IOP for Depression

Getting Outpatient Support for Depression at Icarus

If you or a loved one are one of the 21 million American adults who suffer from depression, you know that the disorder is more than just being sad. Depression is dangerous. It can impact all aspects of your daily life and even put you in danger of harming yourself or others.

Dealing with untreated depression is no way to live – but effective mental health treatment methods like an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for depression can help.

Working with the right team of mental health professionals in a treatment program like IOP for depression or anxiety makes it easier to access the resources and develop the coping strategies and skills you need to take back control over your mental illness.

When I realized that I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live due to my depression, I decided to reach out to Icarus Behavioral Health. Through their intensive outpatient program, I was able to stop my mental health spiral and begin to manage my condition so that I could enjoy my life again.

Keep reading to learn more about what IOP for depression looks like and how Icarus can help you learn to live with (and thrive) despite the challenges posed by depressive disorders.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive outpatient programs, also known as IOPs, are a form of clinically-guided treatment for patients that is conducted under the care of a mental health professional or care team. An intensive outpatient program is used for both mental health treatment and addiction treatment. However, it’s more commonly used for treating conditions like depression because many conditions don’t require direct supervision for health reasons. Or, it’s used after an inpatient program is completed to help a client with their recovery.

The “intensive” element of IOPs is that you must follow an assigned schedule as part of your treatment plan. You’ll usually go to the treatment center for about 10 hours per week over 2-4 days, but it’s an outpatient treatment because you don’t stay at the treatment facility. You’ll go home after every session and return on your next scheduled day.

Every intensive outpatient program will have different rules, schedules, treatments, and program durations, but you can expect to see a variety of different therapies, including individual and group therapy, used as a part of an IOP for depression.

Is an IOP for Depression Covered by Insurance?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made the coverage of pre-existing conditions such as depression and other mental health disorders required by law, and many insurers cover the costs of our IOP for depression programs at Icarus. Our Admissions team is standing by and can quickly and confidentially verify insurance benefits, answer questions, and provide costs of treatment (if any apply).

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Intensive Outpatient Programs vs Inpatient and Outpatient Programs

An IOP is a balanced approach to mental health treatment that falls in between inpatient programs that require you to stay at the facility and outpatient programs where you attend appointments on your schedule.

You can maintain the structure of a routine for treatment like you would have during inpatient programs while enjoying the versatility to maintain your responsibilities and see your family, similar to what outpatient programs offer.

Personally, the freedom to maintain a mostly normal lifestyle while receiving intensive treatment was the selling point for my IOP choice.

What Does Depression Look Like?

Depressed Man

Depression comes in many different forms and presents differently in each person. In some cases, you and your loved ones might not even know you’re suffering. You might think you’re sick, overworked, tired, or stressed out, but in reality, you’re depressed.

Depression generally leads to chronic issues that impact your everyday life and make it hard for you to address these issues on your own. It could cause you to fall behind in school, struggle with work deadlines, or begin neglecting things like personal hygiene or keeping your home clean.

Signs of Depression

While most people think of depression as intense sadness, its impact is much more significant than just being upset about something.

Some symptoms of depression include:

  • A loss of interest in previous passions
  • Struggling to find motivation
  • Trouble getting out of bed
  • Low energy
  • Trouble focusing
  • Less social interaction
  • Increased anxiety

Depression can also present as physical symptoms like eating disorders, obesity, and coordination issues that are noticeable and a sign to seek treatment.

When to Get Help with Depression

If you or a loved one are experiencing these feelings or are having suicidal thoughts, it’s crucial that you get help as soon as possible. If left untreated, depression can lead to dangerous effects like self-harm, reckless behavior, and other tendencies that put the sufferer at risk.

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The Role of IOPs in Treating Depressive Disorders

Intensive outpatient programs are a common approach to treating depression and anxiety disorders that are having a significant impact on your daily life.

The goal of an IOP is to build healthy habits, identify the reasons behind your depression, and problem-solve to learn how you can overcome your struggles. Then, you work to implement them in your daily life.

These skills are developed through therapy and medication management, which are both staples of intensive outpatient programs and are highly effective for overcoming the physical and mental health symptoms of depression.

How Therapy Helps With Depression

Individual Therapy for Depression

Intensive outpatient programs usually offer both individual and group talk therapy as part of your treatment plan. The combination of expert-guided, individual therapy sessions and group-based camaraderie provides you with new coping skills, perspectives, and, potentially, new relationships.

Individual Forms of Therapy for Depression Treatment

Individual forms of therapy may include cognitive behavioral therapy, which works to help you change the way you think, allowing you to identify stressful, depressing, or negative thoughts and realign your thinking to something more positive.

Interpersonal therapy can also be used to help improve depression symptoms caused by your relationships and interpersonal skills.

Additionally, psychodynamic therapy works to uncover subconscious thoughts, feelings, and emotions that may be contributing to depression without you being aware of them, helping to address the issue at the root cause.

The Benefits of Group Therapy Sessions for Depression Treatment

Group therapy is another cornerstone of IOPs for depression. It relies on social elements and group dynamics to help with feeling isolated or lonely in your depression by showing you that you’re not alone. It creates a judgment-free zone where you can safely share what you need to say and receive reassurance.

You may even have something in common with the others in your group, allowing you to build new relationships with like-minded people that help make coping with your depression easier.

Group therapy also has the benefit of providing multiple perspectives, giving you insight into your condition and advice that can change your perspective from negative to positive.

How Medication Management Improves Depression

Depression is a complex issue that doesn’t have a cure. In addition to the mental elements of the disorder, there are also physical elements that can contribute to depression.

Serotonin is a brain chemical that regulates your mood, sleep, and other bodily mechanisms. If you don’t have enough serotonin, it can cause symptoms of depression like anxiety, sleep problems, and low mood.

Medications like antidepressants are often used to help increase the amount of serotonin that you have available, ensuring that your brain has everything it needs to regulate your mood.

While no medication can cure depression, antidepressants give you more emotional stability so that you can work on improving your condition and developing coping skills.

The Effectiveness of an IOP for Treating Depression

IOP for Treating Depression

If you’re struggling with depression, you might be worried about whether an IOP is intensive enough to meet your needs. Fortunately, intensive outpatient therapy programs have been shown to be capable of achieving similar results to inpatient treatment programs.

While traditional therapy treatment programs might recommend seeing a therapist once a week and a psychiatrist once a month, an intensive outpatient program adds additional individualized and group therapy to your treatment plan along with closer medication management. As a result, you’re able to make faster progress and more aggressively combat the negative feelings you experience as a result of your depression.

IOP Programs Let You Practice Your Skills

In addition to achieving similar results and providing more flexibility than inpatient treatment programs, an IOP also has the advantage of allowing you to use what you’ve learned in therapy in your everyday life.

Inpatient treatment keeps you away from your daily life for the length of the treatment plan, so you aren’t exposed to any triggers that you can use your coping skills to overcome.

However, you can immediately put your newfound skills to use and see the progress you’re making, giving you encouragement to continue treatment in real-world applications.

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Get Support With an IOP for Depression from Icarus

Depression is a serious and debilitating disorder that impacts all aspects of your daily life. Whether you struggle with waking up in the morning, can’t focus at work, avoid social interaction, or have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it’s critical that you take steps to address your condition and learn how to cope with it.

An intensive outpatient program provides you with flexible but effective treatment that teaches you the skills you need to overcome the limitations that depression can impose on you – and there’s no better place to start than Icarus.

Icarus Behavioral Health offers mental health treatment programs for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other mental health conditions. Their IOP allows you to receive individual therapy and medication management as well as group therapy to help you build a sense of belonging while you learn coping skills.

Don’t let depression control your life. Get in touch with an Icarus representative to learn more about how their intensive outpatient program can help you take back the reins.

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