It is not uncommon to feel sad. Everyone experiences feelings of melancholy, gloominess, or heartbreak. But what is uncommon is when these feelings continue for extended periods of time and have no particular reason or trigger. This is known as depression and it is common in about 26% of the adult population in the United States. It is important to make the distinction between being depressed and having depression, as depression is an ongoing state of mind that is characterized by a neurochemical imbalance. This article will help you identify whether your thought patterns are characterized as depression, and the ways you can go forward in treating it

The definition of depression is a debilitating mood disorder that extends beyond the normal response to life’s struggles and setbacks. There are varying degrees to which you can experience depression as well. If left untreated, depression can hinder your ability to function and communicate in your daily life and leave you miserable, worthless, and unmotivated. It is often relentless and can have a ‘snowball’ effect. It often removes the motivation one feels to complete simple tasks such as showering, going to work, or making healthy meals. It can make you apathetic and lose interest in all activities and hobbies that you once enjoyed.

All cases of depression are not the same, but there are telltale signs which are typically present in all cases. This includes feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest, appetite or weight changes, sleep changes, irritability, loss of energy, self-loathing, reckless behavior, concentration problems, and unexplained aches and pains.

Seeking help is an important part of overcoming depression. If you identify these symptoms, there is a chance they are having a negative impact on your relationships, work life, or family. Over time, depression can leave you at a higher rate for a heart attack, reduced libido, fatigue, memory loss, and a weakened immune system due to stress. It may also increase your chances of turning to substance abuse to feel temporarily better, and a large number of addicts describe feeling depressed prior to using. Speaking with a counselor or receiving professional rehabilitation treatment can not only change your life, but potentially save it. If left untreated, chronic depression has a high correlation to suicide rates. However, while there’s a 25% greater risk of suicide, the American Association of Suicidology has stated that treating for depression is effective in 60-80% of cases, according to APA.org.

HOW DEPRESSION CAN LEAD TO ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR

Having depression is not a life sentence and the pain and sadness associated with it can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. Depending on the severity of your diagnosis, becoming an inpatient can help relieve the stress of coping with day to day life on your own until you are able to be independent again. Asana Recovery professionals are highly experienced with clinical depression and addictive behaviors. We can provide an array of treatment options that fit both your budget and lifestyle. To discuss ways in which we can get you feeling back to normal, reach us at (949) 438-4504.