Depression is real, and about 300 million people (and still counting) across the globe are affected by this mental illness. Approximately 5.4% of the depression statistics worldwide are in the United States. The mental disorder causes mood swings and highly impacts how an individual thinks and feels. Depression should not be treated lightly, as it doesn’t only affect the person suffering from it but impacts the people around as well.
An entire family can suffer from the strain brought about by the negative change in behavior of the depressed member. In general, a depressed individual would stop participating in the usual family activities. Irritability and anger become very apparent, creating tension in relationships within the family. Soon, other family members could also be suffering from the same mental disorder.
Studies show that people diagnosed with depression also suffer from anxiety, which is another type of mental disease that affects an individual’s behavior. The combination of depression and anxiety has a paralyzing effect on a person. Withdrawal from friends and family, loneliness, avoidance of social gatherings are some symptoms shown by individuals suffering from both anxiety and depression. Additionally, symptoms such as substance abuse, suicidal tendencies, and self-harm can also be triggered.
Depression requires urgent attention and it is actually treatable. However, if left ignored, depression can get worse and the affected individuals may suffer from the following risks:
1. Aggravation of Depression and Uncontrollable Substance Abuse Symptoms
People with depression commonly turn to drug and alcohol abuse. It is their way of coping with their emotions, which they couldn’t handle alone. As mentioned, people with depression tend to withdraw themselves from other people, especially with loved ones and friends. Instead of seeking help, they tend to self-medicate, which only worsens the problem. Anxiety soon takes over leading to self-inflicted harm and worse, suicidal ideations.
2. Poor Physical Health Leading to Frequent Sickness
Depression highly affects an individual’s emotions that could lead to the inability to think clearly. Soon, feelings become uncontrollable, which may affect healthy eating habits. Negative feelings or emotions can cause one to lose appetite, causing weight loss and poor physical health. Substance abuse could also lead to more serious health problems. Prolonged abuse of alcohol and drugs may often lead to organ malfunction and other health issues.
3. Increasing Tension in Relationships with Family and Friends
Individuals suffering from depression become withdrawn. They tend to get separated or disconnected, not wanting to interact or communicate with other people. They become irritable and get angry easily that may increase conflict with family, friends, and loved ones. Depressed persons become moody and may become a risk to themselves and other people.
4. Poor Performance in School
Depression not only affects adults but young kids as well. Students with this mental disease may have difficulty in coping up with their studies. Due to their inability to think clearly, depressed students will have a hard time focusing on school activities. They will shut themselves from other people and will not entertain help. Soon, anxiety develops and they may, later on, turn themselves into substance abuse. Such activities could only worsen their performance in school.
5. Difficulty in Finding a Job or Maintaining Employment
Generally, people with depression and anxiety get paralyzed and would stay away from people. They tend to skip work often and refuse to leave their rooms or homes. Often, they get laid off from their jobs. This could lead to difficulty in finding a new one due to their negative employment history. If depression continues to get worse, immediate action is crucial.
6. Growing Financial Problems Due to Increasing Expense in Substance Abuse and/or Difficulty in Earning Money
As people with depression continuously go untreated, a growing financial problem would be inevitable. Substance abuse is an expensive vice and requires an enormous amount of money in the long run, especially illegal drugs. Moreover, they will have employment problems, which could just worsen their financial issues.
As mentioned, depression can be treated including substance use disorder. Every treatment is tailor-made to an individual. Patients with depression have varying needs and require to undergo personalized treatments. Different programs are also available for people suffering from depression. They can undergo residential, outpatient, or partial hospitalization treatment, depending on the severity of an individual’s case.