The United States recognizes National Depression Awareness Week as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which occurs during the first week of October. This initiative helps raise awareness surrounding one of America’s most common mental health disorders. Raising awareness about depression is vital for ending stigmas surrounding it and other mental health disorders. Depression awareness also helps people understand that they are not alone and that many support systems are available to help them tackle this disease. For more information about the treatment options available at our North Carolina adolescent treatment program, contact Foothill at Red Oak at 866.300.5275.
Facts About Depression
When someone is going through depression, they’re experiencing symptoms that run deeper than feeling sad. These symptoms could include:
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Feelings of emptiness
- Loss of interest in activities almost daily
- Paralyzing fatigue or lack of energy
- Significant decrease or increase in appetite leading to weight loss or gain
- Sense of hopelessness
- Unusual irritability
Some individuals experience mild to moderate symptoms. Others go through episodic periods of depression, including seasonal affective disorder and postpartum depression.
Understanding Depression Symptoms
Depression can happen on its own or co-occurring with another condition. Those who experience symptoms of depression could experience anxiety, brooding, or physical pain. It isn’t uncommon for those who are experiencing these symptoms to avoid identifying them.
For example, if you hear someone saying, “I’m tired,” or, “I don’t feel well today,” could be concealing the signs of depression. Other subtle symptoms could include the following:
- Avoiding participation in social events or spending time with friends
- Crying without being able to give a reason why
- Exhibiting reckless behavior
- Experiencing aches and pains suddenly
- Sleep pattern changes, including insomnia or excessive sleeping
There are many causes of mental health conditions, including neurological imbalances or a traumatic life event. No matter the reason, it’s critical not to diminish or invalidate what’s happening to someone.
How Mental Health and Addiction Are Linked
It isn’t uncommon for substance use disorder (SUD) to coincide with a mental health condition, including depression. Those who are living with a SUD could also struggle with depression. For example, individuals might turn to alcohol or drugs to ease their symptoms or escape negative thoughts. Unfortunately, this decision creates a vicious cycle leading to dangerous consequences. That’s why it’s critical to treat SUD and depression symptoms concurrently.
The Importance of Depression Awareness
Depression is frequently stigmatized and judged. People might think that those struggling with this condition refuse to cope with life’s stresses or as weak. The importance of National Depression Awareness Week is such that it helps spread education and information about this condition. In doing so, that helps reduce the stigma associated with this mental health condition.
Stigma could cause people to refrain from getting depression treatment because they might be pretending nothing is wrong. Leaving this condition untreated could lead to more significant problems, including using alcohol or drugs to self-medicate.
The Goal of This Holiday
Ultimately, the goal behind National Depression Awareness Week is to help individuals know that behaviors might be beyond someone’s control when they are suffering from this condition. However, if they receive depression treatment, that could help solve that problem. Learning more about this condition is essential for everyone in the affected person’s life. That way, that person knows that asking for help for this condition is the right thing.
Contact Foothills at Red Oak to Learn More
If you believe that you, a loved one, or one of your family members suffer from this mental health condition, it isn’t uncommon to have questions and concerns. While National Depression Awareness Week is an excellent start for learning more about this condition, that might not be enough. If your depression has led to substance abuse, it’s essential to get treatment. At our adolescent treatment center, we offer a range of addiction treatment options, including:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Cocaine addiction treatment
- Meth addiction treatment