If you are struggling with feelings of sadness, apathy, or hopelessness, you aren’t alone. Major depressive disorders affect more than three million people in the United States each year. However, depression can be treated, and it’s possible to improve your quality of life. It’s important to know the signs of depression, the correlation between depression and addiction, and your options for depression treatment.
The Signs of Major Depressive Disorders
Major depressive disorders are a type of mood disorder. The symptoms of major depressive disorder can make it difficult to function. Individuals who struggle with major depressive disorder may have problems connecting in relationships, may miss days of work or school, or struggle to complete tasks. Often, people struggling with depression will feel sad or angry with no discernable cause.
Signs of major depressive disorders include:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or emptiness
- Feelings of irritability or anger over small things
- Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy
- Feelings of anxiety, worthlessness, or guilt
- Sleep disturbances that cause you to sleep too much or too little
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, poor memory
Depression has physical effects as well.
The physical effects of depression include:
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Changes in appetite that result in weight loss or gain
- Slowed thoughts or movements
- Unexplained physical pain
Major depressive disorders can also lead to suicidal thoughts or ideation. If you find yourself thinking about suicide or your own death frequently, reach out for help immediately. These thoughts can spiral into suicidal behaviors.
The Link Between Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders
Among those with recurring major depressive disorders, many also have a substance use disorder. The link is present with all mental health disorders, with around 20% of those who have a mental health disorder also having a substance use disorder. Some people begin using substances as a way to cope with the symptoms of depression or anxiety. Others develop depression because of changes in the brain due to addiction or the problems addiction disorders creates in their lives.
Depression Treatment Options
Depression treatment begins with an evaluation. You’ll need to be honest about how you feel and how depression is affecting your life. A doctor may perform a physical exam and blood tests to rule out medical causes for your symptoms. Major depressive disorders are highly treatable. 80-90% of people respond well to treatment.
Medication is one type of depression treatment. SSRIs and SNRIs are the most common antidepressant medications used today. They raise the level of neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for mood. These are the brain’s happy chemicals. People with depression often have lower amounts of these, which is thought to cause the symptoms of depression. These medications do not create a high like drugs of abuse do. Instead, they can help restore a healthy sense of wellbeing when taken over time.
Psychotherapy is the other method of depression treatment. This includes traditional talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. This treatment focuses on the thoughts associated with depression. In addition to helping you create a more positive mindset, it can provide new coping mechanisms. Family therapy can be included to help improve relationships with loved ones and give them a better understanding of your condition.
Many people find that they benefit most from a combination of these approaches. This addresses the physical changes in the brain related to depression and brings relief from psychological and emotional symptoms.
If you have depression and a substance use disorder, you will need dual diagnosis treatment. This type of treatment addresses your mental health disorder and your addiction at the same time. Getting help for both disorders is essential for recovery.
Mental Health Treatment at Serenity Light Recovery
If you are struggling with major depressive disorder and addiction, consider treatment at Serenity Light Recovery in Angleton, Texas. Our dual diagnosis program can provide the treatment you need to begin your recovery. We offer addiction treatment and a wide range of therapy options. You don’t have to fight this battle alone. Contact us at 855.658.6109 and take the first step towards recovery.