What is depression?

Depression is a very serious and common mood disorder that causes those who suffer from it to experience a loss of interest, pleasure, and  feeling guilt or low self worth. Other noted effects are a change of sleep or appetite patterns, low energy and poor concentration. Depression affects the way a person thinks, feels and how they handle their daily activities.

As one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. depression can happen to anyone at any age. Although it often begins in adulthood it has now been recognized to be occurring in young children and adolescents. This disorder can also be a combination of genetics, biological, environmental and psychological factors.

Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated usually with medication or psychotherapy, sometimes even with a combination of both. There is no one size fits all treatment plan for depression and must be handled according to each person and their situation.

Signs and symptoms of depression

Not all those who experience this mental disorder suffer from all the symptoms listed. Some experience only a few and some may experience many. Keep these in mind when seeking help for your loved one.

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in hobbies
  • Decreased energy, appetite or sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Feeling restless, guilty, worthless or helpless
  • Aches, headaches or cramps without a clear physical cause

How does this affect drug abuse?

Many people who abuse drugs tend to suffer from mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some addicts even begin their drug abuse as a form of self medication in order to escape the symptoms of their mental disorders.

In order to properly treat addiction drug treatment centers such as the Cove offers dual diagnosis treatment to its clients. Dual diagnosis allows the client to also receive treatment for their mental disorder as well as their drug addiction. Teaching clients how to live with their disorder reduces their need to escape their problems through abusing substances.