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The Link Between Depression and Self-Harm

The Link Between Depression and Self-Harm

Mental health is a serious issue affecting millions of people worldwide. But depression and self-harm, two of the most common mental health issues, often go hand in hand. While it can be challenging to understand the connection between depression and self-harm, it’s essential to recognize the signs of dangerous depression symptoms and know how to get help—especially if you or someone you care about is part of the LGBTQ+ youth community. Call 877.920.6583 to speak to someone from Greater Boston Addiction Centers (GBAC) about the link between depression and self-harm. We offer a depression treatment program and other mental health services specifically tailored to the needs of LGBTQ+ youth.

What Is Depression?

If left untreated, depression can be dangerous. People who are depressed may have difficulty functioning at work or school, have difficulty forming relationships with others, or even turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their negative emotions. In addition, those struggling with depression may become dangerously suicidal if they don’t receive proper treatment.

Types of Depression Disorders

There are four main types of depression disorders:

  • Major depression disorder (MDD)
  • Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia
  • Bipolar depression
  • Seasonal affective depression (SAD)

Other types of depression include postpartum depression and depression linked to significant life events such as the death of a loved one. Each type of depression is associated with specific symptoms and can affect the person experiencing it differently. However, there are common symptoms that encompass all depression disorders.

Signs of Depression

Depression disorders are typically characterized by the following:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of loneliness and worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Persistent sadness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

It can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches, changes in eating habits, difficulty sleeping, and restlessness.

How Are Depression and Self-Harm Connected?

The link between depression and self-harm is complex. Still, one thing is certain: Those who struggle with depression are more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors to cope with negative emotions. These unwanted behaviors include:

  • Cutting
  • Burning
  • Hitting oneself or objects
  • Biting skin
  • Pulling out hair or eyelashes

In some cases, someone struggling with depression may engage in suicidal thinking or suicidal attempts. Behaviors like these are especially prevalent among LGBTQ+ youth, who may experience additional stigma due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. If you care about mental health and LGBTQ+ youth, it will help if you learn more about depression treatment and how it can improve people’s lives—or in some cases, save them.

What Can You Expect from Depression Treatment?

Depression treatment typically involves psychotherapy—also known as “talk therapy”—combined with medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly effective for treating depression since it helps individuals understand how their thoughts and subsequent behavior affect their moods over time. Other treatments recommended for LGBTQ+ youth or others struggling with depression include the following:

  • Family therapy 
  • Group therapy 
  • Holistic therapy 
  • Meditative therapy 
  • Mindfulness meditation therapy 
  • Music therapy

Medication management is also available at Greater Boston Addiction Centers. Apart from SSRIs, people struggling with depression may also be prescribed bupropion, mirtazapine, or tricyclic antidepressants. We offer standard depression treatment and other mental health services and programs specifically tailored to the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and adults. Hence, they feel supported in their recovery journey when working with our team.

What Are the Benefits of Undergoing Depression Treatment?

The benefits of undergoing depression treatment are vast—from improved moods and reduced anxiety levels to increased energy levels and improved sleep quality. Treatment can also help individuals identify unhelpful patterns that lead to distress so that they can manage them more effectively to achieve long-term recovery goals. Lastly, those undergoing treatment will learn tools for managing stressors to cope with life’s daily challenges without resorting to self-harm or other destructive behaviors.

Find Depression Treatment in Massachusetts at GBAC

If you think you or someone you care about is struggling with depression or any other mental health issue, seek professional help immediately.

At GBAC, we offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs specifically designed for people struggling with both substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions like depression disorders. We also offer treatment programs designed specifically for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. Contact Greater Boston Addiction Centers today at 877.920.6583 to learn more about depression treatment and how it can help you or someone you love.

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