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The Association between Depression and Addiction

Disorders like depression and addiction are quite harmful in many respects. There are several things that you need to care about once you get trapped inside. These disorders were not quite common in old days and there was not much help available at that time. Right now, a large number of people are facing these things but the help is also available widespread. So, there is nothing to worry about even if someone is in dire need of assistance with these situations.

Understanding depression

Life is full of ups and downs. In fact, it is what someone calls life but struggle and other difficulties become too much a big deal for some people. There are few people who take their difficulties so seriously that enough that it causes enough mental damage in the form of depression. In most cases, depression is somehow related to downfall or something that makes people upset. When people want something very seriously and fail, it becomes the main reason for depression in most cases.

In most cases, the causes of depression are mostly related to some substance use. In some cases, depression occurs due to the overuse of substances like drugs or any other thing. While in other cases, people get depressed due to some reason and then they start abusing things. In both cases, the main reason behind depression is so disturbing that people don’t want to face it. In order to escape from that reality, people either start abusing materials and relying on other things. But when the effects of those drugs are gone, the same person will get to an even worst situation.

There is a term called Dual Diagnosis. It is a combination of depression and addiction.  In many cases, it is termed as one of the most devastating combinations. Taking a closer look at this situation will give you more insights into this situation. Some people with this situation are also seen to have many other mental conditions like bipolar disorder and anxiety.

Depression is far more than just a mental issue. As it is a combination of substance use in most cases. Such a use/overuse of drugs and other compounds affect the physical abilities of an individual. In most cases, the immune system and other systems get severely affected as a result of it. That is the main reason to take it seriously and you should never wait for this disorder to fade away. The effects of this disorder can’t be undone in many cases that is why you should be serious about it.

Is it real?

Life gets tough for almost everyone at some point in time but that effect doesn’t turn into devastation in most cases. Many pieces of research have suggested that the effects of clinical depression may last for a few weeks. But this period of time can get longer based on the behavior, perception, and surrounding the individual.

Here is a list of symptoms that may occur to people with depression, let us take a look at it:

  • The person may feel hopeless most of the time.
  • He may be anxious.
  • Frequent weight loss and lost interest in meals.
  • In some cases of depression, the weight of that person may increase as a result of that.
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Such people may feel pain too often
  • Feeling regretted all the time and people term themselves to be worthless
  • They get irritated very easily

Inability to focus on something productive activities. That is why people lose interest in things like a hobby and other good activities.

In some severe cases, the victims often attempt to commit suicide.

When one’s depressed by the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, one can see a connection between the event and your emotions, and this emotional state would be likely to come to an end after the crisis has been resolved. With clinical depression, the basic tasks of day-to-day life often seem impossible, and the mood seems permanent. Drinking heavily, using drugs, gambling, or having unsafe sex might seem like the only way to resolve the overwhelming pain and emptiness that one feels when one have a depressive disorder.

How is depression associated with addiction?

In the majority of the cases, depression is just the beginning of addiction. Since those people are very much filled with negative feelings all the time, they try to escape them for as long as possible. They find drugs and alcohol to be the best option to get rid of those feelings. But the demand for alcohol and other drugs keeps on increasing over time. And this is the beginning of your situation getting worst.

The warning signs of addiction include:

Remorse. You feel guilty or sad after you’ve used the drug, even though you take the drug in order to feel better.

Tolerance. Your body becomes accustomed to the effects of the drug and requires larger amounts to achieve the same effects.

Relapse. Whenever you try to stop using the drug, cravings or withdrawal symptoms drive you back to your destructive habits.

Withdrawal: The main problems arrive when people try to cut on their alcohol/drug intake. Just after lowering the intake, they start experiencing several physical symptoms like nervousness, anxiety, and many others.

In some cases, reducing alcohol/drug consumption may worsen the situation. It generally happens to people who have relied on such materials for a long time. If you want them to get in a better situation, the treatment for substance abuse and depression should be done simultaneously.

Risk Factors

Depression doesn’t have a single cause. But several genetic, environmental, psychological, and biological risk factors are linked to its onset. Risk factors for depression often include:

  • Adverse or traumatic childhood experiences.
  • First-degree family members with depressive disorders.
  • A series of stressful life events and changes.

Substance abuse also has several risk factors such as:

  • History of poor coping skills.
  • Early aggressive behavior.
  • Lack of parental supervision and involvement.
  • Family members with a history of substance use.
  • High levels of stress.
  • Poverty/financial distress.

Recovering from Depression and Substance Abuse

What makes a Dual Diagnosis so hard to treat is that each disorder can worsen the symptoms of the other. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is not going to make the depression better; in fact, it will further exaggerate the condition. And if a person is dependent on alcohol, their depression will likely keep them from attaining the proper mindset to overcome their addiction to alcohol.

There is a high level of complexity involved in treating the Dual Diagnosis patient. Those who have a Dual Diagnosis are not likely to get the care they need in a one-dimensional rehab program.

Only an integrated Dual Diagnosis program incorporates counseling, peer support, education, and relapse prevention for both depression and substance abuse.

Medication therapy is a core component of recovery for many Dual Diagnosis patients who are faced with depression. Antidepressant drugs have helped many individuals who struggle with this disorder cope with their symptoms and lead stable, fulfilling lives.

Support, encouragement, and motivation are important tools in the battle against depression and substance abuse. Individual counseling, peer group support, and family counseling can give you the impetus you need to continue your recovery journey in spite of the obstacles you face.

Sanctum wellness and healing is one such option for treatment as it’s a licensed dual-diagnosis center treating depression and dependence simultaneously.

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