How Substance Abuse Contributes to Depression

How Substance Abuse Contributes to Depression

If someone has a Dual Diagnosis, she is experiencing both a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem at the same time. Medical professional originally used this term to describe someone with depression and drug abuse, because the two conditions are so closely connected. In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, at least 30% of people who struggle with substance abuse also have a mental health disorder, which includes a variety of depressive disorders.

Depression and drug abuse increase the symptoms and side effects of each other. Therefore, when people have both depression and substance abuse, they need to be treated for both conditions together. Many facilities think that treating only one aspect (either depression or substance abuse) increases the risk for an ongoing recovery and relapse.

Signs of Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs of depression include the following issues:

  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite — Depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Agitation or restlessness — Pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Irritability or angry outbursts
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — Even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Notice that many of these symptoms are also symptoms of substance abuse. When depression and substance abuse co-occur, users need serious help to treat both conditions.

Causes of Depression

No one set of conditions causes depression. Biological differences, neurotransmitters, hormones, inherited traits, problems throughout life and early childhood trauma are often associated with causes of depression. What is interesting is that substance abuse is often cited as BOTH a cause and a result of depression.

Help for Substance Abuse and Depression

Feeling sad and depressed are often associated with many reasons, such as relationship problems, angst about work or concerns about your physical health. But when you turn to drugs or alcohol to handle depression, you are creating a cycle of destruction. The sooner you can get help, the greater the likelihood that you can recover. To be assured of confidentiality and to get answers to your pressing questions, call our toll-free helpline now, because we are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle addiction and depression, so give us a call right now.