The Relationship between Substance Abuse and Depression

There is a powerful correlation between substance abuse and depression. Experts say that about one-third of people with depression also have an alcohol problem. Not only does depression increase risk of substance abuse, but substance abuse can also increase the likelihood of depression. 

If you suffer from depression, substance abuse, or both, don’t delay in getting help. While you do, it is important to understand how these conditions affect one another. 

Depression and Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and depression often go together. People with depression are at a much higher risk for developing substance dependence issues.

Depression can cause brain chemistry changes, making it difficult to stop abusing substances.

And chronic substance abuse can lead to physical health issues like liver disease, heart failure, stroke, and even death. Though, substance abuse can also cause mental health issues like depression.

Common Symptoms of Depression

Depression affects millions of people worldwide. It is one of the most common mental health problems.

While some people experience mild forms of depression, others suffer from severe cases.

Symptoms to be aware of:

  • Lack of energy
  • Disinterest in once-loved activities
  • Negative emotions outweighing positive emotions
  • Frequent angry outbursts
  • Disturbances in sleep patterns 
  • Weight loss/gain

The Connection between Alcoholism and Depression

Alcoholism and major depression are both frequently occurring conditions and have a strong connection, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Depression and alcoholism often feed off of one another to create a much larger problem. 

Not only is alcohol readily available, but its consumption is socially acceptable.

As it is so freely available, many with depression use the well-known emotional anesthetizing effect of alcohol to improve their moods. But it can quickly spiral into a dependency, with the sufferer relying on alcohol to make their depression tolerable (when really it’s making their condition worse).

The Connection between Drug Abuse and Depression

Drug abuse and depression often coexist. Substance abuse may lead to depression and vice versa. Depressed persons may use drugs to self-medicate. Escaping this vicious cycle can be challenging and may require expert assistance.

Depression and drug abuse are likely to be expressed simultaneously. People diagnosed with depression will be more likely to abuse both drugs and alcohol.

Substances like cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine can help alleviate symptoms of depression. However, it doesn’t take long for these substances to become addictive.

Some studies show people who had depression and used illicit drugs were twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to those without depression.

Furthermore, researchers discovered that people who abused substances were at much greater risk of having suicidal thoughts.

Dual diagnosis

A patient who has a dual diagnosis will not only be suffering from depression, but also have an alcohol or drug addiction.

People with depression are more susceptible to using drugs and alcohol. Addiction is more likely to occur in those with depressive symptoms.

It’s important to understand what causes depression and substance abuse so that you can get the best care possible.

The following factors contribute to the development of depression and substance abuse:

  • Family history: a family history of mental illness may increase the risk of developing depression and substance abuse.
  • Genetics: certain genes increase the likelihood of developing mood disorders and substance abuse.
  • Life events: a traumatic life event might be the initial trigger for depression and eventual substance dependence.

There is often a dangerous connection between a potential mental health condition exacerbated by a drug or alcohol use disorder.

Getting Help for Depression and Co-Occurring Addiction

A person with a dual diagnosis requires treatment for both conditions simultaneously because each affects the brain differently.

The psychological and physical changes caused by drug misuse lead many professionals to conclude that substance abuse causes depression.

A recent study estimated that about one-third of people with a major depressive disorder also suffer from some substance use disorder.

A person suffering from depression or substance abuse needs professional help. All in all, mental health professionals are best suited to create a treatment plan for those suffering from these conditions. 

Personalized Care for Dual Diagnosis

At NeuroSpa Therapy Centers, we provide a wide range of personalized treatments tailored for individuals to aid with depression.

Depression and addiction are often treated together because they affect similar brain regions. We may include a variety of treatments in a plan that is specially designed for you. These include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • TMS therapy helps people to overcome depression without medication.
  • Supplemental vitamins and minerals to aid your primary therapy holistically.

Finding the Means to Overcome Substance Abuse and Depression

If you’re struggling with depression and addiction, it may seem like a hopeless situation. However, there are ways to overcome these issues.

If you’re suffering from depression or addiction, reach out to a professional immediately. 

Reach out to us for a free consultation on the best treatment for you. 

This blog post is meant to be educational in nature and does not replace the advice of a medical professional. See full disclaimer.

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