Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
For individuals who battle an addiction to drugs, there is typically much more under the surface that meets the eye. Drug addictions are often the result of many factors combining together that influence the progression of this state. Biological factors, environmental and social stressors, exposure to drugs and more can contribute to an addiction to drugs.
Many people battling a drug addiction may also be susceptible to other mental illnesses. As mental illnesses and drug addictions have similar behaviors that overlap, such as poor impulse control, compulsivity, etc., the result can often be the development of co-occurring disorders.
This may appear as substance abuse developing alongside a mood disorder. One of the most common mood disorders to develop concurrently with substance abuse is depression.
Depression Is a Debilitating Disease
Depression is a mental illness in itself that can impact a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors and physical well being. Many individuals who struggle with depression may feel intense sadness, hopelessness, and lose interest in the things in life they once found pleasurable.
Depression in combination can make even the simplest day to day tasks a struggle. Some individuals may turn to drugs as a means of coping with depression. Depression can exacerbate a current addiction to drugs, making the vicious cycle of abuse even more difficult to break free from.
Seeking Professional Treatment for Both Addiction and Depression
If you or someone you love has been suffering with depression and a subsequent addiction to drugs, it is critical that you seek appropriate treatment for co-occurring disorders. Treating both mental illnesses, namely the substance abuse and depression, is necessary for finding long-term recovery.
While some treatment approaches may be effective at addressing both disorders, having holistic care for depression and drug addiction will be a crucial aspect of healing and recovery.
Starting Treatment Early On
Seeking professional treatment as early as possible can help prevent the long-term consequences and damanges that may result from these metnal illnesses. If you are searching for treatment, be sure to inquire with professionals and/or institutions that specialize in treating co-occurring disorders.
Finding the peace and freedom you deserve from depression and drug addiction can begin by getting the help you need for recovery.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Have you struggled with substance abuse and depression? What aspects of treatment were helpful to your recovery process?
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 2nd, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com