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355 million people are affected by depression, making it one of the most common disorders in the world. Over 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety, making anxiety disorders the most common mental health conditions in the United States. At McLean Hospital, we are committed to providing support for individuals with depression and anxiety through world-class treatment, innovative research into causes and cures, and robust education for patients and families, clinicians, and the broader community.
Find out more about depression and anxiety including treatment programs at McLean, definitions, and helpful resources.
McLean Hospital offers comprehensive mental health services to help children and adults living with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. We utilize evidence-based treatment and therapy models informed by cutting-edge research conducted at McLean and around the world. By incorporating various approaches, treatment can be customized for each individual to help ensure recovery.
Depression and anxiety care incorporates individual, group, and family therapy, behavioral therapies, diagnostic assessment, consultation services, tailored treatment plans, and medication evaluation and management. McLean is committed to providing robust patient and family education and support including informational materials, support groups, and assistance with community resources.
Our inpatient programs offer a safe and secure environment for patients in need of immediate acute care, while our residential, day, and outpatient programs focus on providing skills for patients to manage their illnesses on their own.
For more information on treatment options, please call 877.646.5272.
The Pavilion is the premier destination for adults requiring comprehensive psychiatric consultation, assessment, and treatment. With the goal of clarifying diagnosis and offering effective treatment recommendations, our intensive two-week self-pay program is designed to provide unparalleled diagnostic evaluation with an emphasis on evidence-based care, discretion, flexibility, and confidentiality.
OCD Institute (OCDI)
The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) is a leader in the advancement of clinical care and research for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders in children and adults. We offer intensive treatment for adults ages 18 and older who are living with severe or treatment-resistant OCD. Treatment plans are tailored to each individual, with exposure and response prevention therapy as a main focus of care.
McLean Hospital understands that police, active military, and other first responders endure unique on-duty and personal stresses, and also face many obstacles in seeking help. The LEADER (Law Enforcement, Active Duty, Emergency Responder) program is offers specialized mental health and addiction services, designed specifically for men and women in uniform. Residential and outpatient options are available.
Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program
This day program helps individuals to develop skills that improve their mood and ability to function in hopes of allowing them to better cope with life circumstances. To achieve this mission, the BHP utilizes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) approaches (including dialectical behavioral therapy skills) for a wide range of conditions such as mood and anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders. BHP is useful as a step-down transition from acute inpatient care or as an alternative to inpatient treatment.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Service
McLean’s ECT Service is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with a broad range of mental health conditions. ECT is a highly effective conventional intervention for chronic depression, mania, catatonia, and schizophrenia. Our outpatient service is ideal for people 16 and older who have not responded to medication or other forms of treatment.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Service
This outpatient treatment program uses magnetic stimulation to help control mood in adults with major depression. TMS is particularly helpful for people with depression who have not experienced significant relief from antidepressant medications or have difficulty with side effects.
The Ketamine Service at McLean Hospital offers specialized treatment for adults struggling with depression, especially major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. At McLean, ketamine is used to help depressed individuals who have not responded to at least two courses of medications most often prescribed for depression. Ketamine may also be used to treat individuals who are experiencing acute suicidal thoughts or behaviors and urgently require a fast-acting intervention.
McLean SouthEast Adult Psychiatric Partial Hospital Program
The McLean SouthEast Adult Psychiatric Partial Hospital Program treats individuals ages 18 and older struggling with depression and anxiety disorders, with or without other coexisting mental health conditions. Our structured day program focuses on group therapies and skill building and is located in at McLean SouthEast in Middleborough, Massachusetts.
3East: Adolescent DBT Programs
McLean’s adolescent dialectical behavior therapy programs, collectively known as 3East, provide specialized care for teens and young adults who require treatment for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and emerging borderline personality disorder. The programs in the 3East continuum are specifically designed to accommodate patients in different phases of the treatment and recovery process, from highly focused residential treatment to outpatient care. We have intensive treatment tracks for both boys and girls, and our day program (partial hospital) and outpatient program are coed.
Child and Adolescent OCD Institute
OCDI Jr. offers intensive treatment for children and adolescents ages 10 to 18 with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), specific phobias, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders. Treatment plans are tailored to each child, with exposure and response prevention therapy as a main focus of care. Educational services are also available for children and teens to help our young patients keep up with schoolwork during their time at the program.
McLean Anxiety Mastery Program
At the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP), we work closely with children and adolescents ages 7 to 19 who present with social anxiety, speciﬁc phobias, panic attacks, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and obsessions and compulsions. Located on the campus of Sancta Maria Hospital in Cambridge, our self-pay outpatient clinic provides group cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) sessions with an emphasis on exposure and response prevention (ERP). These treatment methods help kids and teens learn the skills they need to understand and manage their fears and anxieties.
McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program
The McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program is a place for hope and healing for children in psychiatric crisis. Intensive psychiatric stabilization is available for children and adolescents ages 3 to 19. Located in Brighton, Massachusetts, we offer expert assessment and inpatient mental health treatment in a safe and nurturing environment. The goal of the program is for each child and adolescent to successfully return to his or her home, school, and community.
Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment (ART) Program
The Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment (ART) Program provides intensive, short-term, and highly focused psychiatric care for teens and young adults through age 19 with emotional and behavioral difficulties. With a length of stay between 10 and 14 days, this insurance-based residential program focuses on stabilizing adolescents in acute crisis.
Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services
At McLean Hospital, we recognize the challenges children and adolescents with mental health conditions face. Through our Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services, located on the campus of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility in Cambridge, we are focused on helping young people and their families cope with mental illness. Our outpatient care includes individual and group therapy focused on an array of mental health diagnoses.
Find more information on depression and anxiety care and treatment at McLean:
Depression is a serious mental health disorder that affects the whole body including mood and thoughts. It touches every part of one’s life. It is important to know that depression is not a weakness or character flaw—it is a chemical imbalance in the brain that needs to be treated. If you have one episode of depression, you are at risk of having more throughout life. Without treatment, depression can happen more often and become more serious. Scientists believe that depression doesn’t have a singular cause, but may be brought on by a traumatic event, changes in life circumstances, genetics, changes in the brain, or alcohol or drug addiction.
Anyone can feel sad or depressed at times. However, depression is more intense and harder to manage than normal feelings of sadness. A person may have different symptoms of depression including:
Left untreated, depression can be a debilitating illness for individuals and their families. Often, symptoms are not recognized for their severity and can worsen, and severe depression may lead to suicidal thoughts and actions. Common treatments for depression include individual and group therapy, and medications as appropriate. Other treatments may include TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) and ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), both of which have been found to have profound effects on individuals with depression, especially for those who have not found relief in symptoms through other treatment methods.
Many factors contribute to depression, and it is likely caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals. Life events (such as stressful life changes) may also contribute to a depressed mood. Depression also tends to run in families. The exact biological cause of depression is still being investigated, including by scientists at McLean like Diego A. Pizzagalli, PhD.
Suicidal behavior is defined as a preoccupation or act that is focused on causing one’s own death voluntarily. Suicidal ideation refers to thoughts of suicide or wanting to take one’s own life. Suicidal behavior refers to actions taken by one who is considering or preparing to cause his or her own death. Suicide attempt usually refers to an act focused on causing one’s own death that is unsuccessful in causing death. Suicide refers to having intentionally caused one’s own death. Talking about suicide is the best way to prevent it. Although it is not possible to predict suicide with any certainty, our best tool is recognition of the signs that many people exhibit when contemplating suicide. These three behaviors should prompt you to seek immediate help for you or a loved one: talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself; looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or obtaining a gun; talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live. See the Resources section below for actions to take if you or someone you know needs help.
If you tend to worry a lot, even when there’s no reason, you may have anxiety. It may be something you are so used to that you may think it’s just “how you are.” Common worries include health, money, family, or work. While everyone worries about these things once in a while, if you always expect the worst, it can get in the way of living a normal life. Though researchers are still investigating the causes of anxiety, they have identified the areas of the brain responsible for fear and anxiety and are using proven studies to increase knowledge in this field in an effort to create improved treatments for anxiety and related disorders.
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness, or a rapid heartbeat.
Common treatments for anxiety disorders include individual and group therapy, and medications as appropriate. Other treatments may include TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) and ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), both of which have been found to have profound effects on individuals with depression or anxiety, especially for those who have not found relief in symptoms through other treatment methods.
These organizations may be useful to find more information on anxiety, depression, suicide prevention.
If you or someone you know needs help:
These organizations also offer suicide prevention resources:
McLean Hospital faculty have penned more than 50 books in recent years, including these books about depression and anxiety.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks: Your Questions Answered
by Daniel Zwillenberg
Neurobiology of PTSD: From Brain to Mind
By Israel Liberzon and Kerry Ressler
(Oxford University Press, 2016)
Anxiety Disorders: Translational Perspectives on Diagnosis and Treatment
by Kerry J. Ressler, Daniel S. Pine, and Barbara Olasov Rothbaum
(Oxford University Press, 2015)
Biographies of Disease: Depression
by Blaise Aguirre, MD
(Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008)
Looking for information on another mental health condition? Visit one of these pages to find out more.