More than 7% of adults in the United States have depression, making depression related disorders among the most common mental health issues in the country. Mental health disorders like depression are chronic and incurable, which makes self-medicating depression symptoms a widespread coping strategy. When you struggle with depression, you can begin to isolate from others and lose interest in hobbies, socializing, and responsibilities.
Self-medicating depression can temporarily relieve symptoms, but unfortunately using drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medicating can ultimately worsen your symptoms and mental health. Drugs and alcohol cause neurotransmitter imbalances in your brain. When you struggle with depression, you have depleted levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.
Nearly half of all people with a substance cause problem also have a co-occurring mental health condition, like depression. It is important during treatment to ensure you receive help from a dual-diagnosis treatment center that specializes in treating co-occurring conditions.
What is Depression?
Depression is a chronic mental health disorder that causes neurotransmitter imbalances and mood changes. It doesn’t just make you sad. Depression causes depleted moods and sadness for an extended period of time. Depression episodes can last for several weeks or longer. Symptoms can cause you to have suicidal thoughts or crying spells. Depression can also cause:
- Insomnia or poor sleep
- Low energy
- Isolation from friends and family members
- Physical pain
- Low self-esteem
Difficulty dealing with stress can also increase your risk of developing depression. Symptoms are typically treated with a mix of prescription anti-depressants and evidence-based therapy. With proper treatment, depression symptoms can be successfully managed. Left untreated, depression can worsen and become disabling.
So, what is self-medicating depression? Self-medicating depression occurs when you abuse drugs or alcohol in order to alleviate symptoms of depression. Since drugs and alcohol change your brain chemistry and create neurotransmitter imbalances, they de-stabilize your mental health and worsen symptoms. Substance abuse can also impact your mood and disturb your sleep.
When you are dealing with troubling or overwhelming depression symptoms, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Since depression is progressive and worsens without treatment, early treatment greatly improves your ability to recover.
You can choose to receive help from an inpatient or outpatient depression treatment center. Inpatient treatment programs allow you to have constant access to mental health professionals and can adjust your medications during treatment. Outpatient programs typically meet for several hours a day and allow you to return home at night. Both inpatient and outpatient programs use evidence-based treatments, such as therapy, in order to help you recover.
Finding Help Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, symptoms can leave you feeling defeated and frustrated. Reaching out for help is the first step towards recovery. Northern Illinois Recovery Center, which has the best depression treatment programs Crystal Lake Il offers, is only a phone call away. We offer the best evidence-based and holistic treatments to help you recover. Call us today at 855.786.1978 to learn more about our programs and your treatment options for self-medicating depression.