Depression Treatment in Florida
According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide. Depression has a wide array of both psychological and physical symptoms. Psychological symptoms may include: dull or low mood, lack of interest in usual activities, slowed focus and thinking, thoughts of death or suicide, and feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness. Some physical symptoms of depression may include: physical exhaustion, unwanted weight loss or gain, or low energy and sleepiness. The symptoms of ongoing depression, if left untreated, can negatively affect one’s personal relationships, occupation, and long-term mental and physical health. Untreated depression can lead to obesity, diabetes, or malnutrition. It can also lead to heart disease, compromise your immune system, and potentially increase your chances of death from disease or suicide.
People battling depression often abuse drugs or alcohol in efforts to regulate low moods and decrease isolating or overwhelming feelings. Those most likely to develop depression are:
- Adults ages 45 to 64
- People who are unemployed
- Hispanics and African Americans
- People who are uninsured
While the exact causes of depression are unknown, certain risk factors are identified. These risk factors include:
- Any on-going stressful situation like financial problems or serious health challenges, as well as acute stress caused by an incident like death or divorce
- Any other mental health challenges like PTSD, eating disorders, anxiety or addiction
- Personality traits like being hyper-critical or pessimistic or having low self-esteem
- Sexual orientation other than heterosexual in a non-supportive environment
- Close genetic links to alcoholism, depression, suicide or bipolar disorder
Addiction is considered a risk factor for depression, although it is not cited as a cause. Approximately 20% of Americans suffering from depression also have a substance abuse disorder. The same statistic is true in reverse, with 20% of those suffering from addiction also struggling with depression.
Addiction Vs. Depression
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that persons diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders (such as depression) are about twice as likely have a co-occurring diagnosis of a substance use disorder. Although there is a heavy stigmatization of substance abuse in our social environment, it is clear that persons with depression seek drugs or alcohol as an adaptive strategy in order to medicate the underlying symptoms of a depressed mood. In this regard, addiction is most obviously not the result of a broken moral compass, but rather an adaptive coping strategy that aims to find a sense of ease amidst chronic internal distress.
After many years of study, addiction is now classified as a mental illness and a chronic disease. Despite certain physical symptoms that occur in addiction, it always includes a mental component. Addiction also fits the pattern of a chronic disease. In most cases, it can be controlled but not cured. After rehabilitation, most people who suffered from addiction can lead normal and even happy, lives, but they cannot safely consume addictive substances like the one they previously abused.
Feeling sad or lethargic is different from being depressed. In fact, some people with depression don’t feel sad. They are apathetic, anxious, angry or aggressive. Depression can make people feel tired or just unhappy all the time.
Signs of depression may include:
- Loss of energy
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Weight gain or loss
- Reckless behavior
- Overwhelming hopelessness
- Mysterious aches and pains
- Inability to concentrate
People who are experiencing depression may not notice the subtle changes in their behavior. They suddenly don’t have the energy or interest to engage in their favorite activities or the patience for simple tasks. They struggle with skills they used to be good at. They become emotional, either sad or aggressive, with increasing frequency. Depression can worsen quickly without intervention.
The signs of addiction can be very similar to those of depression. Everything listed above also applies to addiction, making it difficult to recognize when someone is suffering from both addiction and depression at the same time. In some cases, the addiction is more obvious because the connection to a substance can be established, but the depression is only diagnosed after addiction treatment has begun.
Addiction does not always lead to depression, and depression does not always end up in addiction. These two mental illnesses, although related in several ways, can be mutually exclusive. Like with many diseases, early diagnosis and treatment of either one can keep it from progressing to a dual diagnosis. Getting help from a treatment facility as quickly as possible will make the journey back to health that much easier.
Finding Treatment for Addiction and Depression
Treating co-occurring conditions is complex because each disorder can potentially intensify the symptoms of the other. At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, we develop individualized treatment plans to fit the specific needs and patient goals of each client through medication management, individual and group therapy, experiential therapy and ongoing case management and aftercare planning. Every day we welcome those struggling with addiction and depression into our facility. We invite you to reach out today if you would like to learn more.