5 Signs That You May Need Inpatient Treatment For Depression

Some people throw around words like “depressed” and “depressing” when what they really mean is “bummed out” or “disappointed.” This can be confusing for those who don’t understand that depression is a real mental health condition that involves much more than momentary feelings of disappointment or sadness.

Depression is a serious but treatable mental health disorder that significantly impacts a person’s daily life. Depression doesn’t always show up the same way in everyone, but according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), typically, symptoms of depression include some combination of the following:

  • Persistent sadness or anxiety

  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness

  • Loss of pleasure

  • Restlessness or irritability

  • Significant sleep changes

  • Significant appetite changes

  • Fatigue

  • Diminished concentration

  • Suicidal thoughts


Recognizing these signs and symptoms is an important step toward getting the care you need. First steps for depression treatment usually involved involve a visit to a mental health counselor for behavioral therapy or to a psychiatrist for antidepressant medication. Sometimes, however, feelings of hopelessness and despair persist, despite these measures taken to manage the symptoms of depression. When this is the case, it may be time for inpatient treatment.

5 signs you may need inpatient treatment for depression

Inpatient programs for depression offer a targeted and comprehensive treatment plan in a quiet, therapeutic environment away from daily stressors.  But how do you know when it’s time to seek inpatient treatment? Take a look below at these five signs.

  1. You’re struggling with drugs or alcohol

Depression and substance abuse often go hand in hand.  In some cases, people drink or use drugs to escape feelings of depression and despair. In other cases, drug and alcohol abuse can actually lead to depression. In fact, one study found that alcohol abuse is more likely to cause depression than depression is to lead to alcohol abuse. Either way, there’s no denying that substance abuse and depression exacerbate one another, and in order to achieve lasing recovery, proper intervention is required. An inpatient treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis will provide an integrated treatment plan to address these co-occurring disorders so that true recovery can occur.   

  1. You’re struggling with gambling, shopping, or overeating

Depression is uncomfortable, and substance abuse is just one way that people seek to self-soothe. Other people develop compulsive behaviors that may be a little bit easier to hide from others or to justify to themselves.  Shopping and gambling, compulsive sexual behavior and overeating are all behaviors that can provide a temporary relief from depression. But then these compulsive behaviors give way to shame and feelings of guilt and worthlessness, creating a vicious cycle that deepens depression. An inpatient treatment program for depression will include a range of therapeutic modalities customized to each person and their particular needs, providing skills and techniques to identify triggers, manage behaviors, and break the cycle.

  1. Your depression is negatively impacting you relationships

Contrary to popular belief, depression doesn’t just cause sadness.  People with severe depression may find themselves short-tempered, irritable, and generally negative.  On the other hand, family members and partners may not fully understand depression and will unknowingly put on additional pressure for the depressed person to “snap out of it.” This can then lead to further feelings of guilt, anger, and resentment, causing fights, arguments, and misunderstandings that erode the relationship.  When patients receive inpatient treatment for depression, the time away from their daily lives helps them to see clearly how depression is affecting both their behaviors and their relationships. Individual, group, and family therapies help participants learn symptom management and communication skills and strategies that lead to personal healing and repaired relationships.  

  1. You lack motivation to leave home or engage with others

For some people who suffer from depression, it’s all they can do to make it through the workday, and weekends are spent at home, alone maybe in front of the television.  Sometimes, even getting dressed and going to work or to therapy sessions requires more effort than they can bear. This kind of isolation and lethargy feeds itself, worsening depression and further impacting work, relationships, and other areas of life. An inpatient treatment program for depression will provide round the clock care, medication management, nutrition therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and group therapy in a nurturing environment, enabling you to safely re-engage with others and with the pleasures life has to offer.  

  1. Suicide is always on your mind

When feelings of depression and despair become unbearable, it can begin to seem like death is the only way to stop the suffering. Suicidal thoughts can sneak up on you, first maybe showing up as intermittent curiosity, but soon taking up more of your focus and mental energy.  If you’re thinking about suicide at all, it’s time to seek treatment. Suicidal depression is real, and an inpatient treatment program for depression can help keep you safe, treat your symptoms, and develop personalized strategies to de-escalate feelings of despair and reconnect with optimism and hope.

Inpatient treatment for depression at Alvarado Parkway Institute

At Alvarado Parkway Institute, we believe every human has a unique calling and purpose for their lives.  And all too often, depression, addiction, and other mental health conditions keep people from accessing or realizing their potential.  Our inpatient depression treatment program helps those who suffer from depression learn to manage their symptoms, overcome their obstacles, and find meaning and joy in life once again.  To start your recovery, give us a call at 619-667-6125 or fill out our contact form today.