The type of depression that occurs in these mental health disorders is different from the everyday ups and downs that most people experience. Instead, the symptoms are persistent and severe. They must meet specific behavioral diagnostic criteria. For a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD), you would have to satisfy at least five of nine potential diagnostic criteria that occur together over a two-week period (minimally).
Many people often say, “I’m depressed,” but this is not the same thing as syndromes that are actual forms of mental illness. MDD is a debilitating disorder.
People who are diagnosed with depressive disorders have a high risk of also engaging in substance abuse. The two conditions intertwine and worsen each other.
Whenever someone has a depressive disorder and a co-occurring substance use disorder, the disorders cannot be treated in isolation. Anyone with any type of mental health disorder must be treated as a whole person in order to recover properly. This means treating the substance abuse, the depressive disorder, and any other conditions at the same time.
Overview of Depressive Disorders