According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than seven percent of American adults had a depressive episode in 2017. That comes to more than 17 million people. The World Health Organization says that depression is the number one cause of disability worldwide. Symptoms of depression include loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, depressed mood, inability to concentrate, irritability, slow movements, aches, trouble sleeping, weight fluctuations, and thoughts of suicide or death. As if all this wasn’t bad enough, depression is also a major risk factor for addiction and addiction can lead to depression or make existing depression worse. This spiral can be hard to break out of, especially since depression often tells you the following lies.
“Nobody likes you.”
Isolation is a common symptom of depression. Unfortunately, when you’re depressed, isolation is the last thing you need and will only make it worse. When you’re depressed, you tend to only notice negative things. If something isn’t negative, you may ignore it or think it’s not true. So for example, if you’re with friends, you may fixate on comments that seem critical of you or you may interpret benign comments as hostile. Since you probably already feel bad about yourself, you may be biased towards evidence that confirms your negative self-image. However, this experience is completely filtered by depression. If you could see things more objectively, you would see that some people don’t like you–as is true for everyone–but many people do like you.
Feeling worthless is one of the most common symptoms of depression. As noted above, depression often makes you fixate on the negative. You only see the bad things about yourself and you may also spend a lot of time ruminating on all the terrible things you’ve done in your life. Not only do you completely neglect all the good things you’ve done, but when someone points them out to, you may feel like they don’t count for some reason. However, the larger point is that you don’t have to earn your worth as a human being. It’s great to be successful and to help other people, but even in the absence of those things–and perhaps the presence of some less desirable things–you still have worth.
Depression can make you feel like the laziest person in the world. You may not be able to get out of bed. You may have very little energy and move slowly. You may have trouble concentrating or remembering things. When you can’t seem to get much of anything done, it’s normal to feel lazy. However, depression makes everything harder. Recent research has linked depression to inflammation, similar to the inflammation you get when you’re sick. Your body tries to preserve energy to fight infections by slowing down everything else. What feel like laziness has a physiological cause. If you are able to function at all despite depression, then you’re not lazy; you’re just fighting an uphill battle.
“Life will never get any better.”
When you’re depressed, not only does the present look dismal, but the future does too. It’s extremely difficult to imagine life getting any better, even if you know, rationally, that your depressed mood will lift eventually. However, life will get better. Treatment methods are improving all the time and most people can start feeling better within a matter of weeks. The essential thing is to get help for depression, even if you don’t think it’s possible to feel better.
At Alta Lama Transformational Services, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. Alta Lama uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.