Drug Addiction Depression
The age old question is “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Drug addiction and depression are really two, separate conditions but all too often the two go together and it's hard to determine which came first. When people go into treatment for drug addiction, they may or may not be assessed for depression, but it's common for them to experience both at the same time. Depression is a disease of the mind, and addiction is a disease of the brain. Therefore the two are closely related.
Symptoms are similar for drug addiction depression
When you assess addiction, you’re likely going to see the signs of depression—losing interest in hobbies and activities, missing work, lack of interest in friends and family. The drug can bring all of that on, but the depression might have been there before the drug. Maybe not.
Seek professional help for drug addiction depression. I’m not going to pretend to be a qualified therapist, if anything I want to encourage you to seek professional help should any of the possible symptoms be true in your life. Here is a checklist of possible symptoms that may point to depression:
Five or more seek help
If you can relate to five or more of these possible symptoms, or if you know somebody to fits these symptoms, please seek the help of a professional. There are many people who can be of assistance. Naturally most people think of discussing this with their family doctor, but there are counselors, psychologists, psychotherapists, chaplains and pastors, and other healthcare professionals.
Often depression is self-medicated
If somebody is depressed all the time, and has been for a long time, chronic depression, they are likely to self-medicate by using alcohol or drugs. Their efforts will not cure the depression, but they are in jeopardy of developing the addiction, a physical and psychological dependence on their drug of choice.
With the availability of alcohol everywhere and the easy access to just about any kind of drug on the street, the easy way out to solving the problem of depression is to numb the pain. People do this every day instead of seeking treatment.
While it is true that there are many psychotropic drugs on the market today, and to be sure many of the can be effective, the drugs merely mask the symptoms but do not deal directly with the depression. It is not uncommon for a person to not seek treatment for their depression, but they might get treatment for the addiction.
Addiction can be a slow process
Addiction doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. A person will take the drug, say marijuana, and enjoy the effects. They may use alcohol, or take a line of cocaine. They like how they feel. Perhaps they just don’t feel the pain anymore, or they like the rush they get, that euphoric feeling and they can escape from the depression.
Naturally they want to repeat the experience, but as time goes on, it takes more and more drug to achieve the same effect. With some drugs, the user just chases the high and never gets there, never feels the same pleasure or satisfaction. They need to use more and more to achieve what they want and their body builds up a tolerance to the drug, so it is almost as if their answer to the problem merely perpetuates the problem. A short-term solution results in more difficulty.
Seems like a never ending cycle
The problem people slip into is a never ending cycle of addiction and depression. Perhaps a person has become addicted and cannot shake the disease, which brings on depression. They self-medicate, which just makes it worse. If you treat one condition and not the other, where does it end?
People need to break that cycle of addiction and start dealing with the underlying issues that are causing it, and that might include some of the depression issues as well. The two co-occurring conditions do not compete and should not be in competition with each other as to what gets the emphasis.
Depression has many causes
Depression can be caused by several factors. In our discussion about various drugs, we talked about neurotransmitters and one of the possible causes for depression is the malfunctioning of these brain chemicals.
Drugs can cause an alteration in brain chemistry, leading to depression. It could be a combination of factors, but other possibilities include other chronic illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It might be a hormonal imbalance of some kind. Just the way a person thinks can send them down the path of depression.
Negative self image is HUGE problem in drug addiction depression
For example, if a person has a negative self-image or they are by nature pessimistic, or if they have feelings of helplessness, all of that can contribute to depression. There is also the possibility of a genetic predisposition to depression. If your mother was depressed, or if others in your family were depressed, that increases your chances of experiencing depression.
Finally, if a person experiences a series of negative events in their life, that can also be a factor. If a person loses a loved one, or experiences a trauma, or loses his/her job, that can be a contributing cause of depression.
Body Mind and Spirit
Remember, we are body, mind and spirit. In drug addiction depression, the body might crave the drugs, the mind becomes altered because of the drugs and the spirit is crushed by the drugs. Depression might have precipitated the drug use, or the depression might have come about because of the drug use.
Whatever the case, depression is a serious condition, but there is help out there. Please seek it! That completes the information on drug addiction depression click here to return to Causes Drug Addiction Depression is a common co-occurring problem that both must be treated to have a successful outcome for the addict.
If you suffer from Drug Addiction, Depression or other mental health problems your addiction treatment must address both problems.
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- Matthew 7:7-8
Step 3 may be the most difficult and important of the steps in the program, what is it and why is it needed, this week on Recovery Now!