Depression & Addiction Go Only Too Well Together
Researchers in the field of mental disorders have been wondering about this dilemma for years, much like the question about the chicken and the egg. Does depression cause addiction by triggering a need for intoxication? Or does substance abuse cause depression by changing the way the brain functions?
Links between depression and substance abuse
- Depression can hasten drug or alcohol use as a form of self-medication.
- Drugs or alcohol can trigger depression by altering brain chemistry.
- The effects of substance abuse or withdrawal can resemble the signs of a depressive disorder.
- The neurological factors that cause depression may predispose the person to alcohol or drug addiction.
Addiction and depression are natural friends. Individuals that are depressed often turn to drugs and alcohol for self-medicating their real issues with depression, anxiety, and other personality disorders.
It is hard to differentiate between clinical depression and the effects of drugs or alcohol
Many of the most widely abused substances are central nervous system depressants. They include:
- Alcohol. Alcohol is taken as beer, wine, hard liquor, and spirits.
- Benzodiazepines, These include sedative/muscle relaxants such as Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam).
- Cannabis. This is taken as smokable and edible forms of marijuana.
- Opiates. They include illicit and prescription drugs derived from opium. Examples are heroin, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.
- Barbiturates include powerful sedatives like Seconal (secobarbital) and Nembutal (pentobarbital).
Substance abuse is more common in depressed individuals than in the general population.
According to QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, men diagnosed with major depression are nearly thrice as likely to develop a dependence on alcohol. On the other hand, women with depression are over four times more likely to become alcohol-dependent.
Further, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depressive disorder affects almost 7 percent of American adults (approximately 15 million people). Incredible!
Drug and alcohol abuse can worsen the development of depressive disorder
This increases the risk of outcomes such as:
- Drug or alcohol addiction.
- Psychiatric hospitalization.
- Suicide attempts.
- accidental or intentional overdose.
Also, people who with depression and substance use disorder are more likely to drop out of conventional substance abuse treatment programs before they finish rehab.
More in Mental Health
These Are the Bad Effects of Alcohol on Your Body
As it travels through your body, alcohol could wreak havoc all around by leaving some irreparable damages behind. One little sip...August 10, 2017
Is Your Child a Bullying Victim? Here’s What to Do
Kids usually get bullied based on their complexion, race, beauty, size, gender, or religion. Normally, the society has a set os...August 10, 2017
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder that affects how you feel, what you think, how you act, and the...August 10, 2017
Is My Teen Suicidal?
Teenage years are often the most dramatic in a person’s life. While most are able to go through these turbulent years,...August 10, 2017
4 Surefire Tips to Burn Your Belly Fat
It’s no secret that one of the most popular resolutions we make in life is to lose weight. Besides the health...August 10, 2017
5 Tips to Beat Your Sweet Cravings
Whether we’re dieting or not, we sometimes feel an intense craving for a particular item. There is that sudden urge to...August 10, 2017
3 Reasons Why Smartphones Make Us Lazy
With the advancement of technology over the past few years, there’s no doubt that the perspective of our lives has shifted...August 10, 2017
4 Great Benefits of Social Media Detox
With the advanced technology and existence of Internet in these modern times, a particular type of addiction has emerged. This is...August 10, 2017
Hallucination: What it is and How to Treat it
If you see, hear, smell, taste or feel things that are not real, then you’re experiencing hallucinations. Hallucination is a symptom...August 10, 2017