Did you know that one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental disorder every year? And, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people with mental health disorders are twice as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the link between substance abuse and depression, and provide some tips for getting help if you or a love one is struggling with both conditions.
What is Depression and What Causes It?
Depression is a mood disorder that causes intense sadness feelings, emptiness, and hopelessness. It can lead to a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, difficulty concentrating, weight loss or loss of appetite, excessive sleeping or insomnia, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, stress, illness, and traumatic life events.
Depression Symptoms and Diagnosis
Depression can be difficult to diagnose, as there is no medical test to determine if a person is struggling with the condition. A diagnosis can only be made by ruling out other possible conditions and taking into account symptoms such as changes in sleep patterns, feelings of guilt or sadness, and lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed.
Substance Abuse and Depression
People with depression are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate. They may use these substances to try to relieve their symptoms, but in the long run, they only make things worse. Drugs and alcohol abuse can worsen mood swings, increase feelings of anxiety and depression, and lead to further drug and alcohol abuse.
Self-medication is not the only reason why people experiencing depression turn to drugs. Occurrences that led to the depression in the first place can cause people to use drugs or alcohol to cope. For instance, a person who had a traumatic event happen to them as a child, such as physical or sexual abuse, may turn to substances to forget the pain they experienced. The loss of a loved one or a financial hardship can also lead to substance abuse.
How to Tell if You or Someone You Love is Struggling with Both Depression and Substance Abuse
If you think that you or a loved one may be struggling with both depression and substance abuse, it’s important to get help immediately. The longer these conditions go untreated, the harder it becomes to overcome them.
Here are a few signs that you or someone you love may be struggling with both depression and substance abuse:
- You have difficulty coping with daily life activities without using drugs or alcohol.
- You feel like you need to drink or use drugs to enjoy yourself or relax.
- You spend a lot of time drinking or using drugs, often at the expense of important activities such as work or school.
- You continue to use drugs or alcohol even though it’s causing problems in your relationships.
- You have been arrested for driving under the influence or another related crime.
Treatment for Depression and Substance Abuse
If you or someone you love is struggling with both depression and it’s important to seek treatment from a qualified professional. Treatment for these conditions can be difficult, but it’s possible to overcome them with the help of an addiction facility like Impact Recovery Center that offers treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders.
There are many different types of treatment available for depression and substance abuse, including group therapy, individual therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more. You or your loved one may also be prescribed medications to help ease the symptoms.
Treatment for these disorders is often more effective when you utilize various types of treatment methods at the same time. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also important for overcoming depression and addiction. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this battle. There is help available, and with the right treatment, you can overcome depression and substance abuse.