What is depression? How is it correlated with addiction?
Depression is not just feeling down and moody. It is a real illness that has an impact on the brain. It affects people of every age, race and background. The factors contributing to it range from constant stress to loneliness, and from genetic predisposition to some specific medical conditions.
Frequently, substance abuse appears to be an outcome of feeling depressed. Addiction is often the only way people are able to cope with their feelings, shut off overthinking, forget about their problems or run away from stressful daily routines.
What are the most common things that an individual suffering from depression needs in order to feel better and, possibly, escape the vicious loop of addiction?
1. Someone to open up to
Depression and anxiety often come out when you feel lonely. Therefore, it appears as if your interest in life is lost and everything just seems too hard and senseless. When this happens, there is a strong need to understand that asking for help and reaching out to your family and friends is okay. The way out is to find out someone who would be willing to offer a shoulder to cry on when you feel the need of emotional support because feeling connected and valued is absolutely vital.
2. Someone to watch out for you
Depression does not necessarily mean only being sad or locking oneself in a room for days. Everyone experiences it differently. The symptoms may include:
Limiting communication with others
Losing desire for self-care
Random mood swings;
Flip-outs of uncontrolled anger, etc.
Therefore, it becomes necessary to be willing to educate oneself about depression and to show great patience, constant care and support.
3. Someone to take you out for activities
Falling into depression leads to self-isolation from friends and family. Moreover, you lose interest in hobbies and/or abandon your work. Thus, there is a real need for someone who would be willing to dedicate time to hangout, arrange a pre-planned trip or any other fun activity. Socializing is what really matters because, in most cases, it is impossible to deal with depression on your own.
4. A pet
Owning a pet reduces the fear of loneliness — and provides comfort and fun. There is nothing that will give better motivation for getting out of bed every morning than knowing that your pet is totally dependent on you. Having a loving and loyal pet which can cuddle up next to you any time can give you joy and help bring back a desire to live.
5. Someone to help you awaken your positivity
A perception that everything in life is going wrong and it being entirely your fault is a common feeling which accompanies depression. You keep constantly asking yourself: “Why bother? Why should I even get out of bed today?” A remedy can be offered (via a close friend or relative) by simply helping to answer these questions with positive reinforcement and small, doable goals.
6. Someone to show compassion
It is important to understand that even the smallest things in life can make one happy and help you to get back on track. The choice is yours on what those could be:
Sending a supportive voicemail or card
Cooking a meal
Giving a nice gift
An invitation for a picnic or a jog, etc.
These gestures could help someone suffering from depression to feel loved and connected, valued and special.