit everyone – especially those recovering from a life of addiction. If you are building a new life of sobriety, consider ways you can tweak your daily routine to spend a few minutes outside each day. By spending a little more time outdoors each day, you can reduce your risk of relapse and feel more energized about a life free from addiction.

Helping You Heal

Whether you’re in need of mental health services, inpatient addiction treatment or supervised drug detox, you can rest assured the provider we match you with will be able to treat you with the kind of Christian-based care you need to heal your mind, body, and spirit. Call Christian Rehab Network today at (877) 310-9545, and we will walk by your side through enrollment, treatment, and recovery.




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