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The Link between Depression and Addiction

Depression and Addiction is common

How are depression and substance abuse connected?

 My depression got so bad at one point, that I didn’t get out of bed for a week. I was lying amongst empty bottles of spirits. I was drinking because I wanted it all to stop. Talking to a therapist helped me understand that I needed rehab treatment. – Jonathan

We all face challenging situations in life, and it is completely natural to feel sad or under the weather.

For those with depression, these feelings are entirely uncontrollable and persistent and impact not only their individual mental wellbeing but their social, professional and personal life.

Clinical depression is a medically diagnosable condition where an individual has a number of depressive symptoms which last for an extended period of time.

If you are struggling with addiction and mental health, call us on 0808 1150 446.

Signs of Extreme Depressive Behaviour.

Dual diagnosis: causes and risks

33% of those with depression also suffer from addiction in the UK. (Mental Health Foundation UK)

For those struggling with depression, drugs and alcohol might seem to be a quick and easy solution to their symptoms and problems.

How does addiction impact mental health?

While the high experience by substance misuse might subside emotional or physical pain temporarily, the ‘come down’ as sobriety creeps in again is far worse.

As you become more reliant on alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism and self-medication, your body will become increasingly dependent, causing addiction.

The most common causes of dual diagnosis in the UK:

Get help for your depression.1. Serious personal consequences

  • Addiction can lead to a loss of control over a person’s life, with people losing jobs, family, and romantic relationships suffer, and this often results in feelings of guilt, shame, and denial.
  • And the problems stretch further. Addiction doesn’t stop when you lose your income or family and often leads to more financial hardship as you continue to fuel your addiction.

Want to know how much your addiction is costing you?

Suffering from depression will have caused you to retreat from social life, but with addiction, you will retract even further away from friends and family.

2. Neurological impacts

The reason drugs and alcohol are so addictive because they release high levels of the neurotransmitters in the brain, which leads to artificial ‘positive feelings.

The science of addiction – National Institute on Drug Use

This is what is most commonly known as ‘highs’.

As you become more and more reliant on substances, you will need an increased amount to experience the desired effect.

Between 2019 and 2020, the percentage of those struggling with struggling with depression in the UK almost doubled. (Office for National Statistics UK)

Want to know more about the rise in mental health issues in 2020?

Denial, Depression and Dual Diagnosis

Users suffering from addiction and depression will be feeling a strong sense of denial.

If your loved one is both depressed and struggling with addiction, understanding DAD can help you approach them in the best possible way, and it will also help determine the right support needed.

Read more about how to approach them.

Symptoms and common types of depression

 The severity of depression can vary significantly from person to person.

So, while for some, the following symptoms may be mild, for others, and those with addiction too, the symptoms are severe:

Psychological symptomsAlcoholism and Depression

  • Constant feeling of sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Low confidence or self-esteem
  • Feeling tearful
  • You are fraught with feelings of guilt and shame
  • You have lost interest in life
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anxiety
  • You do not want to move
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • You’ve made attempts in your life

Though depression is a mental illness, like anxiety, it has a number of physical symptoms as well:

  • Moving slowly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Aches and pains
  • Lack of or no energy
  • Loss of libido
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Insomnia

If you are suffering from chronic depression, you will need to go to the hospital or seek treatment as soon as possible.

Signs that your depression is extreme.

There are numerous types of depression that can be triggered and manifest themselves in different ways:

  • Mild to major depressive disorder: The level of severity is determined by the impact their depression has on daily life.
  • Mixed depressive and anxiety disorder: The most common mental health condition in the UK is depression with anxiety.
  • Dysthymia: This is a persistent mood disorder. This is very mild.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: This form of depression is brought on by the low light levels of winter – resulting in a lack of motivation, impact on brain activity and feelings of irritability.
  • Postnatal depression: Occurs in women after they have given birth.
  • Bipolar Affective Disorder: Serious fluctuation between low and high moods.

These are often present with substance abuse, resulting in dual diagnosis.

Face your dual diagnosis head-on, now

The best way to overcome dual diagnosis is to seek help and face your problems head-on and as soon as possible.

If your partner, son or daughter is in denial, then staging an intervention might be an excellent way to help them realise their condition and be more open to seeking treatment.

Read more about staging an intervention.

Attending residential rehab is the best and most effective way to help overcome your dual diagnosis and begin a long-term life of sobriety.

When an individual has developed depression and addiction, this can be a cycle which is very hard to break, however, with a fully-integrated treatment programme, therapists, consultant psychiatrists and medical staff can help you through recovery and find yourself again.

Want to know more about how a dual diagnosis is treated?

Call us today on 0808 1150 446 for the confidential and impartial advice you need to kickstart your journey to recovery.

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Last Updated on June 15, 2022 by