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An addiction doesn’t develop or happen overnight. In general, the path leads first to abuse and then, in some people, to addiction. So the most important thing you can do is to avoid that path, or get help in stepping off of that road as soon as you recognize a possible problem. In most cases, an addiction typically starts with experimental use and progresses over time into a need to use regularly, even at the expense of health and safety.
Everyone experiences pain at some point, but in people with depression or anxiety, pain can become particularly intense and hard to treat. People suffering from depression, for example, tend to experience more severe and long-lasting pain than other people.
The overlap of anxiety, depression, and pain is particularly evident in chronic and sometimes disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain. For example, about two-thirds of patients with irritable bowel syndrome who are referred for follow-up care have symptoms of psychological distress, most often anxiety. About 65% of patients seeking help for depression also report at least one type of pain symptom. Psychiatric disorders not only contribute to pain intensity but also to increased risk of disability.
While we likely won't experience all the symptoms of depression, we will certainly experience some recurring symptoms; therefore, we will need a plan for coping with these symptoms of depression. What are some recurring depression symptoms to be on the lookout for? How can we build coping skills to help us navigate through these hard times?
When you think of the “college experience” you may think of making new friends and gaining independence. For some students, these parts of the “college experience” can equate to parties, peer pressure and loneliness. In an attempt to escape these stressors, students may turn to alcohol or drugs, which leaves them vulnerable to developing or awakening a life-threatening disease that can put students at risk for academic failure, unemployment and isolation from the world. There is no cure for the disease, only recovery, and the name of this disease is addiction.
“I started drinking when I was 19. I had my wisdom teeth taken out, and I got addicted to the pain pills. Once that happened, it just spiraled out of control. For a drug addict, if you use once, you can’t stop on your own. I went to rehab 15 times. Every time I’d get out, I’d relapse. They tell you to change everything about your life, where you stay, the people you’re around, the things you do, you have to change everything. I didn’t do that until the last time I went to rehab,” Jimmy Secoy, graduate student in the counseling program, said.
Difficult conversations can lead to flooding. Learn how to set conversational boundaries without stonewalling. During stressful times, it can be challenging to have conversations with friends and family about sensitive topics without getting uncomfortable.
Think about the last time you had a difficult conversation that upset you. Did you want to just leave? Did you feel that you needed to control yourself from saying what you truly felt? Did you choose not to respond? To shut down? Did you want to avoid a fight, but then felt resentful? Did you blow up and say things that you later wished you could take back?
Losing my dad gave way to grief, the overwhelming life I lived for an entire year—a year of details I can barely recall. I was thrust into this whirlwind of a life that I had no control over, and the fog was just so thick. I couldn’t think, concentrate, breathe, or find my ‘happy’. I needed to get out, and I did. I stepped away from the excessive sadness, trying to move on and do what was best for me.
I realized I couldn’t fix her; I could take control of myself. So I moved on. You have to. I realized so many things, but most importantly: LIFE is a gift, and I wasn’t going to waste another year of my life lost in the fog while my husband and children just waited for it to lift. It was up to me. It was hard then, and it’s still hard. I speak of the decision to take a step back, let go, and let my mother find her own way through the grief of losing her husband, my dad.
1. Refrain From Isolating Yourself From People
A good way to defeat depression is to avoid isolating yourself from others. Isolation can be good, but like anything, too much of it can also bad for you. When you isolate yourself from people, you tend to start feeling this emptiness within you and your mind starts to wonder about these things that make you depressed. This, in turn, can make you even more depressed than you already were. In contrast to isolation, surrounding yourself with people can be better than not doing so. It is often good to be with friends and family during times of despair because you can have fun with them & it’ll allow you to take your mind off of what’s stressing you out. A different benefit of being with friends or family is that you can also talk to them about what you’re stressing about & they can provide multiple solutions that can help you.