Depression affects over 17 million Americans annually, equating to over 7% of the entire American population. Depression is also the most common mental health disorder in the United States, with the majority of those afflicted needing treatment in order to alleviate symptoms. In fact, as many as 80% of people with depression notice improvement of their symptoms within 6 weeks of treatment. If you are wondering what depression is like, it can prevent you from meeting your day to day obligations and responsibilities.

Depression, like addiction, is a chronic condition. Despite the fact that depression is incurable, you can successfully manage its symptoms. Depression is the most common co-occurring mental health disorder in substance abuse treatment. Additionally, symptoms can lead to you using drugs and alcohol to cope with your symptoms.

What is Depression Like?

So, what is depression like? It can be debilitating. It can cause you to isolate from your friends and family and prevent you from engaging with others. Symptoms may prevent you from leaving your house or attending work or school. You may feel an overwhelming sense of sadness or grief and have uncontrollable crying spells.

If you are still wondering what is depression like, additional symptoms include:

  • Isolating from friends and family members
  • Losing interest in hobbies
  • Sleeping or staying in bed for extended periods of time
  • Feeling sad for days and weeks at a time
  • Feeling hopeless, isolated or useless
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Failing to take care of your health or appearance, such as not showering

Since it is linked to your brain’s inability to release the proper amount of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to happiness and mood, it can be difficult to manage without treatment. Medications like anti-depressants, which help increase your serotonin levels, can help you find relief from symptoms. Therapy can support you by allowing you a safe place to express your thoughts, feelings, and emotions without the fear of being judged. If a specific event triggered your depression, treatment can help you cope with the experience in a healthy manner.

How are Depression and Addiction Related?

When you are depressed, you are more likely to seek out drugs and alcohol, which can help you cope with unpleasant symptoms. Addiction, likewise, can cause feelings of depression. Addiction can even cause a substance induced mood disorder because addiction changes your brain chemistry. Recovery can also cause mood changes and worsen it while you detox.

When you suffer from depression and a substance abuse disorder, it is important to treat both conditions. Failing to manage your depression during recovery from addiction can drastically increase your risk of relapse.

A Leader in Mental Health Treatment

If you are wondering what is depression like, the simple answer is that it can cause you to feel isolated, alone and overwhelmingly sad. Reaching out for help can be difficult. Steps to Recovery, a leader in addiction and mental health treatment, offers the support, guidance, and understanding you need to help you manage and overcome your depression. Call us today at 267.209.7312 to learn more about what your treatment options are.