Depression is a massive global health problem that continues to grow. According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 300 million people struggle with the disease and according to the NHS, antidepressant use has more than doubled over the last decade. It’s clear that our current treatment methods just aren’t working. However, there is an alternative that is growing in popularity as it offers some significant benefits for those battling with the illness: Depression Retreats – Retreats specifically designed to help people suffering from depression.

retreats for depression

By combining nourishing food, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, fresh air, workshops and therapies, these depression retreats can help you make it through those times when your mental health gets the better of you and provide the support you need to recover.

Today we’d like to talk more about depression and dive deeper into the reasons why those common treatments often don’t work. Then we’ll explore a powerful framework that can help you overcome your depression and take a look at how these wellness retreats can help you make this happen.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, making it crucial for mental health professionals to find the best treatment methods tailored to individual needs. One increasingly popular option for depression treatment is attending a depression retreat, where individuals can focus on self-care and healing in a supportive environment.

For example, they say that the grey weather in the winter is “so depressing” or that they feel “so depressed” now that their favourite line of makeup has been withdrawn from sale or their football team lost the championships.

However, true depression is much more serious than that. We’re talking about extended periods of feeling down that last for more than a few weeks and start affecting other areas of your life. The symptoms can vary widely from person to person but can include:

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Panicky or worried feelings
  • Feeling tired
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling frustrated
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Not getting enjoyment out of life (especially the things that used to bring you joy).
  • Struggling to concentrate
  • Comfort eating or appetite loss
  • Insomnia or needing to sleep more
  • Withdrawing from close relationships
  • Feeling numb or empty
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself

Many people suffering from mental health problems like depression don’t seek professional help, either because they feel their symptoms are too mild or they prefer to try to cope alone. However, if they do, they’ll usually be offered treatments such as antidepressants or therapies such as CBT, psychotherapy, or counselling.

The problem is, many of these treatments don’t work as effectively as we’d like.

We keep needing to go back to our doctor to get our dosage increased, or we struggle with the side effects. Therapy often offers benefits, but it can take time to notice any real improvements.

Why is Depression so hard to treat?

With all this advanced medicine and the therapies we have at our fingertips, you’d think that depression would be relatively straightforward to treat.

That’s exactly what many of the experts would have us believe; that we can take a pill for a specified period or be under therapy for x number of weeks and we’ll be able to put our depression behind us.

But this simply isn’t true. Depression recovery doesn’t work in the same way as treating a broken arm or taking antibiotics for infection because there usually isn’t one clear cause or trigger.

retreats for depression

There is a whole range of factors that can contribute to depression including stress, financial problems, family history, bereavement, chronic pain or illness. Sometimes there’s no obvious cause at all. Sometimes it’s a combination of factors.

Simply deciding that depression is caused by one thing like faulty brain chemistry and throwing some antidepressants at the problem clearly isn’t going to work on its own. Nor is just heading to the therapist’s office and expecting to find a cure.

If we want to treat our mental health problems and overcome anxiety and depression, we need a more holistic solution that considers the person as a whole, not a bunch of faulty parts.

The root cause of your Depression?

As we’ve just seen, depression can be triggered or worsened by a huge range of factors. But there is one underlying factor which forms the foundation for everything else, yet it’s often ignored. It’s spirituality. By using the word ‘spirituality’ here, I’m not referring to organised religion (although that can also be part of it.)

Retreats for depression

I’m referring to the sense of connection you have with the world around you and how you find meaning in your life. I’m talking about your unique perspective on the world and how you feel about yourself and those around you.

When you ignore this important part of yourself, you’re more vulnerable to those lies you’ve heard about yourself and the world. You allow them to rule your personality, your emotions and your behaviour.

You start to lose hope and feel disconnected from life. You feel like you’re just not good enough and that you’re somehow flawed or inferior. You find yourself struggling to achieve your ideals, creeping towards burning, flailing under the grip of anxiety and making unhealthy life choices that you usually regret later.

Yet if you bring spirituality back onto centre stage and allow yourself to rediscover that connection, you can start to overcome your depression

You can find fresh hope for the future. You can find a new perspective. You can learn how to survive through the darker days. You can discover your inner strength and move through your depression to a safer place on the other side.

By building a strong positive philosophy and set of beliefs, prioritising self-care and listening to your heart, you can take the first step towards healing from depression.

How Depression Retreats can help People with Depression?

Retreat centres provide a compassionate and understanding atmosphere for people suffering from depression and other mental health conditions. These retreats often combine various treatment options, such as counselling, antidepressant medications, and alternative therapies, to address the underlying causes of depression. This holistic approach, which caters to the individual’s unique needs, can help alleviate symptoms and promote overall well-being.

Building your new spiritual practice and moving towards the future isn’t easy to do alone, especially if you’re in a particularly vulnerable place. If you or someone you know is suffering from clinical depression or another mental health disorder, a depression retreat may offer a path towards a brighter future. To find the best retreat for your needs, consider factors such as location, available therapies, and the level of care provided. Reach out to various retreat centres, ask questions, and get in touch with mental health professionals to discuss your treatment plan.

That’s one of the many reasons why wellness retreats can be so effective, especially when the retreat has been designed to help support recovery from depression.

These retreats for depression allow you to surround yourself with supportive people who understand exactly what your body, mind and soul need to recover from your depression and reconnect with the world.

Of course, it will take time, but a depression retreat can often be the first step in the right direction on that road towards recovery.

Depression treatment at retreat centres often includes a combination of traditional and alternative therapies, which are tailored to the individual’s needs. Common treatments include individual and group therapy sessions, medication management, and holistic modalities such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and meditation. These therapies can help individuals with depression reconnect with themselves, rediscover their passions, and develop healthy self-care routines.

Beyond the core treatments, depression retreats also focus on improving overall health and well-being. This may include activities such as yoga, Thai massage, full body detox, and bereavement support. Participants are also encouraged to adopt a healthy diet, engage in regular exercise, and identify and manage stress triggers to maintain their progress after leaving the retreat.

What are the best Retreats for Depression in 2024?

Of course, there are many wonderful retreats across the world that can help with depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness.

When it comes to depression recovery, choosing the right retreat is vital. Many retreat centres cater specifically to those with depression, anxiety disorders, or other mental health issues, offering a wide range of services and therapies to support recovery. Some of the best depression retreats can be found in serene locations such as beach resorts or ayurvedic centres, where the natural surroundings can enhance relaxation and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Depression retreats offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment options. Inpatient programs typically require a stay of several weeks, allowing individuals to fully immerse themselves in the healing process. Outpatient programs, on the other hand, provide therapy and support on a more flexible schedule. The choice between inpatient and outpatient care will depend on the severity of an individual’s depression symptoms and their personal preferences.

But when it comes to depression, there is one retreat which stands head and shoulders above the rest: Secret Spirits.

Based in the gorgeous Scottish countryside, this one-week retreat is based around a powerful 12-step spiritual exercise called ‘Big Prayer’ which incorporates mindfulness, meditation and yoga. 

Every day starts with a spiritual session and continues with workshops, creative activities, meals out, yoga, psychotherapy, shiatsu massage, and healthy, comforting food. We love the fact that there’s no obligation to attend every activity if you don’t feel able to and attendees continue to get support for a whole year after the retreat has come to an end.

If you think that this is for you, you can find out more about Secret Spirits retreats for depression on their website here.

Depression is complex, it can hold you in its grip and suck out every drop of joy and hope. But there is hope, even if every treatment you’ve ever tried has failed. Attend a wellness retreat for depression and you can start to find your feet again. Depression retreats provide a unique and effective approach to treating depression symptoms and promoting overall wellbeing. By offering tailored therapies and a supportive environment, these retreats can help individuals find the underlying causes of their depression, develop healthy self-care habits, and ultimately improve their quality of life. If you believe a depression retreat could benefit you or a loved one, please contact a mental health professional to discuss your options and take the first step towards recovery.

How to get Help with Mental Health Issues?

You may feel like you want to talk to a spiritual counsellor, we have teamed up with Sophie Nevill, a BACP registered Transpersonal Psychotherapist. So if you need someone to talk to, please click here and Sophie will be in touch.