Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. For some individuals, major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities.
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. An estimated 16.2 million adults in the US had at least one major depressive episode (6.7% of us) in 2016 according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Perhaps the greatest issue is not the mental health disorder itself but the fact that only about one-third of those living with depression sought treatment from a mental health professional. Instead, they attempt to manage the issues at home – or simply ignore them. It’s not uncommon for people living with depression to turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to mitigate their experience of sadness, hopelessness, or disillusionment.
The goal of feeling some level of happiness or joy is hopeful and positive, but the use of substances to attain this can ultimately lead to more problems. Many people find that when they try to self-medicate depression with drugs or alcohol, they experience:
- Increased frequency of depressive episodes
- Longer depressive episodes
- More intense depressive symptoms
- A co-occurring substance abuse disorder or addiction
- Increased financial, social, and family issues
Depression is a highly treatable disease with a number of different evidence-based treatment options for patients, including a range of inventive therapies and various pharmacological options. However, because every patient is different, different combinations of medications and therapies will be differently effective in each case.
Is it possible to recover from depression naturally? Yes, in some cases, but it is not necessarily sustainable, especially when substance abuse is part of the picture.
Once substance abuse becomes an addiction, a natural recovery is highly unlikely. It is recommended that those who cannot stop drinking or using drugs on their own seek out an addiction treatment program that can help them through detox and beyond. When both depression and addiction are co-occurring, a program that provides comprehensive care for both disorders is recommended for optimum recovery.
If you or a loved one has been dealing with an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.