If you asked a group of 100 people what the signs of depression are, you’d likely hear things like, ‘sadness, fatigue, inability to motivate yourself to do things you once enjoyed,” and so on. And while those are all valuable answers, they aren’t the ones we will discuss today.
There is another sign of depression that will likely surprise you: thrill-seeking. It may sound odd, but there’s a lot to this. For those who are depressed, there is an imbalance in the happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Because of this, the brain isn’t able to regulate itself and feel joy when it normally should.
Anything that is considered risky by our brain causes a release of adrenaline. A release of adrenaline and dopamine gives us a massive and intense feeling of immense pleasure. In most people, this rush feels good. And it can become addictive.
While most people enjoy thrill-seeking activities like skydiving and roller-coasters, someone who is going through a deep depression or another mental issue that is causing depression may seek out pleasure through other, more dangerous thrill-seeking activities. Some even go as far as to do illicit drugs, shop life, drive dangerously and engage in risky sexual behaviors.
A 2002 study showed that patients who had kleptomania and pyromania had more significant numbers of depressive episodes. And other experts have found that there are higher numbers of infidelity among those who suffer from depression.
Now, that isn’t to say that ALL people who engage in risky behaviors are suffering from depression. As Psychology Today notes, it’s important to assess each case on its own. However, it’s also extremely important that more people understand that depression is a disorder that goes much deeper and encompasses many more facets than most of us realize.
With understanding, we have the power to get the help we need. Share this with your friends, because you never know who might need to hear this, so they can get the help they need.