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Depression: Hand-In-Hand with Substance Abuse

Counselors at the Central Wyoming Counseling Center say it's normal to have days when you're sad and days when you're not feeling motivated, but as soon as you see it impacting your day-to-day functioning or becomes a consistent feeling, that's a sign you may be suffering from depression.

Erin Sims of the CWCC says, "Low energy, lack of motivation, loss of interest in things you used to find enjoyable, more sleep or less sleep. Kind of depending, that can vary from person to person."

Sims says drug and alcohol abuse is often paired with depression as well, like we've seen recently with Robin Williams.

"Alcohol by nature is a depressant, so it goes hand-in-hand often. I think more often than people are aware of and so it's kind of a chicken or egg situation. Like, we're not really sure which happens first and that varies from person to person as well."

Corinne Dimick of the 12-24 Club says, "We see a lot of substance abuse because they're afraid to reach out to a family or friend. Or they're too proud."

Adults aren't the only ones who can suffer from depression either.

Sims says, "if kids are really isolating themselves, not doing normal things that they are, not playing like they usually were, that can be a sign."

Anyone experiencing a tragedy in their lives can sometimes trigger depression, and Sims says it can never hurt to seek help.

"You know, nobody has a magic fix for any of this stuff, but just to have somebody to sit down and just listen to what's going on can really help."


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