Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a mental disorder characterized by constant and persistent feelings of sadness, preventing an individual from living a happy, healthy, and rewarding life. While we all feel sad from time to time, depression doesn’t go away.
As one of the most common mental disorders in the entire world, approximately 5% of all adults – and 280 million people worldwide – suffer from depression. Despite being both treatable and preventable, millions of people either avoid or deny the treatment they so desperately need.
Instead, many individuals turn to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other harmful substances (or behaviors) to cope with their symptoms. After finding the relief they were looking for, they continue to use and abuse – revealing a deep connection between depression and addiction.
Not only can depression cause addiction, but it also goes both ways – addiction can cause depression. That’s why it’s so important to reach out a helping hand when you notice any signs of addiction and depression in a loved one – they might need your help more than they know.
To fully protect your loved ones in times of despair, you must have a firm understanding of the common signs and symptoms of major depressive disorder. The sooner you can spot the signs, the sooner you can reach out for help – which could, in turn, save your loved one’s life.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common and prominent warning signs of depression:
To be considered a major depressive disorder, the symptoms above must be present throughout most of the day (if not all day long), nearly every single day. Your primary doctor or mental health professional will consider the criteria outlined in the DSM-5 to diagnose it.
While depression is considered a mental health condition, the impact is far more significant than its effects on the brain – it can also impact someone physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and behaviorally. In fact, the behavioral impact of depression is often the most noticeable effect.
Let’s take a look at how depression can impact an individual’s behavior:
When an individual is suffering from depression, they gradually become a shell of their former self. They start acting differently, thinking differently, behaving differently, speaking differently, and much more. The condition will only worsen if the individual doesn’t receive immediate help.
Depression has a way of bringing the worst out of someone, and instead of reaching out for help, people often turn to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances or behaviors to find temporary relief from the pain. Unfortunately, this only creates more significant problems.
As the depressed individual grows more dependent on the substance or behavior, they grow addicted to it – causing them to use it more often. At the same time, their body grows more tolerant of the substance, causing the need to use it in higher doses – adding to the addiction.
Not only can depression cause addiction, but addiction can cause depression and make depression symptoms worse – known as dual diagnosis. To renew a sense of hope and meaning in the individual’s life, treatment is necessary.
Are you or one of your loved ones suffering from addiction and depression? Has their depression and drug use started to impact their behavior? Are you worried that their depression and addiction will continue to grow worse in the near future? If so, Prevail Recovery Center can help with outpatient treatment in Florida.
A South Florida rehab center, Prevail Recovery Center is proud to serve the Fort Lauderdale community with best-in-class recovery services – both for depression and addiction. We take a human-based approach to each individual’s journey towards recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our Florida dual diagnosis treatment center.
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