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Depression Overview

Depression is often described as feeling unhappy, sad, blue, miserable, or down in the dumps. 

Many people feel down or fatigued sometimes in their lives, but generally for short periods. When these feelings persist and the grey fog that seems to permeate your brain does not lift, you may be struggling with clinical depression.  Many feelings are incorporated in the lack of motivation and the desire for isolation. Frustration, anger, loss, sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness and even guilt can accompany the feeling of being depressed.

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Depression Treatment in Los Angeles

Depression isn’t just being sad. It’s not just a little bout of unhappiness or feeling blue for a few fleeting moments.

If it were, we wouldn’t be talking about it.

Unfortunately, though, it’s exceedingly common – and even easy – for an outsider to brush off depression as just run-of-the-mill sadness or being temporarily down in the dumps. Why? Because everyone has felt sad before so we can all recognize what appears to be sadness and think “well if I got over it, so can you”.

That’s a fallacy.

While sadness is normal and among the most basic of human emotions, it differs greatly from depression. In fact, you can even experience depression without sadness.

Among the core attributes that characterize depression is that it’s longer-lasting than being sad, which is more of a momentary and temporary feeling. As the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) puts it, “depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks”.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 4.7% of adults over the age of 18 had regular feelings of depression and over 10% of emergency department visits had depression indicated on the medical records.

Sadly, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that roughly “60 percent of people who commit suicide have had a mood disorder (e.g., major depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia). Younger persons who kill themselves often have a substance abuse disorder, in addition to being depressed”.

That last part is crucial to reflect on.

Dealing with long-term, clinical depression is incredibly taxing on a person. It’s draining both mentally and physically.

It’s feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness. It’s depleted energy and overwhelming fatigue. It’s difficulty sleeping. Aches. Pains. Anger. Guilt. Thoughts of suicide.

It’s too much.

It should come as no surprise then that in order to deal with this avalanche, this onslaught, people turn to substances as a coping mechanism.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sums it up in a few words, “substance use disorders (SUD) also co-occur at high prevalence with mental disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder”.

Adding, “around 1 in 4 individuals with SMI also have an SUD”. SMI stands for serious mental illness, a category which major depression falls into.

In general, research shows that about half of those “who experience a SUD during their lives will also experience a co-occurring mental disorder and vice versa”.

They play off each other and feed one another. Mental disorders can contribute to addiction and addiction can lead to mental disorders.

And it’s an appealing solution. Rather than be enveloped in the dark and weighty cloud of depression, substances offer an easy escape route. A way out and momentary release.

Because of all of that interplay, it’s critically important to treat both problems at the same time in what’s known as a dual-diagnosis treatment.

Without consciously and intentionally working through both the substance abuse and depression, you leave yourself open to a greater likelihood of relapse. That’s because solely focusing on getting clean doesn’t necessarily address the root cause of your depression, so you’ll be leaving rehab without the tools to effectively cope with it and the triggers that bring it on.

In practice, that means that since you haven’t developed new thought patterns to work through depression, any challenge you encounter may very well send you straight back to the drugs or the drink.

At our addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, our team has decades of combined experience in treating addiction and depression simultaneously, creating customized treatment programs that align with you. Through evidence-based methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy as well as Reality Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy, we work with you to uncover the source of your problems with substances and the genesis of your depression.

In both group and private one-on-one sessions with our master’s level therapists, counselors and addiction experts, our depression help center will guide you in developing healthy coping mechanisms and new ways to think. You’ll discover positive ways to react to adversity and potentially triggering situations, learning to feel less trapped in the process.

Depression doesn’t discriminate between gender, race, age, occupation or culture; it can and does affect everyone. There’s no need to sit in the dark and wallow in the misery though. No need to fall further into the abyss of substance abuse.

Reach out to our depression treatment team in Los Angeles, we can help you step out of the darkness and back into your life.

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Depression affects people of all occupations, ages and cultures. There is no need to sit in the dark abyss that has become a way of life. Often with addiction, people feel trapped in a dark hole with seemingly no way out. This mood disorder can interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.

At our depression treatment center in Los Angeles, we have the expertise and the patience to help you step out of the darkness and step back into your life with clarity and joy.