Each morning you have to fight the overwhelming urge to just stay in bed. Your hobbies that brought you joy have grown dull, and you drag yourself to work, but it’s hard to concentrate once you’re there. When the hopelessness and the stress become too much to bear, you feel trapped.

While you’re still able to handle your responsibilities, more and more aspects of your life begin to feel empty. This is what it feels like to suffer from major depressive disorder.

Major Depressive Disorder Defined

Major depressive disorder is described as frequent feelings of depression and hopelessness that impact quality of life. This disorder doesn’t need a reason to develop, which is why it can affect people of all walks of life. Even if you know you should be happy, major depressive disorder embeds feelings of despair that keep you from feeling joyful.

Given the stigma of mental health conditions, many people with major depressive disorder feel isolated, increasing the intensity of their symptoms. But you’re not as alone as this condition makes you believe. Major depressive disorder is the most common mental health condition in the country. In fact, roughly 7 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a major depressive episode in the last year.

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

It can be challenging to determine if you have major depressive disorder on your own, especially if you haven’t had much experience with mental health disorders in the past. Some of the common symptoms of major depressive disorder include:

  • Losing interest in passions and hobbies you used to enjoy
  • Trouble falling asleep and feeling tired or exhausted more than usual
  • Intense feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • An inability to concentrate and struggle with making decisions
  • Feeling sad or hopeless for the majority of the day
  • Thoughts about harming yourself

If you experience more than a couple of these symptoms multiple times a week, you should consult your doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you outline your symptoms and determine if you have major depressive disorder.

What Causes Major Depressive Disorder?

Unlike other mental health conditions that have direct genetic links, the main cause of major depressive disorder is still unknown. However, there are a number of outside factors that can increase your risk of developing the disorder. These factors include:

  • High levels of frequent stress
  • Experiencing trauma at some point in your life
  • Certain medications, including growth hormone and steroids
  • Medical conditions such as cancer or hypothyroidism
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

The Connection Between Major Depressive Disorder and Substance Abuse

Many people who suffer from major depressive disorder also struggle with substance abuse. What starts out as a way to cope with their depression symptoms evolves into an addiction. Once a drug or alcohol addiction sets in, trying to quit causes the intensity of depressive symptoms to spike.

Since major depressive disorder and substance abuse feed off each other, addiction treatment centers like Fountain Hills Recovery offer dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both conditions at the same time while providing education that will help you restore balance to your life. Using drugs or alcohol to bury your depression symptoms will only make you feel worse over time. The good news is that there’s hope for reaching lasting recovery from both.

Regain Control Over Your Life at Fountain Hills Recovery

When you’re struggling with major depressive disorder, you feel like there is no hope for regaining control over your life. At Fountain Hills Recovery, we specialize in treating mental health disorders like depression. With our help, you’ll learn healthy coping skills and learn how to manage your symptoms in ways that don’t involve substance abuse.

Our main goal is to give you a safe and comfortable place to heal. Contact our admissions team today to learn about our treatment approach and find out how to get started.