Whether you’ve suffered from depression for most of your adult life, or your diagnosis of depression is still relatively new to you, if you’re using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate in an attempt to help yourself feel better, you’re heading down a very dangerous road. Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol is never the answer when you suffer from depression. However, so many people decide to do so. Quite often, they don’t realize the type of help available to them, and dual diagnosis treatment can change your outlook on life.
Here at Northpoint Seattle, we offer dual diagnosis treatment to provide help to those who suffer from depression and addiction. We believe that one should never be treated without treating the other simultaneously. Yet, so many different facilities and clinics believe just the opposite. In our experience, we’ve had great success with helping people overcome their addictions by treating their depression symptoms too, and we’d like to do the same thing for you.
What is Depression?
It’s important to understand the difference between sadness and depression. Sometimes people will use the two terms interchangeably, but they are very different. Most people have experienced sadness or grief that lasted for some time, but their feelings always improved. Even those have suffered from having a temporary case of what they might refer to as the blues, but again, their conditions got better. Clinical depression is a condition indicated by the DSM V as lasting for at least two weeks. It interferes with your ability to work, causes problems in your social life, and makes it hard for you to maintain strong and healthy relationships. When someone is depressed, they will experience a sense of hopelessness. They will feel sad, but that sadness is magnified. Low energy is also another common complaint among those who have depression.
There are several different forms of depression. These include:
- Persistent depressive disorder – This type of depression lasts for at least two years. Someone diagnosed with this type of depression may have bouts of major depression and then times when symptoms seem to get a bit better.
- Perinatal depression – This type of depression is often referred to as the “baby blues,” but it’s much worse. Perinatal depression is diagnosed after the birth of a child when a new mother finds it impossible to care for herself or her baby because of her sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion.
- Psychotic depression – This form of depression is always accompanied by psychosis. For example, an individual may have delusions or hallucinations, and the symptoms always have some depressive theme, such as illness or guilt.
- Seasonal affective disorder – This type of depression returns every year with the colder, darker winter months. It is accompanied by social withdrawal and an increase in sleep, and other symptoms.
- Bipolar disorder – This condition is different from depression, but it includes a major depressive state that meets the criteria for a form of depression.
How Do People Develop Depression?
Depression is one of the most common mental issues in the United States today. While research is still unclear as to what could cause depression, scientists agree that some risk factors tend to be common denominators in those who suffer from depression. They combine genetic factors, biological factors, environmental factors, and psychological factors.
Some common risk factors for depression include:
- Having a family member who has a history of depression
- Experiencing a major life change
- Living through a traumatic event
- Having a constant state of feeling stressed
- Going through certain types of physical illnesses or diseases
- Taking certain types of medications
Depression can happen to anyone, regardless of age. Usually, however, it does not begin until the adult years. Those who have medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer are very high risk of becoming depressed. The medications prescribed to treat these conditions often list depression as a side effect.
What Are Some Signs of Depression?
You may believe you might be depressed, but you’re not sure if it’s depression or if you’re experiencing some sadness or grief at the moment. Many people live their lives with undiagnosed depression, and if this is the case for you, it can be helpful to learn more about some of the signs of depression. That way, you can have a better understanding of your situation.
Some warning signs of depression include:
- Feeling hopeless or pessimistic about your future
- Feelings of restlessness
- Problems with sleeping at night, waking up early, or sleeping too much
- Changes in your appetite or weight
- A persistent feeling of sadness or anxiety
- Feeling worthless or helpless
- Lack of interest in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed
- Contemplating suicide
- Problems with concentration or memory
- Difficulty with making decisions
- A significant decrease in your energy
According to the DSM V, these symptoms need to have persisted for at least two weeks to be considered symptoms of depression. However, if you notice several presents in your own life, you may have depression. Getting a diagnosis right away is very important to get the help you need.
Choosing Northpoint Seattle for Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment
If you would like to get more information about how we can help you with dual diagnosis treatment here at Northpoint Seattle, we would love to talk with you. Please contact us today to learn more by calling 425.414.3530.