Everyone has bad days. But, there is a difference between having a bad day here and there and depression. There will always be highs and lows and that is life. Clinical depression, on the other hand, can last for weeks, months or even years. To those who suffer from clinical depression, there may not be an end in sight to feelings of despair. Depression will interfere with one’s ability to carry on a normal life. Careers and relationships suffer. Someone who suffers from depression may turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.
Understanding What Depression Entails
For those suffering with depression, every day life is an uphill battle. It can be difficult to get out of bed. Keeping up with daily tasks involving household chores and personal hygiene are often neglected. Because elements of both depression and addiction overlap, it is essential for the sufferer to be treated for both illnesses. Depression and substance abuse can cause a person to
- Become non-social and give up activities they once enjoyed
- Refuse to admit they have a problem
- Become isolated
- Have problems with relationships
- Have problems at work
A person who is depressed can be very tempted to use drugs and alcohol as a way to escape their feelings of despair. Ultimately, abusing alcohol and drugs only leads to more problems and deeper depression. Drug abuse will cause a person to experience financial troubles and personal struggles to an even greater extent than they had before they began using.
Defining the Different Types of Depression
People experience depression on different levels. Some forms of depression are mild while other cases are extreme. It is important to recognize the level of depression from which one is suffering to develop an effective treatment plan. The National Institute of Mental Health categorizes depression as the following.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent depressive disorder is a depressed mood which lasts for at least two years. Sufferers of this disorder may experience episodes of severe depression with periods of less severe symptoms.
Women who are pregnant or have given birth may experience postpartum depression. This is much more serious than have the baby blues. It is normal to experience anxiety and mild depression during the postpartum period. However, postpartum depression doesn’t go away and leaves new mothers feeling severely depressed and unable to care for themselves or their babies.
Severe depression along with psychosis is referred to as psychotic depression. The person may hallucinate and have extreme delusions. Psychotic symptoms can make a person have delusions involving poverty, guilt or illness.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Some people experience depression when the seasons change. For many, this is when fall arrives and the days start getting shorter and there is less light. The depression typically goes away when spring arrives and will return when they days once again start getting shorter.
Depression and Substance Abuse Treatment
Because depression and substance abuse go hand in hand in many instances, it is essential to treat both. Medications can be prescribed to lessen the symptoms of depression. If substance abuse is present, further treatment is needed to address the issues. Therapy and group meetings can be a great resource.
If you or a loved one are experiencing depression or substance abuse, contactBaystate Recovery Center today. We are here to help you.