Depression and addiction – what is the relationship?
Depression and addiction are both serious issues in their own right. Sufferers need to receive appropriate treatment and help in order to deal with their problems. These problems can be worsened when both depression and addition are present in tandem. This is called a dual diagnosis and as one issue continues to have an adverse effect on the other, it can be a difficult situation to escape from.
There are experts, such as greenmountaintreatment.com that can help with addiction issues and there are ways of dealing with depression, such as counseling and prescribed medication. Both issues need to be addressed so that one does not hinder recovery from the other.
Why do depression and addiction often co-exist?
Take a look at the expert opinion and it’s clear to see that depression and addiction issues often co-exist. Many people who suffer from depression resort to drinking and taking drugs to try and improve the way they feel; this use can quickly become an addiction. Conversely, many addicts become depressed when they come down from the false high that they experience. For instance, drinking alcohol may seem like a great way to enjoy life, but alcohol is a depressant so it only serves to cause problems in the long term if consumption is excessive.
Knowing if you have a problem
Some of the symptoms of addiction and depression are similar, so you may find that you are affected by one, or both. Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step towards getting the help that you need.
Everyone feels down at some point. Usually, this is caused by a sad or stressful event and ends when something happy occurs. This is not the case with depression which can occur at any time and can lead to several different symptoms.
- Diminished interest in day to day activities.
- Disruption of normal sleep patterns.
- Increase or reduction in appetite.
- The sense of despair.
- Feelings of extreme lethargy.
- Lack of concentration.
Some people who suffer from depression also become suicidal. These issues can lead to addiction; but how can you tell if this is the case?
You can suffer from addiction without being depressed, or you may have problems with both issues. How can you tell if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol?
- Have you ever tried to reduce drug or alcohol usage and failed?
- Do you crave drugs or alcohol on a regular basis?
- Does your drinking interfere with home, school or work?
- Do you ever put yourself or others in danger by drinking or taking drugs?
- Do you find that you need to drink more, or take more drugs, to get the same effect, over time?
All of these factors can be signs that you have an addiction problem. If you also recognize any of the symptoms of depression in yourself, you may already be affected by both. You need to get professional help as soon as possible, in order to try and get your life back on track.