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I came to Skyland Trail hopeless and depressed. Skyland helped me build skills and relationships that gave me hope again.

– Heather B., Skyland Trail alumni


What is major depressive disorder?

An individual with major depressive disorder, or major depression, has symptoms of a depressive episode – feeling sad, sleeping too little or too much and feeling very tired, changes in appetite, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and physical activity changes – all day, every day, for at least two weeks with functional impairment. Approximately 36 percent of Skyland Trail clients are admitted to our residential and day treatment programs with a primary diagnosis of major depressive disorder.

Watch Video: Tony's Journey

Through Tony's hard work at Skyland Trail, he was able to find medications that worked to reduce his symptoms and learned important skills to help him maintain his wellness.
Watch Video >

What are the treatments for depression?

People with depression have successful results when they implement a full array of evidence-based strategies, including medication, psychotherapy, exercise, and sleep regulation. Other treatments like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) can also be very helpful. Early treatment is more effective and decreases the likelihood of recurrences.

At Skyland Trail, we tailor the treatment plan to each individual. In addition to optimizing the use of pharmacologic therapies, our holistic recovery program gives our clients the opportunity to learn about their illness and practice skills and strategies to cope with emotions and situations that may trigger depression.

Clients participate in individual and group therapy sessions where our psychiatrists and counselors use a combination of therapeutic approaches proven by research to be effective. Clients with no symptoms of psychosis likely will participate in our Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) specialized recovery community. If clients need help recovering from a substance use problem, we help them address both their depression diagnosis and their substance use issue simultaneously, which research shows is essential for full recovery.

Watch Video: CBT for Depression

Skyland Trail psychiatrist Dr. Mary Burns describes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and how it is used to treat depression, bipolar illness and anxiety.
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Holistic Path to Recovery

In addition to medication and therapy, through our horticulture, arts and music programs, individuals can build confidence, identify and externalize potentially difficult feelings, and address symptoms through creative expression and social interaction. We provide education about the increased risk for medical diseases and help prevent those diseases through our primary care and wellness program.

Our clients have the opportunity to explore potential spiritual resources through pastoral counseling. And, because an important part of therapy for individuals with depression is shifting their focus outside of themselves, our clients participate in organized humanitarian efforts and in our  vocational services program to set and work toward  goals for school, work or volunteer activities.

On Our Blog: Recovery is Possible

"Living with mental illness felt like I was living inside a cloudy bubble, peering out as the world went by. As I learned about my illness, the bubble became clearer, and eventually translucent. I've realized all the time spent looking outside the bubble I missed the happiness that was in it - in me. Recovery from mental illness is possible. Ask for help. We don't have to suffer in our bubbles by ourselves." 
Read West's story >

"Helpful and encouraging staff who knew me by name from the first day, a safe and welcoming environment, lovely location....we had outings, social opportunities, cooked in our houses...and I made many strong relationships. Several of those will continue throughout my life."

Read Tara's story >