What Depression and Addiction Take Away from You
Depression and addiction can both be destructive conditions resulting in serious consequences. Suffering either condition can easily damage many areas of a person’s life, but both conditions together greatly increases the odds of dysfunctional and debilitating consequences. Either problem can increase the risk of suicide, but suffering both conditions greatly increases the chance of being suicidal.
Depression and Addiction as Co-occurring Disorders
Depression is a common symptom of drug use, and drug use is a common symptom of depression. However, it may be difficult to determine which problem caused the other. The drugs may simply have caused the depression where none existed before, or they may have triggered depression in a person who was predisposed to the condition. Depressed people often seek relief in drug use; unfortunately drug use can exacerbate depression due to chemical changes in the brain and from the consequences that typically result from drug use.
The Costs of Untreated Addiction and Depression
Addiction and depression are both potentially devastating conditions. The possible consequences are infinite; a depressed addict will usually have low energy and ambition, trouble meeting her responsibilities and difficulty functioning socially. These problems can damage all areas of life, from work to personal relationships. However, the worst possibilities of untreated addiction and depression include death from overdose or suicide.
Addiction and depression often feed on each other, resulting in a continuous downward spiral where both worsen over time. Depressed people are already at increased risk of suicide, but drug use can increase depression, cloud reasoning and impair judgment. This increases both the risk of suicidal ideation and the chances that the person will act on his suicidal thoughts.
How to Treat Depression and Addiction
Integrated treatment can help people with addiction and depression. It will do the following:
- Address your depression as an integral part of and contributing factor to your addiction
- Help you explore and resolve underlying issues causing depression
- Help you recognize things that trigger depression
- Help you understand why and how you used drugs to cope with depression
- Help you understand how your depression may have been caused by or at least exacerbated by your drug use
- Help you learn healthier, more effective strategies for coping with depression
The consequences of addiction and depression can be deadly. It is not an exaggeration to say that treatment for addiction and depression might save your life. If you need help finding treatment for addiction and depression, or if you simply have questions about addiction, depression, treatment and recovery, call us. Our helpline is toll free and we are available 24 hours a day.