My Addiction Has Taken Over My Life.
Am I Depressed, Too?
Depression is one of the most prevalent mood disorders in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), more than 15 million adults in the U.S. are affected by major depressive disorder.
Depression is more than a heavy feeling or a temporary funk. It is a proven medical condition that requires treatment and care. Some of the symptoms of diagnosable depression include:
- Intense hopelessness
- Unexplained fatigue
- Suicidal thoughts
- Loss of appetite
Understanding how depression affects the body and brain is vital for those who may be dealing with the condition themselves. The information is especially critical for those who are suffering both from depression and addiction to drugs or alcohol. This dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, presents its own health risks and challenges.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Sometimes the only way a person discovers that they have a problem is by taking time to examine themselves. This FAQ page is designed to guide you through the process of recognizing the symptoms of depression, as well as the signs that you may be affected by the disorder.
Additionally, this FAQ will provide helpful strategies for determining if you are affected by depression and a substance abuse problem at the same time.
Ask yourself these questions related to the physical signs of depression:
1) Have I experienced radical changes in my sleep patterns?
2) Does a sense of lethargy follow me throughout the day?
3) Have I begun to eat considerably more (or less)?
4) Has concentrating become more difficult?
5) Do I experience chronic bodily aches?
When trying to identify the emotional signs of depression, ask yourself these questions:
1) Have I begun to experience reoccurring thoughts of suicide?
2) Do I feel indifferent to people and activities I once enjoyed?
3) Do I constantly feel a sense of guilt or worthlessness?
4) Do I find myself sobbing without an explanation?
5) Has anxiety and anger taken over my life?
If you have answered “yes” to three or more of the ten questions above, then you may want to consider reaching out to friends and family for help. You will also want to reevaluate your use of drugs and alcohol if you conclude that you are suffering from depression.
Depression and Dual Diagnosis
Not every person with depression is also struggling with addiction. However, co-occurring disorders are extremely prevalent among individuals with mental health issues. In fact, the American Medical Association emphasized that about half of Americans with a severe mental health disorder are simultaneously dealing with drug or alcohol addiction.
The following FAQ can help you better understand if you are experiencing a dual diagnosis situation:
1) Have you engaged in reckless behavior while under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
2) Have you ever lied about your drug use or depression symptoms to friends or family?
3) Do you find yourself taking drugs or alcohol to counter the effects of depression?
4) Do your depression symptoms become more extreme when you drink or use?
5) Do you have a family history of drug abuse, mental illness, or both?
6) Have friends or family begun to comment on your substance use?
7) Do your depression symptoms worsen when you’re sober?
8) Do you black out after drinking or using drugs?
If you have answered “yes” to two or more of the eight questions above, then you are strongly urged to reach out to friends and family about getting assistance for a possible dual diagnosis.
Addiction and mental health disorders can ramp up each other’s symptoms, making it considerably more difficult for either condition to be treated alone. You’ll need the help of experienced dual diagnosis experts to guide you toward healthy, long-term recovery.
Treating the Entire Individual
At The Treatment Center of by The Recovery Village, we recognize the unique challenges faced by a patient with a dual diagnosis. That’s why we’ve hired board-certified physicians and psychiatrists who are adept at treating individuals with multiple disorders. If you’re not sure if you’re a dual diagnosis patient, that’s something our team can assess when you get here, and we’ll customize your treatment accordingly.
You can learn more about how we treat patients dealing with depression and addiction by contacting our admission counselors at (866) 295-6003. They are available 24/7 to take your call and listen to your needs and concerns.