Women, Depression and Addiction
For many women, depression is a very real, life-altering mental illness that causes a variety of different complications. These complications, coupled with the desire to cope with them, often lead to the development of a substance abuse problem, which can quickly turn into a full-blown addiction.
Symptoms of Depression in Women
Unlike men, women often experience different side effects of depression. These side effects tend to be more emotionally based, causing women to find themselves depressed for long periods of time. Some of the many symptoms of depression in women include the following:
- Feelings of emptiness
- Complete loss of sex drive
- Excessive crying or irritability
- Persistent suicidal thoughts
- Difficulty making decisions
These symptoms can easily become a breeding ground for addiction development, as women are likely to begin searching for ways to cope with the emotional instability produced by their depression.
How Depression Causes Addiction
Not all women who are depressed find themselves abusing drugs or alcohol; however, many do. Depression can become so devastating that women will begin utilizing any and all resources available to feel relief from their symptoms. Depression can cause addiction in women because of the following:
- Low self-esteem and self-image – Women who are depressed often feel worthless about themselves and their current surroundings, as well as hopeless about their future potential. These feelings lend themselves to the development of low self-esteem and self-image issues. Once a woman begins feeling this way, it becomes easy for her to start abusing drugs or alcohol to drown out her opinions of herself.
- Suicidal tendencies – Depression can cause suicidal tendencies, such as suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A major part of these behaviors can include substance abuse, as a woman will likely not be concerned with the consequences of her use during the lowest lows of her depression.
- Psychological stress – Psychological stress, such as continued failures at work and in relationships, can become a source of ongoing depression in women. As a result, a woman might start using drugs or alcohol casually to take the edge off of her stress. This self-medication of emotional issues can lead to addiction.
Low self-esteem, suicidal tendencies and psychological stress are all common causes of addiction development in women who struggle with depression.
Depression Treatment Options for Women
When getting treated for depression, many women look for programs with a nurturing component. This type of environment often allows women to feel comfortable during the process, causing their results to be more successful. These types of environments can offer many forms of treatment options, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy. In addition to these behavioral and talk therapies, women can also engage in holistic therapy, which can help treat the psychological side effects of depression without the use of prescription pills.
Do You Need Help Treating Your Depression or Addiction?
We know how difficult it can be to try to get through depression and addiction alone, so let us help you. Take the first step to recovery by calling our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now. Do not waste one more day. Call us today.