What Depression Looks Like
The symptoms of depression aren’t always obvious. Often, people struggle to identify the collection of symptoms that indicate diagnosable depressive disorders. Learning the signs of this mood disorder can help sufferers and their loved ones seek the treatment they deserve.
How Common is Depression?
Experts believe almost 20% of Americans have a depressive disorder. The percentage is lower in Florida at nearly 15%, but that is still an alarming number of people struggling to get through their day-to-day lives.
People with depression report hopelessness, fatigue, and a loss of interest in their home and work lives. It is also one of the key risk factors for suicide. It is estimated that depressive disorders in the United States cost more than $200 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, and the loss of life due to suicide.
These percentages are likely higher due to the number of people who are never diagnosed. There is still stigma attached to mental illnesses that makes people avoid seeking professional help. Others simply may not recognize that they have the symptoms of depression.
What Depression Looks Like
There is a misguided view that depression and other mood disorders are easy to spot—that someone with this condition is always lying in bed or displaying unmistakable sadness. While there are some obvious cases, most people have symptoms of depression that might go unnoticed, such as:
- Trouble sleeping or too much sleep
- Difficulty concentrating and making what used to be easy decisions
- An increase in activities such as hand-wringing or pacing
- Weight loss or gain that wasn’t intended through a diet
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be considered fun
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt that won’t go away
While they may vary in severity, the symptoms of depression never go away entirely without treatment from an experienced professional. People should work to recognize these signs in themselves and their loved ones. They should seek professional help when these issues start to interfere with their daily lives or lead to thoughts of harming themselves or others.
The Relationship Between Substance Use and Depression
There is a vicious circle when it comes to mental health problems such as depression and substance use disorders. Some substances, like alcohol, can induce low mood. Other substances are part of a pattern of addictive behaviors that make mental health issues worse.
The connection between substance use and mental illness is so strong that experts have coined the term “dual diagnosis” for patients with both. The most common dual diagnosis with substance use disorder is major depression.
Get an Accurate Assessment and Customized Treatment Plan
If you or a loved one shows symptoms of depression, contact Beach House. Our experienced professionals are ready to provide you with an accurate assessment and a customized treatment plan. We offer treatment services such as cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma-informed therapy to help treat your depression or dual diagnoses.