The Connection Between Depression In Young Adults

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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
  • Moodiness
  • Anxiety
  • 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
  • Lethargy
  • Using drugs or alcohol to cope
  • Isolating
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Overeating or not eating enough
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • 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. 

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD


chloe kruskol los angeles rehab team

Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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