Have you been feeling sad lately? Or are you actually depressed? Knowing the difference can be key to recognizing whether you may have a treatable mental health condition and get the the help needed to lead a healthy and balanced life.
What is depression?
Although the two may seem similar, sadness and depression are not the same thing. A depressed individual may feel sad, but the disorder encompasses other feelings that can make it difficult to keep up with the demands of daily life. Where sadness may take hold for a short period of time, depression can result in extended periods of despair.
How can you tell the difference?
When a person is depressed, they experience a drop in energy and may have a hard time concentrating. Excessive sleep is a common sign of depression, along with a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that the individual had enjoyed previously. The individual may feel a sense of hopelessness and helplessness in their situation. This condition is not one to take lightly, as depression can lead to self harm, suicidal thoughts, or even suicide. Recognizing the signs that depression may be present is a significant step toward getting a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Types of depression
When watching for signs of depression, it is important to keep in mind that this condition comes in several different forms. For example, Major Depression is when the affected individual feels down all or most of the time. A medical professional will conduct an assessment for various indicators of depression ranging from weight loss or gain, to fatigue, suicidal thoughts, loss of interest in activities and more. The number of symptoms present and their duration will likely play a role in determining the diagnosis. Some of the other types of depression can include Bipolar Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Postpartum Depression, among others.
How is depression treated?
Depression is often treated with therapy, which is sometimes combined with antidepressant medication. A licensed mental health professional will be able to help identify and treat the root of the issue. It is common for substance abuse to also be present when an individual is experiencing depression. Although the individual may be attempting to find relief from their feelings by using drugs or alcohol, these substances can actually make things worse. Alcohol, in particular, is a depressant and when a depressed person uses it, their symptoms may deepen as a result.
Since depression and addiction often go together, it is important to find a treatment program that uses a dual diagnosis approach to treat both. This way, the root problem is addressed and the patient faces a better chance of making a successful recovery. The Fairwinds Treatment Centers in Florida use a dual diagnosis method to treat those struggling with depression and substance abuse.
Founded in 1989 by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, Fairwinds is home to a highly experienced and trained clinical team who will work with you or your loved one to develop an individualized treatment plan. Using the dual diagnosis method, we will be able to uncover and resolve the psychological triggers of addiction through clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling. Through the guidance of our team, you or your loved one can look to experience recovery from depression.