Just getting through each day proves challenging when a young person struggles with depression. They may not recognize they have a diagnosable illness or may not feel capable of asking for help. When the same person also deals with a substance use disorder, this compounds the problem. There are proven ways to treat depression in young adults that allow them to manage their mental health and begin planning for a positive future.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that can greatly impact a person’s life. People with depression experience constant feelings of sadness and hopelessness. They often lack the ability to accomplish simple tasks or feel enthusiasm for everyday life or activities that used to interest them.
People who don’t understand how it feels to be clinically depressed sometimes think a person who is depressed just needs to try to be happier. Depression in young adults is often misunderstood by others who mistake it for youthful stubbornness or laziness. These young people aren’t just experiencing a bad mood but need professional treatment to help address the reasons they developed depression.
Where Does Depression in Young Adults Come From?
Depression in young adults can come from different sources or a combination of them. These can include:
Brain Chemistry: Sometimes neurotransmitters in the brain misfire, causing a negative change in a person’s mood. Medications can help address a person’s brain chemistry, allowing it to return to normal levels.
Life Circumstances: Ongoing situations that prove challenging, such as financial worries, poor health, divorce, family strife, or career difficulties can contribute to the development of depression.
Youth: Adolescence and young adulthood involve a change in the body’s hormone balances, which can contribute to triggering depression. Coming of age involves several challenges, causing many young adults to flounder as they try to find their place in the world. Things like going to college, establishing a career, entering the dating world, and becoming independent can result in depression in young adults.
Past Trauma: People who experienced or witnessed traumatic events in the past and did not get help for the effect they had on them can develop depression. Childhood abuse, physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, long-term illness, and military acts can all contribute to a person becoming clinically depressed.
Genetics: Mental illnesses often pass down from one generation to another within families. It’s not uncommon for several family members to develop conditions like depression.
Life During the Pandemic: As the world moves through the COVID-19 pandemic, every age group struggles with how to cope with it. Young adults have experienced important life events and plans, such as going to college, starting a job, and moving, being postponed or canceled. They also may have experienced their own poor health or that of others. Learning to cope with the hardships of the pandemic can contribute to developing depression.
Signs Of Depression in Young Adults
When young adults are depressed, they exhibit signs of their condition. It’s important for parents and others who care about them to learn to recognize the signs. Some of the emotional signs include:
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Obsessing about the past
- Feeling worthless
- Suicidal ideation
- Loss of interest in relationships and hobbies
Physical signs of depression can include:
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Using drugs or alcohol to cope
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Digestive troubles
- Lowered sex drive
How Depression Can Lead to Addiction
About half of all people who have at least one mental health diagnosis, including depression, also have a substance use disorder. It’s common for people living with depression to use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Many people begin abusing alcohol, taking opiates, or stimulants in order to try to alleviate their sadness or cover it up. They are unaware of the risk of developing an addiction that comes with these actions. Many mood disorder treatment programs also treat people for addiction to drugs and alcohol, allowing individuals to work on healing from both conditions simultaneously.
The Importance of Getting Treatment for Depression
A report showed that approximately 60% of people who commit suicide suffered from a mood disorder, including depression and others. These people often have an addiction to drugs or alcohol along with their depression. Of those who experienced a major depressive episode in 2019, the age group with the highest number included adults aged 18-25.
Rates of experiencing symptoms of major depression among adults aged 18-25 increased 63% from 2009 to 2017. Those numbers continue to trend upward as the pandemic goes on. The sooner a person gets treatment, the sooner they can turn their lives around, prevent further suffering, and reduce the chances they will act on thoughts of suicide.
As insurmountable as depression may feel too young adults, professional help can turn their lives around. Treatment programs help them determine what contributed to developing depression and how to learn to heal from it. Common treatment modalities for depression include individual and group therapy, holistic therapy, trauma-based care, and experiential therapy.
These treatments can take place in a residential program, which requires the person to live in a facility for a period of time, or through a variety of outpatient programs. Outpatient treatment takes place during the day and allows the person to return home at night.
Treatment For Addiction and Depression in Young Adults Los Angeles, CA
Do you suffer from addiction and depression or do you know a young adult who struggles with them? Our professional staff is trained to treat both conditions and help young people go on to lead meaningful lives no longer ruled by a substance use disorder or mental illness. We provide assistance for educational and career goals to help our clients move into the world with purpose and confidence. Our family therapy helps the entire family learn how to rebuild relationships and provide the recovery assistance needed. Contact Launch Centers today and let us answer your questions about our life-changing treatment.