Common Links Between Depression and Addiction
Posted By Schick Shadel || Sep 28, 2015
Addiction and depression are both serious medical conditions. Questions often arise about whether the former causes the latter. In truth, the answer is maybe. Although not all addiction is connected to depression and vice versa, the two conditions do have the potential of causing or aggravating the other. In order to understand the connection between addiction and depression, it is important to know what they both are.
Depression is the feeling of extreme sadness, dejection, isolation, and hopelessness. These can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and/or chemical dependency. However, unlike bad days that everyone is likely to have, clinical depression lasts for at least two weeks and interferes with the way one lives their life, including at home and work.
Oftentimes, those suffering from depression will turn to alcohol or other substances to numb the pain. Alcohol is composed of depressants that affect the central nervous system that can enhance emotions of lethargy, sadness, numbness, and more. However, because depression tends to come back during sobriety, a dependency on alcohol or drugs forms. Addiction is characterized by forming a reliance on any substance or activity.
Other symptoms of addiction include:
- Forming a tolerance for alcohol or a drug and needing larger doses to accomplish the initial relief.
- Suffering through withdrawals (and maybe stronger bouts of depression) when you do not use the substance you are addicted to.
- Feeling guilty for taking alcohol or drugs, but being unable to stop.
- Relapsing into consuming addictive substances.
Depression and addiction can aggravate the symptoms of the other. Those who have depression are at a higher risk of forming and addiction and vice versa. When an individual suffers from both, they will have a Dual Diagnosis.
Factors that connect addiction and depression include:
- Drugs, alcohol, and depression affect similar parts of your brain.
- Depression and addiction are affected by genetics. Those who have a family history of either should be careful.
- Depression and addiction can both be developmental problems, where an affliction of one can lead to the other.
At Schick Shadel, we understand how difficult depression and addiction can be, not just for you, but for your friends and family as well. With our programs, we aim to get you your life back. Contact us today to learn more about our detox and inpatient treatments for addiction.