Drug Addiction Depression
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
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:
- Have you lost enjoyment in any
activities that you have enjoyed previously, such as hobbies, people, sex,
- Have your sleep habits changed? Do you
have trouble sleeping, or maybe you sleep too much?
- Do you feel empty or useless? Are you
- Have your eating habits changed? Have
you lost or gained weight without apparent reason?
- Are you angry, irritable or restless?
- Do you have difficulty focusing on
tasks, or completing tasks?
- Is it getting difficult for you to
- Are you out of energy, tired all the
- Are things in your life hopeless? Do
you feel guilty?
- Have you thought of harming yourself
or perhaps committing suicide?
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
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
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
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
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.