Am I Only an Addict Because of My Depression?
If you have addiction and depression at the same time, you are not alone. Depression and addiction can make you feel trapped, but there is a way out. By understanding how depression and addiction control your life you can get the best treatment to begin a better life immediately.
How Addiction and Depression Work Together
When a person has both an addiction to drugs or alcohol and depression, it is considered a Dual Diagnosis or a comorbid condition. A study in 2000 by the National Institute of Health found that almost one-third of all people with depression also struggle with addiction. Depression and addiction work alongside each other in the following ways:
- Addiction can lead to physical changes such as dehydration, illness, malnutrition and other problems that can cause you to feel depressed
- Addiction can create higher levels of anxiety and stress that lead to depression
- Many people self-medicate depression by drinking alcohol or using drugs
- The more a person uses alcohol and drugs to manage depression and anxiety, the worse the addiction becomes
- Addiction can isolate you from friends and family which leads to greater depression
- People who are struggling with depression and anxiety are more likely to put off seeking help for addiction, and they are more likely to feel anxious about going to counseling or rehab
Depression Is a Complicated Illness
Depression does not always have a clear beginning or a clear end. Sometimes depression can begin when a person experiences anxiety over long periods of time. Other times depression can begin after a person experience trauma or loss. Depression can be severe or low-level, but all depression is persistent. Types of depression may include the following:
- Major depression can bring on depressive episodes that last weeks
- Bipolar depression occurs between periods of mania
- Dysthymia is a low-level depression that persists for a year or longer
It is important to obtain a correct diagnosis from a depression treatment expert such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Depression can be effectively treated with the right type of medication, dietary changes and counseling. However you need to seek a depression treatment expert, especially if addiction is making your depression worse.
Treatment for Addiction and Depression
Our team of rehab experts can put you in touch with the best depression and addiction treatment programs. When you call our licensed and completely confidential helpline, you will speak directly with an experienced rehab expert who can help you and your family find helpful resources, understand the treatment process and gain support for your situation. We can even help you work with your insurance provider to arrange coverage for the treatment of your choice. Call our toll-free helpline now to learn more.