The Major Signs of Depression in Early-Stage Recovery

The Major Signs of Depression in Early Stage Recovery

It is extremely important to look out for the major signs of depression in the early stages of recovery. A lot of men may be struggling with depression upon entering treatment. However, it is not uncommon for symptoms to develop during detox or early treatment. In either case, expressing concerns about symptoms you may exhibit is crucial. Talk to a doctor, clinician, or therapist about these symptoms to modify your treatment plan and account for dual diagnosis

What Are the Different Types of Depression?

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines depression as a mood disorder that causes “severe symptoms” which affect how you feel, think, and function daily. Sometimes referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, a diagnosis requires symptoms to occur for at least two weeks. However, it can be challenging for some to recognize which type of depression they are struggling with. The NIMH identifies the different kinds of depression as follows:  

  • Major depression: Depression symptoms that last for at least two weeks and that inhibit your ability to work, sleep, eat, and function day-to-day
  • Persistent depressive disorder, or dysthymia: Less severe depression symptoms, but they typically last longer (on average, at least two years) 
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Causes extreme mood changes when the seasons change and typically starts in the late fall and early winter and subsides during spring and summer 
  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis: Refers to a severe form of depression where individuals experience delusions or hallucinations

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are more likely to experience depression symptoms than men. Nevertheless, men are not immune. For so long, men have felt hindered from expressing their feelings and mental health concerns. Over the decades, more men may have experienced symptoms than we realize. Untreated depression can become dangerous and deadly. If you exhibit any signs or symptoms, seek treatment today. 

How to Recognize the Signs of Depression

Not everyone with depression experiences the same symptoms. It is vital, though, to recognize all signs, especially if you hope to help yourself or a loved one struggling with depression. The NIMH indicates you may be struggling with depression if you experience any of the following symptoms most of the day, every day, for at least two weeks: 

  • Constantly feeling sad, anxious, or empty 
  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic 
  • Experiencing irritability and restlessness or being easily frustrated 
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless 
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyable 
  • Lack of energy or feeling incredibly run down and fatigued 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss 
  • Trouble sleeping or difficulty waking up in the morning 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Unplanned weight loss or gain 
  • Experiencing body aches, headaches, cramps, or digestive pain and issues 
  • Thinking about death or suicide or attempting suicide 

If you exhibit any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor immediately. They can offer resources or make referrals to trusted therapists or treatment programs and help you get the help you need today. 

Depression and Addiction in Men

As mentioned, many men entering addiction treatment are already struggling with depression. You can also develop depression during detox, treatment, or in the early stages of recovery. Some research indicates that mood disorders like depression are “the most common psychiatric comorbidities among patients with substance use disorders.” For some, depression develops first. These individuals use substances, like drugs and alcohol, to cope with their depression. Unfortunately, self-medication quickly turns to dependency. 

Other times, depression develops secondary to addiction. This is common during the early stages of treatment because emotions run high at this time. Individuals undergoing detox typically experience intense feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and depression as they become accustomed to life without drugs or alcohol. Combined with feeling isolated and managing intense cravings, it is no surprise someone may begin experiencing depression symptoms. 

For some men, this is temporary. As you finish detox and begin a treatment program, symptoms can subside. For others, symptoms continue, and their treatment plan must be adjusted. Discuss with your therapist any lingering symptoms or concerns about depression symptoms. They can help adjust treatment accordingly to account for these new or prolonged symptoms.  

Consider Seeking Treatment Today

The best way to combat addiction and major signs of depression is to seek treatment. Healing Pines Recovery has experienced professionals who can help you with both. We offer individual behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), as well as group therapy. 

Additionally, we offer a number of alternative and holistic practices to help your depression symptoms. That includes exercise, yoga, meditation, and practicing the Twelve Steps. Together, we can find a way for you to cope with addiction and depression.

Research indicates that people who struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol are at an increased risk of developing a co-occurring disorder. This may include such disorders as anxiety or depression. Depression and other mood disorders can be dangerous, especially when coping with substance use disorder (SUD). Some men enter treatment and already have a depression diagnosis. Still, it is not uncommon for some to develop major depressive symptoms during detox or in the early stages of recovery. Addiction treatment will teach you the skills necessary for managing both disorders and explain how to maintain sobriety long-term. Healing Pines Recovery can help you in your recovery journey. Call (720) 575-2621 to learn about the treatment programs at our Colorado facility. 

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