Depression and Addiction : Understanding the Connection
Depression is much more common than many people think. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , there are 16.1 million adults who have a major depressive disorder. It is important to know more about depression. Many people try to self-medicate their depression with alcohol or drugs. If you need help with your depression and addiction, professional treatment centers can help.
Understanding More About Depression
Depression is common, especially among those who have an addiction to alcohol or drugs. In fact, abusing alcohol or drugs can trigger feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and loneliness. There are also some people who start abusing these substances because they are depressed. The best way to start addressing these issues at once is through dual diagnosis treatment.
Just about everyone will have some highs and some lows in their life. However, real depression lasts longer. It can go on for years. Depression can affect a person’s life in every way imaginable. They may be unable to maintain healthy relationships, keep a job, or complete some daily activities. When someone is depressed, especially if they are also dealing with an addiction, it may seem there is no solution. The problem is drinking or using drugs isn’t going to help. It will only make things worse. Substance use disorder can lead to more health problems, which may only worsen the depression.
Effects of Depression
Someone who experiences depression has a battle ahead of them. The most important thing to realize is that there is treatment for depression. First, it can be helpful to note the effects of depression. Some of the effects someone with depression and an addiction may have include:
- Giving up hobbies or social activities
- Refusing to admit they have a problem
- Experiencing issues in relationships
- Isolating themselves
- Staying in bed longer than normal
These are just a few of the ways to tell if you might have depression. You want to cover up the depression with alcohol or drugs. However, doing so, will only harm your life even more. If you suspect you have depression or you have been abusing substances to treat depression, it would be best to seek help from a professional. Talking about your depression and addiction can help more than you realize.
The DAD Effect
The DAD Effect is depression, addiction, and denial. It can be tough to tell whether depression caused the addiction or whether the addiction caused the depression. However it went, it can be tough to handle both these issues at once.
If you feel alone, you aren’t. Many people are out enjoying life and suddenly everything is out of their hands. They feel lost, unhappy, disappointed, and unsure of everything. This curveball knocked everything out of orbit and turns life upside down. Does this sound familiar? If so, you might be experiencing depression. Did you start abusing alcohol or drugs to manage those feelings? If so, you may also suffer from an addiction. The problem is there are so many people who have depression and an addiction are in denial.
When it comes to depression and addiction, many professionals believe it is a huge problem. In some areas, it is even a growing epidemic.
Avoiding Your Emotions
Many people try to avoid their emotions. If you do this, you are hiding what is really happening. You aren’t going to let go of the past or be able to move forward. This is going to keep you stuck in a whirlwind of chaos. It is helpful to have some negative emotions. For example, you can use your sadness to motivate you to make things better in your life. If you allow your negative emotions to push you forward, you can feel much better. You can reduce the symptoms of depression and stop self-medicating. Addiction rehab centers help people overcome depression and addiction. They teach you how to properly accept and address all types of feelings as well.
Mental Health Issues and Addiction
The Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services Administration states there are about nine million adults who have a mental health issue along with a substance use disorder disorder. However, there aren’t enough people seeking treatment for these conditions or disorders. When someone has depression and addiction, each condition makes the other worse, and the effects become more severe. In addition, if depression gets treated with treating the addiction or vice versa, recovery isn’t likely to be successful.
Emotional Coping: Healthy Skills and Understanding Emotions
Everyone has some sort of emotional baggage in their life. It is a matter of how you handle yours. Choosing to mix depression and addiction is not a healthy coping mechanism. Do you want to know if you need help improving your emotional coping skills? Ask yourself the following:
- Do you avoid all bad or negative feelings?
- Are you constantly judging others for how they handle their emotions or issues?
- Do you hide your feelings?
- Do you keep opinions to yourself?
- Do you get nervous when telling someone how you feel?
If you can say yes to any of these questions, then you might need some help improving your emotional management and coping skills. Professionals can help you to learn these skills and regain control over your life.
To worsen the stakes, many people who suffer from depression and addiction have a higher risk of committing suicide. Even when people need treatment, not enough people are seeking it out, or getting it. Drugs and alcohol also prevent people from getting the mental health treatments they need. This is partially because people who are abusing substances are self-medicating for their mental health issues. Then, their depression worsens, and they continue abusing alcohol or drugs. Additionally, people who have an addiction often won’t admit they have depression or vice versa.
Are you suffering from depression and addiction? Could you be in denial about your depression and addiction or at least one of them? If so, there are addiction treatment programs you can get into to help you see the truth behind what is going on. You can even just make the call to see if treatment would help you feel better.