High Risk Behavior and Depression
Depression is a serious disease that puts people at risk for self-destructive, high risk behavior. With the proper treatment the dangers of this life-threatening disease can be significantly reduced.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is a mental disorder that is caused by imbalances in brain chemicals that affect mood, motivation and feelings of wellness. In some cases depression is caused by major life events such as the death of a loved one, failure in work or on the job, relationship problems or financial distress. In other cases the disease is the result of a biological predisposition toward chemical imbalance. There are also those who suffer the effects of childhood neglect or abandonment. There are many types of depression, but some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Lack of energy
- Persistent sadness
- A prevailing feeling of emotional numbness
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of libido
- Inability to concentrate
- The development of self-destructive behaviors and habits
Many depressed individuals report an overall feeling of numbness that they can’t quite shake. Some turn to high risk behavior in order to feel anything at all. These dangerous actions only complicate their condition and often result in even deeper depression. Some of the most frequently reported risky behaviors include the following:
- Substance abuse
- Self-harm (cutting, scratching, burning, etc)
- Risky sexual behavior
These behaviors become a form of self-medication, but they always leave people in even more emotional and physical trouble. In many cases they result in a full-blown addiction that will be very challenging to overcome, especially with a mental disorder. Suicidal thoughts and actions are also tragically common amongst these individuals.
Help for Depression and Behavioral Addiction
In order to find lasting recovery from depression and the destructive behaviors that come with it, you must receive treatment that addresses all aspects of your condition. This type of comprehensive, holistic approach is referred to as Dual Diagnosis treatment. The most effective programs accomplish this through a wide range of therapeutic tools including the following:
- Personal counseling
- Carefully monitored medication when appropriate
- Support group meetings
- Medically supervised detox
- Spiritual care
- Empowering education about the nature of depression and addiction
- Instruction in innovative relaxation and coping techniques
- 12-step programs
- Healthy diversions and activities
These treatment facilities understand the medical and emotional components of depression and are ready to help anyone wrestling with this disease find hope for a bright future.
Immediate Help with Depression
If you are struggling with depression please call our toll-free 24 hour helpline any time. If you have a friend or loved one who you fear may be engaging in high risk behavior as a result of depression, our specially trained counselors can help you understand the disease and how best to approach someone trapped by it. Call for help before it’s too late.