A new study conducted by medical professionals at the University of California- Davis suggested that 43 percent of California adults polled would choose to keep their depression symptoms to themselves during a doctor’s appointment.
The study participants cited a variety of reasons for doing so, such as feeling their emotional difficulties are off-topic, having an aversion to being prescribed antidepressants and fear of documentation of the conversation getting back to their employer. This is just further evidence of the stigma people in the United States associate with depression and mental illness in general.
This attitude is a good example of the misinformation and lack of education people in America have about what depression symptoms really consist of, as well as what it truly means to be depressed. It can also be directly attributed to why experts believe depression is largely underdiagnosed in our society.
Depression is not just feeling sad or blue or down in the dumps, as those are feelings everyone experiences regularly in their lives and everyone is not clinically depressed. According to the National Library of Medicine, true clinical depression is “a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.”
Individuals suffering from depression often see everything in a more negative light and have a hard time believing that problems can be solved in a positive way. Depression symptoms can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
- Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
- Very difficult to concentrate
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
- Becoming withdrawn or isolated
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
When Depression Symptoms and Substance Abuse Collide
Alcohol and drug abuse have long been associated with depression as the two seem to go hand in hand. This phenomenon of having a mental disorder and a substance abuse disorder simultaneously is referred to as dual diagnosis. Studies continue to show that if you suffer from one of these co-occurring illnesses, you are at a much higher risk of suffering from the other. Women especially are often drawn to alcohol and drugs in an attempt to mask their depression symptoms when trying to cope with everyday life.
Destination Hope is a full-service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment center located in South Florida. Our highly trained therapists understand how difficult it can be to overcome an addiction when strapped with depression on top of it.
They are the best in the field at helping you get to the bottom of your issues that caused you to drink or abuse drugs in the first place. Depression is an illness that rarely ever goes away on its own and Destination Hope can give you the treatment you need to feel better without the aid of drugs and alcohol. If there is a woman in your life who could benefit from talking to a counselor at Destination Hope, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today . We feel better when you feel better.