The link between depression and addiction is strong. Together, they create a vicious cycle that’s extremely difficult to break free from. Understanding the relationship between them shows us why co-occurring disorder treatment is so important in drug rehab programs.
Depression and Addiction Are Both Mental Disorders
The first and most important link between depression and addiction is that they’re both mental conditions. Why is this so important? Once the brain develops any kind of mental disorder, it becomes easier to develop another.
However, no one knows for sure why having one mental disorder opens the door for more. Although, most experts agree that it has to do with a cognitive chemical imbalance. Most mental disorders are the result of a chemical imbalance.
Addiction often starts with self-medication. It’s normal for people to feel depression or anxiety every now and then. When they feel it too often, however, they start looking for ways to numb themselves. Unfortunately, this usually involves self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.
Generally, they’ll begin using drugs in ways they shouldn’t. Taking drugs or drinking alcohol only provides temporary relief. Thus, they have to continue to self-medicate to keep their feelings at bay. The continual use of drugs typically results in addiction development.
How Do People Know They Have Depression?
Usually, it’s pretty easy to tell when people have substance abuse problems. However, many people don’t know how to recognize depression. After all, it’s common for people to feel sadness from time to time. So, when does feeling sad turn into depression?
The DSM-5 is a manual that doctors use to diagnose mental disorders such as depression. According to the manual, people have to exhibit five or more depression symptoms over the course of a two-week span. Some of these symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness throughout most of the day
- Feeling tired or having no energy for most of the day
- Thinking about suicide or death often
- Having a hard time focusing or making decisions
- Feeling guilty or worthless every day
- Lacking interest in hobbies or activities
Let Red Oak Recovery® Show You the Way
At Red Oak Recovery®, we understand the link between addiction and other mental disorders. We aim to treat not only addiction but underlying mental disorders as well. Overall, learning to cope with these harrowing symptoms helps prevent relapse later on. The addiction treatment programs that we offer include:
Don’t let addiction ruin your life at an early age. Find out what it takes to conquer addiction once and for all. Reach out to us today at 866-457-7590 to begin your transformation to a better, sober you.