Link between Depression and Addiction

An estimated 50% of individuals who suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol also suffer from mental illness. Many of these individuals suffer from depression including bi-polar disorder. Depression can wreak havoc on the life of the sufferer making it difficult to even think about getting well. If you think you suffer from depression, call our helpline toll-free for immediate assistance in finding a treatment program that can offer you supportive care during this difficult time.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “dual diagnosis is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance abuse problem simultaneously.” While this is a very loose term, it basically means that people who suffer from both mental illness such as depression, and substance abuse such as alcoholism or a drug addiction, specialized treatment is necessary in order to promote healing.

Recognizing Signs of Depression

Depression is a serious condition that many people suffer from even without realizing. You may be suffering from depression if you exhibit any of the following signs:

  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Having a lack of interest in hobbies or things that once interested you
  • Having a lack of interest or desire to take part in daily activities
  • Suffering from an inability to feel happy
  • Feeling “down and out”
  • Feeling very tired and lethargic
  • Feeling as if there’s nothing that can be done to make things better
  • Feeling upset, angry or otherwise uncomfortable

In severe cases, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and tendencies that pose serious threat to the individual. When drugs or alcohol are used in conjunction with a dual diagnosis such as depression, conditions can heighten quickly and cause very serious dangers.

Recognizing Substance Abuse

substance abuse

Feeling extremely tired is a sign of depression.

If you suspect that someone you know may be suffering from depression, early detection of a substance abuse problem such as alcoholism or drug use can help you to find treatment for the individual before it’s too late. Unfortunately, many of the same symptoms that are recognized as early signs of depression are also early signs of substance abuse—thus it can be challenging to determine whether there is really a case of dual diagnosis in which substance abuse and depression is a problem or if it’s just a case of one or the other.

Early signs of substance abuse may include:

  • Feeling as if drugs or alcohol are a necessity
  • Feeling bad or guilty about substance abuse but using anyway
  • Using drugs or alcohol to cope
  • Using drugs or alcohol to feel good
  • Forgetting things as a result of drugs or alcohol
  • Feeling upset or otherwise uncomfortable if drugs or alcohol are not available
  • Lack of interest in things that matter
  • Lack of desire to partake in family activities or hobbies
  • Loss of job, relationships or friends
  • Feeling sick
  • Feeling ashamed
  • Feeling angry, sad, mad or anxious

Treatment Options

If you or someone you love is suffering from depression and a co-occurring mental health disorder such as depression, it’s important to realize that help is available. Various treatment options exist, but finding treatment will require a search for a facility that provides specialized care for both depression or mental illness and addiction. We can help you find a dual diagnosis treatment center that will help you get well, call our helpline toll-free for assistance.

Often times, medications can be provided to help ease the symptoms of depression. Substance abuse must also be treated in order to alleviate any outside symptoms that are associated with the addiction. Depending on patient needs, medical care may be received either in an inpatient or an outpatient facility. For severe cases of depression, or when serious addiction is present in addition to the mental illness, residential treatment is recommended and often necessary to facilitate complete, lasting recovery.

Don’t let depression ruin your life. If you need help, call Disorders.org today to speak with a caring representative who can assist you in finding treatment and counseling that meets your needs.

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