Depression and Addiction: How they often go Hand in Hand
A Discussion on the Correlation between Depression and Addiction
Addiction is a disease that eats away at a person’s social life, health, and relationships. Depression is serious mood disorder. Depression and addiction oftentimes go hand in hand. If you are suffering from addiction and also struggling with depression, you are not alone, many people do. Call White Sands Fort Myers at (877) 855-3470 to learn how we can help you. Some mental illnesses, like depression, can trigger the use of alcohol and drugs.
Depression or major depressive disorder (or clinical depression) is a common mood disorder. Depression affects how you think, how you feel, how you conduct yourself in daily life and how you sleep. It affects everything in your life (like addiction). For a doctor to give you this diagnosis, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. More serious forms of depression include:
- Perinatal depression. This is a severe form of postpartum depression. In this case, the woman will experience major depression before or after the baby is born and it may make it difficult or impossible for a woman to care for herself – let alone the baby.
- psychotic depression. This occurs when someone is severely depressed and experiences delusions and/or hallucinations (a form of psychosis). The symptoms of psychosis typically feature a depressive theme. For example, delusions of guilt or poverty.
- persistent depressive disorder (or dysthymia). Which is depression that lasts for two years.
Signs of Depression
If you have experienced these symptoms every day for more than two weeks, you may be suffering from depression and should seek medical help.
- Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death or suicide attempts
- Anxious or empty feelings
- Feeling guilty, worthless, and/or helpless
- Moving more slowly than usual
- Weight changes
- Digestive issues or aches and pains that do not have a clear physical cause
- Loss if interest in usual activities
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment model for depression. As with addiction, treatment must be tailored to the individual if there is a chance for recovery.
Mind you, symptoms vary by the individual and, more importantly, the type of substance abused. These are a few of the most common signs of addiction:
- Weight loss
- Pale or undernourished appearance
- Over or under-active
- Repetitive patterns of speech
- Runny nose (not because of illness)
- Red eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Eating habits change
- Loss of interest in in usual activities
- Changes in sleeping patterns
Depression and addiction have many signs in common, as you can see. Depression oftentimes leads to addiction. People tend to turn to substances, like alcohol, to numb the sad feelings. Before long, they have become addicted and must seek treatment.
Depression and Addiction
Depression and addiction recovery would be classified as a dual diagnosis. When seeking treatment for addiction, individuals are given a complete evaluation and it should become apparent that they are suffering from depression. In this case, they will receive treatment for the addiction – and also the depression. If not, treatment will not be effective. The relationship between depression and substance abuse is all too common.
Say an individual is diagnosed with depression and they are prescribed medication to help. Medications do not always work right away, sometimes you must try different meds until you find the one that fits. During this time, the depressed individual loses patience with the meds and begins, instead, to self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol. It works and the medication does not. What do you think this individual will decide to do? They will use substances, and unfortunately, may become addicted in the process.
The relationship between depression and substance abuse is undeniable. If you have suffered from depression or addiction – then you can understand. Depression and addiction recovery is possible. Depression is a treatable disorder, and addiction is a treatable disease. Sometimes, it is too much to bear on your own. So, ask for help. Do not suffer in silence or struggle any longer. Call White Sands Fort Myers for advice on depression and addiction and how we can help.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.