Everyone has days where they feel down or sad. This can be for many different reasons, such as problems at home, work, or family relationships. Sadness or emotional lows are normal reactions to life’s struggles. Often people use the term “depression” to describe these times. Depression is much more than just feeling sad. For most, these days come and go, and the natural rhythm of life continues. This is not always the case for everyone. For those who suffer from depression and substance abuse, emotional lows and chronic feelings of sadness do not go away so easily.

Depression affects millions of people, and if left untreated, can be debilitating for the sufferer and devastating to families and friends. Depression can often lead to lack of sleep, lack of energy, and even aches and pains. A lack of motivation and lethargy are common and can interfere with one’s ability to function in day-to-day activities such as work and home duties.

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Symptoms of Depression

Depression often manifests itself in feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and lack of energy. Sufferers develop a bleak outlook on life and feel that nothing will ever get better. Often, depression symptoms include a loss of interest in daily activities. Those with depression remove themselves from their hobbies, pastimes, and social activities. They often feel as if they’ve lost the ability to feel joy and pleasure.

Loss of appetite and weight changes, either loss or gaining rapidly, can be symptoms of depression. Depression symptoms include anxiety, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and general irritability. Along with these symptoms, changes in sleep, either insomnia or oversleeping, are characteristics of depression. Depression symptoms can appear as hostility or anger in some cases. Depression is a major risk factor for suicide due to feelings of despair and hopelessness. If you or anyone you know has engaged in suicidal talk or behavior, take this seriously and seek treatment. The sooner you seek treatment, the easier it will be to return to your happy, healthy self.

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Depression and Substance Abuse

For many individuals, depression and substance abuse occur together. It can create a complex situation in which both issues rely on each other. When substance abuse and depression are professionally diagnosed together, it is known as a dual diagnosis. This is an essential aspect of the recovery process because if depression goes untreated, the substance abuse problem worsens. When the substance abuse increases, the depression, and associated issues get worse. With a dual diagnosis, the parameters of treatment change to get to the core of the issue.

Often, individuals find that their depression symptoms may rise to the surface as they seek sobriety. This is why it is crucial to receive integrated treatment for both depression and substance abuse together. Without treating the depression that drives the addiction, or vice versa, there is a great risk of returning to addictive behavior or depressive symptoms. Seeking the right therapeutic support is very important.

Signs of Depression and Substance Abuse

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