Depression and Substance Abuse Treatment

Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet many fail to realize it. There are various illnesses and conditions that can affect the mind and the brain, leading to unpleasant symptoms that may have a disrupting impact on a person’s wellbeing. One of the most common mental illnesses that affect the general population is depression.

According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people from all over the world are sufferers of depression. While the condition may be a mental illness, it is one of the major causes of disability. One of the most concerning factors about depression is the fact that this condition can cause a person to commit suicide. Even though a serious disorder, effective treatments are available to address depression and relief the symptoms.

Where Does Depression Come From?

Researchers have spent a lot of time and resources to learn more about depression. A lot has already been discovered, but there is still much to learn about depression and how this disease develops. It is usually advised that depression stems from an imbalance that occurs with certain neurotransmitters that are present in the human brain. There are, however, millions of chemical reactions that occur with the nerves and even these neurotransmitters, which makes it difficult to treat depression in every single patient effectively.

While disruption in neurotransmitter balance in the brain is thought to be the primary reason for depression to develop, other factors need to be taken into consideration too. Genetic factors, life events like a trauma that led to a significant amount of stress, and even the use of certain pharmaceutical drugs have all been found to contribute to this mental illness. This is why every patient is considered a unique case, and practitioners often aim to determine the root causes of the depression in order to offer patients access to a more individualized approach to treatment.

Symptoms Of Depression

Only about 36.9% of people with depression and anxiety disorders are being treated for the mental illnesses they are suffering from. Understanding and recognizing the symptoms of depression is the first step to treatment – as this would allow a patient to know when they need to take action and obtain the help, they need to reduce the effects that the mental disease has on their life.

There are many symptoms that have been associated with depression. It is, however, important to understand that some patients may only experience one or two symptoms, while another may be more severely affected by the condition.

symptoms of depression

Common symptoms that a patient should look out for include:

  • A hopeless or worthless feeling
  • A feeling that only bad things happen
  • Thoughts about suicide
  • Being restless and irritable
  • A consistent empty and sad feeling
  • A reduction in energy levels
  • Losing interest in the activities that once brought the patient joy
  • A change in the patient’s appetite, often accompanied by a fluctuation in weight
  • Sleeping changes – the patient may sleep more or less
  • Focusing on tasks becomes more difficult

Some patients may also experience headaches, an upset stomach, problems with their digestive system, and cramps.

What Is Depression Treatment?

Several treatment strategies have been developed for those who are looking to overcome the dreadful effects that depression may have in their lives. Depression treatment Orange County is also readily available for individuals who need help, but it is also important to note that the same treatment does not always work for every person.

Multiple pharmaceutical drugs have been developed to help restore the chemical balance in the patient’s brain. This usually includes the utilization of an antidepressant drug. Different types of antidepressants are available. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed options, but some of the newer ones, such as SNRIs, are also becoming popular among physicians and patients who suffer from depression.

In most cases, the use of antidepressants will take up to four weeks before the patient will start to feel a difference in the symptoms they experience.

While pharmaceutical drugs may assist in relieving signs of depression, combination therapy is usually considered the most effective approach when it comes to treating this mental health condition.

Types Of Therapy For Depression

While medications are often provided to patients with depression to assist in the management of symptoms experienced, undergoing psychological treatment is also necessary for a more effective approach at targeting the condition. The protocols utilized in psychotherapy depends on the severity of the patient’s condition. This may include general sessions with a counselor or psychologist to help the patient identify the root causes behind the depression.

There are other types of therapies that may also be suggested to the patient. This often involves Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. This therapy helps the patient identify ways that their thoughts are leading to depression and teaches them the skills needed to turn these thoughts into something positive. Interpersonal therapy is another psychotherapy treatment that may also be provided to the patient.

Substance Abuse And Depression

Substance abuse and depression is a two-way connection that is of major concern to the health of the general public. People who develop depression are at a higher risk of turning to substances, such as illicit drugs and alcohol and abuse these products. At the same time, those individuals who suffer from a substance abuse disorder are also found to be at a higher risk of developing depression.

Reaching Out For Help And Support

People who are suffering from depression need to understand that they are not alone. A significant number of the population suffers from the condition, but the majority of these patients are not obtaining the treatment they need. Depression treatment Orange County can help patients gain access to both conventional treatments and psychotherapy sessions, which can help the individual gain the coping mechanisms needed to overcome depression.

Even though depression might have a significant adverse impact on a person’s life, the condition is highly treatable – but patients are only able to experience real relief from their symptoms if they reach out to the right people.

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