If You’re Always Feeling Blue, Is Treatment Right for You?

By The Fix staff 05/22/18

Sierra Tucson's Mood and Anxiety Program is designed to treat people with disorders such as depression, OCD, social anxiety disorder, PTSD, and bipolar disorder, among others.

Depressed man sitting on bed.

The word “mood” gets thrown around a lot in everyday conversations and interactions. So much so, in fact, that you probably don’t even notice when it happens. It’s almost impossible to avoid learning about others’ moods on a near-constant basis, whether it’s as direct as someone’s Facebook post or as indirect as your manager’s attitude on any given afternoon. When your co-worker says he’s in a bad mood because his basketball team didn’t make the playoffs or your best friend says she’s in a terrific mood after a good date, they’re describing their immediate emotional states. Happy. Annoyed. Cranky. Excited. Frustrated. Jealous. The list is practically endless. But for those people who struggle with mood disorders, the word “mood” has a far different meaning. It’s not about fleeting feelings or temporary states of mind. Mood disorders are persistent emotional states that negatively impact the way someone sees and engages with the world.

Someone who suffers from depression isn’t someone who simply gets sad from time to time. In fact, mood disorders and other related conditions are often as debilitating as they are devastating. Sierra Tucson, however, knows that these kinds of disorders are unique challenges that require equally unique methods of treatment. Their one-of-a-kind Mood & Anxiety Program is specifically designed to treat people who suffer from such disorders as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder, among other conditions. Sierra Tucson also offers treatment for personality disorders, which aims to help sufferers of the condition through a holistic healing approach. Unfortunately, for many people, they don’t understand the nature of their disorders. While awareness of mental health disorders has increased over the years, the misperceptions about them sadly continue. Some people don’t seek treatment out of shame while others fear that no treatment could possibly help them. There are countless people, too, who wrongly believe that mental health problems aren’t “real” problems. In the end, it’s these wrong perceptions that prevent far too many people from getting the help they desperately need.

The goal of Sierra Tucson’s Mood & Anxiety Program is to decrease all the symptoms of mood disorders so that sufferers can begin to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Above all, the program is dedicated to ensuring that people get tools and techniques to help them succeed in recovery long after they’ve completed treatment. After going through the admissions process, residents of Sierra Tucson’s innovative program first meet with psychiatrists and nurses who conduct a comprehensive assessment, including a physical exam, a psych evaluation and (optionally) genetic testing. From there, residents will get a complete diagnostic evaluation from a highly trained, multidisciplinary team—all of whom are committed to customizing and coordinating a treatment program specific to that person. Physicians, therapists, continuing care coordinators, psychologists, therapeutic activity and fitness specialists and naturopathic physicians, among others, all work together to balance out residents’ lives as they go through mood disorder treatment.

The Mood & Anxiety Program provides residents a wide variety of medical and clinical services that help treat co-occurring conditions. As individuals go through the program, they find that the program changes with them. Through the use of individualized treatment plans, Sierra Tucson’s multidisciplinary team helps residents zero in on the underlying issues of their mood disorders. Overall, the team aims to help each and every one of their patients to find renewed emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. In addition to plans that are customized to each person, Sierra Tucson also provides a wide range of therapies and services to the individuals in the program. Group and individual therapy sessions are available in the program, alongside more dynamic, leading-edge approaches like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing® (SE), and stress-relieving Somato-Emotional Release (SER) massages. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is offered, too, which provides residents with coping skills in order to manage painful emotions. Biofeedback, neurofeedback and mindfulness teach relaxation techniques for dealing with stress. Integrative therapies like acupuncture, Shiatsu and yoga offer mind-body approaches for healing. Its unique aftercare program, Connect365, even keeps clients connected with mental health specialists for an entire year after they’ve left Sierra Tucson.

While the strategy, technique or approach that ultimately works for someone will differ from person to person, Sierra Tucson believes in providing a full range of options to maximize the potential for success. Still, despite its innovative and comprehensive program for treating mood and anxiety disorders, Sierra Tucson also knows that residential treatment isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Before committing to a treatment program, potential residents need to ask themselves some very direct, honest questions about where they currently are in life and where they want to be. People suffering from mood disorders also need to look beyond any common misconceptions they still have about conditions like depression.

Life doesn’t get easier simply by making the decision to enter treatment, so Sierra Tucson encourages individuals and their families to evaluate all the different programs out there, getting answers to some essential questions about residential treatment to help them on their journey to healing.

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