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Escaping the Depths of Depression

Clinical Depression

Clinical depression is one of the most common mental health disorders worldwide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2021, “An estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 8.3% of all U.S. adults.”

Avery Lane treats depression using evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies.

Woman with small smile who has managed her depression.

What is Clinical Depression?

    Everyone has days where they feel sad about life or specific situations. However, clinical depression causes significant emotional distress and disrupts a person’s ability to function for prolonged periods. Studies have shown major depressive disorder (MDD) “is diagnosed when an individual has a persistently low or depressed mood, anhedonia or decreased interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, lack of energy, poor concentration, appetite changes, psychomotor retardation or agitation, sleep disturbances, or suicidal thoughts.” An official diagnosis is necessary to ensure the best treatment.

    Multiple disorders exist with primary depressive symptoms, including:

    • Major depression
    • Dysthymia/Persistent depressive disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
    • Postpartum depression (PPD)
    • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

    Some people with substance use disorder (SUD) may have depressive symptoms without meeting the criteria for clinical depression. The clinical team at Avery Lane conducts comprehensive assessments and screenings to ensure clients with depression are accurately diagnosed and treated. Clinicians treat any depressive symptoms alongside SUD and other co-occurring conditions. Integrative care and a trauma-informed approach reduce the severity of symptoms for many people in treatment.

    Signs & Symptoms

    Everyone reacts to depression differently, and the symptoms exist along a spectrum. However, some of the most common signs of depression include:

    • Sudden loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
    • Unusual and persistent sadness
    • Frequent crying for no particular reason
    • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or oversleeping
    • Changes in appetite causing noticeable weight gain or loss
    • Social isolation and withdrawal from loved ones
    • Self-harming behaviors

    Many of the symptoms of depression are only noticeable to the person experiencing them, making it difficult for friends or family to recognize a problem. Most people with clinical depression experience the symptoms and side effects for at least half the days during a given week. However, they may have whole days or even weeks where they feel perfectly normal before the symptoms return. Depression is often directly affected by stress levels. Women in early recovery may experience more stressors and have increased symptoms of depression.

    Overcoming Clinical Depression Starts Here

    Avery Lane uses comprehensive assessments to diagnose co-occurring mental health disorders during admissions. Professional addiction recovery and mental health treatment programs help women struggling with depression. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (800) 270-2406.

    The Side Effects of Untreated Depression

    Untreated depression has the potential to cause self-harming behaviors and suicidal ideation. According to SSM Population Health, “Left undiagnosed and thus untreated, depression can worsen and significantly diminish quality of life.” Often, people with SUD are unaware their symptoms are caused by untreated depression. The two conditions share overlapping symptoms and risk factors, making them difficult to differentiate.

    Some common side effects of chronic, untreated depression include:

    • Constant fatigue
    • Increased risk-taking behaviors
    • Reduced productivity at work or school
    • Relationship problems
    • Increased risk of developing physical illnesses

    Women are more likely to be diagnosed with depressive disorders. According to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, “The fact that increased prevalence of depression correlates with hormonal changes in women, particularly during puberty, prior to menstruation, following pregnancy and at perimenopause, suggests that female hormonal fluctuations may be a trigger for depression.” Genetics and environmental factors also play a significant role in the development of depression for women with SUD.

    How Depression Affects the Brain

    Depression is one of the most common mental health issues worldwide. Many women diagnosed with SUD have co-occurring depression or severe depression symptoms that impact their quality of life. Depression affects the brain and other body systems by influencing neurotransmitters and hormones.

    Chronic depression affects the function and structure of the brain. Early intervention and treatment is the best way to avoid severe side effects. However, early intervention are not always possible. Often, depression goes undiagnosed and untreated.

    Some of the areas most commonly affected by depression include:

    • Amygdala: The processing center for emotions
    • Hippocampus: The area responsible for learning and memory
    • Dorsomedial thalamus: A region that plays a role in completing cognitive tasks and memory

    Not all forms of depression are caused by emotional distress. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Some central nervous system injuries and illnesses may also lead to depression.” Individuals with depression caused by physical illness or injury to the brain should receive comprehensive treatment for all related conditions during recovery. Case managers can help women find resources for managing issues affecting their physical health during treatment.

    Treatment Options at Avery Lane

    Depression increases the risk of relapse for women in recovery by worsening symptoms and causing emotional distress. Avery Lane offers residential, partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), and outpatient treatment programs for women with SUD and co-occurring depressive disorders. Women collaborate with their care team to determine which treatment modalities fit their needs and preferences.

    Avery Lane offers traditional psychotherapy and alternative holistic therapies, including energy psychology. Clients have complete control over their treatment plans. Women with co-occurring depression often benefit from combining multiple therapeutic methods and prescription medications. Managing symptoms allows them to heal from substance misuse and establish new healthy routines to support a sober life, reduce stress, and decrease symptoms of depression.

    Transform Your Life with Mental Health Care

    Avery Lane provides expertly designed treatment programs for various mental health conditions, including:


    Therapy, anti-anxiety medications, and mindfulness.

    Bipolar Disorder

    A multi-faceted approach to bipolar disorder.

    Borderline Personality Disorder

    Addressed with DBT, CBT, and medication.


    Overcome codependency with healthy boundaries.


    Combining multiple therapeutic methods.

    Grief and Loss

    Nurturing resilience indifficult times.

    Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

    Actively confront and overcome PTSD.

    Verify Your Insurance

    Avery Lane has admissions specialists ready to help you determine insurance coverage and financing options. We accept most private, commercial insurance. Please note that we are unable to accept 
Medi-Cal, Medicare, or Medicaid at this time. Click below to fill out our Confidential Insurance Verification Form and we will contact you promptly.

    Addiction recovery health Insurance logos that covered at Avery Lane

    What Women Experience

    Hear What Our Alumni Has To say about Avery Lane

    Camille Open Door at Avery Lane Womens Rehab Novato

    We were all so fortunate to find Avery Lane when our daughter was at a low point. An initial diagnosis was confirmed by staff and the time spent there in recovery was very beneficial to both our daughter and ourselves. Our daughter was able to find out why she was behaving the way she was and was given many tools to help her recovery.

    D.A. and J.A. - Parents of Avery Lane Alumni

    What Women Experience

    Hear What Our Alumni Has To say about Avery Lane

    I can only say that seeking help is the first big step. I am so grateful to have found the team at Avery Lane…this past year has been far from easy or simple. I’ve had my moments of doubt, crisis, despair, loneliness…. but in each of those instances I had an incredible group of women to help me through my journey…reminding me of the many tools at my disposal, the strength of my soul and the freedom that comes when you face your worst fears.

    D.R. - Avery Lane Alumni

    My daughter chose to go to Avery Lane because it was founded by a woman, run by women and only treated women. It gave her a safe sanctuary to heal as well as peace of mind for us, her parents, who did not want her in a co-ed treatment program."

    C.H - Mother of Avery Lane Alumni