The prevalence of chronic depression does not make it any less serious, especially when it comes to addiction. People with depression often seek to self-medicate through substance abuse. Major depressive episodes can be debilitating, and drugs/alcohol temporarily mask those awful symptoms. Unfortunately, this quick fix approach almost always makes depression worse over time.

Sadness Versus Depression

While all of us feel sad sometimes, chronic depression is another matter entirely. It’s caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that are independent of life events. Although certain events can trigger a depressive episode, the neurological component is the main driver of chronic depression. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. The severity of the depression is much worse than typical sadness; depending on the case, it can overwhelm a person to the point of being debilitating for months at a time.

Symptoms of Depression

If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic depression, it is important most of all to remember that only a licensed psychiatrist can make an official diagnosis. Since New Start firmly believes in getting dual diagnosis addicts the help they need, we partner with a local psychiatric group to offer clients professional psychological evaluations. Getting addiction treatment and appropriate psych meds simultaneously could be the 180 degree turn you or your loved one needs to start their recovery.

Behavioral Symptoms

Social Isolation

Excessive Crying

Unusual Irritability

General Avoidance


Mood Symptoms


Loss of Interest





Cognitive Symptoms

Slowed Thinking

Lack of Concentration

Suicidal Thoughts (800-273-TALK)

Excessively Repeated Thoughts

Dissociation During Activity

Feeling Foggy

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of American adults have depression

The median age of onset is


Depression is the leading cause of disability in the US

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