How do you know when someone who is feeling down is experiencing something more serious than the normal lows that everyone faces from time to time? Loss of a job, failure in school, relationship struggles or the death of a loved one are all things that can cause someone to struggle with prolonged bouts of sadness. However, when those feelings persist for an extended period of time, it may signal a deeper issue.
Depression can be particularly concerning when the person is struggling with or recovering from addiction. Let’s look at some of the early signs of depression, so you can help your loved one get the support they need.
Potential Signs Your Loved One Is Depressed
Have you noticed your loved one has lost interest in work, hobbies or other areas of life they previously enjoyed? Has he or she had trouble sleeping for a prolonged period of time? Or maybe they’re sleeping too much?
Is your loved one experiencing changes in weight or eating habits? Does he or she find it difficult to manage emotions, resulting in outbursts of anger, irritability or grief? Are you observing increasingly reckless behavior, including substance abuse or participating in activities that could cause self-harm?
Fatigue and difficulty concentrating are additional signs of depression. If any or all of these are combined with a sense of hopelessness or despair, particularly if this has been going on for some time, your loved one is likely suffering from depression.
Situations That May Lead to Depression
Depression is complicated. It can be influenced by genetics to an extent, but outside stimuli can also play a major role in the condition. The loss of a job or any kind of financial strain is a common factor. The death of a loved one is an obviously understandable source of grief and sadness, but when that sadness doesn’t subside in the days and weeks ahead, you could be seeing signs of something more troubling.
Other potential triggers for depressive episodes may include:
- Trauma or PTSD
- Social isolation or loneliness
- Secondhand effects of a loved one’s substance abuse
- Relationship issues
- Debilitating health conditions
The Dangers of Co-Occurring Disorders
Many people who struggle with depression turn to drugs to self-medicate. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to solve the problem. In fact, drug abuse can worsen depression symptoms, which may lead to increased drug use and a cycle that goes on and on. Even seemingly “harmless” drugs like marijuana can lead to experimentation with other drugs or increased levels of depression.
The intertwining of issues like depression and drug abuse is often referred to as dual diagnosis disorders or co-occurring disorders. Failure to get concurrent help for both conditions can oftentimes result in relapse.
Get Help with Depression and Substance Abuse at Footprints Beachside Recovery
At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we take a holistic approach to dealing with co-occurring disorders like depression and addiction. Our treatment addresses all the factors that go into these conditions in order to help your loved one develop a multi-faceted recovery plan.
Our personal experience with addiction, plus over a decade of helping others with recovery is ample evidence that no two experiences with depression and addiction are exactly alike. That’s why we take an individual approach with every case.
If you’re not sure what to say to your loved one about rehab, we can help with that, too. Talk to one of our addiction specialists today.