In 2021, I was the most depressed I have ever been, and none of my family or friends knew. If you talked to me in 2019, 2021, or even 2018 you would have thought that I was thriving. I was in college in a thriving social scene and my grades were on the Dean's list. But internally, I was lost and exhausted. Every weekend, I would self-medicate by drowning my sorrows and blowing them away. Never would I have thought that I was depressed. To me, these things were just fun. Why do I tell this story? Because millions can relate.
According to this new study, depression and drug addiction often co-occur. A word here that means that they work off of each other. One thing that I noticed is that when I got help for my depression finally, I stopped needing to drink or smoke. This may be the case for many. Sometimes, treating drug addiction is not enough and you have to treat the root cause to find the answers to your problem.
An article by the American Association of Suicidology found that there was a major link between those with untreated major depressive disorder and suicide risk. "Lifetime risk of suicide among patients with untreated depressive disorder is nearly 20%" (Gotlib & Hammen, 2002). This is a pretty high number when you look at the overall population of those who die by suicide every year.
There is good news, however. Depression is treatable. In fact for those who go to get treatment for it, whether it be medicine or therapy, there is a 60-80 percent effectiveness rate. However, the only way to lead people to get treatment is to bring awareness to the disorder and to the wide amount of treatments that are currently available. For this, there are helpful resources like this one. I encourage you to give it a read and share it with a friend or family member this September!
Although suicide awareness month is a great idea, like many things in life, it is helpful to recognize this epidemic year-round and always be aware of the things that our family and close friends are dealing with. Most of the time, symptoms of mental illness or suicidal tendencies are masked or hidden by the person struggling due to shame or embarrassment. However, for a majority of these people, it only takes one person to say hello and put their arm around them for them to open up about their struggles. If you are struggling with your mental health, please check out the resources page which I have curated to be a safe place to find information.
Please know that my inbox is always open!
Sincerely, Gabrielle Denise
depression and drug abuse
depression and drug abuse comorbidity
suicide awareness month 2023
suicide awareness month
suicide prevention month
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