Substance Use Disorder
26 May, 2015


What is depression?
The word depression is used in different ways. People feel sad or melancholic when bad things happen to them. However, the blues or everyday sadness are not considered a depression disorder.  Everyone can have a state of depressed mood in the short-term, but we managed and soon we recover without treatment.  A major depression disorder lasts at least two weeks and affects a person’s ability to work, carry out the day-to-day activities, and have satisfactory interpersonal relations.  The average age of onset of depression is 32 years of age.  Depression often combines with anxiety or substance use disorders.  This is more common in women than in men. Once a person has a depression event is more likely to have other depression episodes.

Depression signs and symptoms:
A clinically depressed person would have at least two of the following symptoms for at least two weeks almost every day.

In an unusually sad mood, loss of interest in activities that used to do, lack of energy, thinks frequently of death or the desire to be dead, difficulty making decisions or concentrating, slow movements or very agitated, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, poor appetite or excessive appetite, weight loss or weight gain.


What should I do if I am depressed?
Seek professional help, the majority of people recover from depression and lead satisfying and productive lives.  There is a wide range of effective treatments for depression.

  • Accept that your wishes don’t always come true, just be patient and optimistic
  • Look for as many alternatives as you can, do not place your focus in just one
  • Do not despise or blame yourself, abusing yourself does not achieve anything good
  • Practice a sport
  • Read a self-help book
  • Try things that you enjoy
  • Live for the present
  • Seek help from a mental health professional


Useful resources:
ASSMCA: 787-763-7575
Línea PAZ: 1-800-981-0023, 1-888-672-7622,
Book: Knaus, W.J. (2006) The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression.