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What Is the Connection Between Depression and Addiction?

man considers the connection between depression and addiction

Depression and addiction are two serious mental health conditions that often coexist. They take a heavy toll on the lives of those who suffer from them. When you experience both at the same time, the emotional burden is even heavier. Addiction treatment and depression treatment are both essential to recovery.

Healing from depression and addiction is possible, but they won’t go away without the help of mental health professionals. The first step toward recovery is understanding the connection between depression and addiction. Successful recovery depends on treating both conditions.

If you’re struggling with depression and addiction, help is available. Contact Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi and speak with an experienced mental health professional by calling 662.222.2989 or completing our online form.

How Are Depression and Addiction Related?

If you or a loved one are struggling with these two conditions, you may be wondering, “How are depression and addiction related?” There are a few reasons why such a strong link exists between the two.

A large number of individuals suffering from either depression or addiction eventually experience the effects of the other condition as well.

What both conditions have in common is that they are characterized by brain chemistry existing in a state that negatively impacts the quality of life and mental functioning. Both chemical conditions are difficult to overcome without help.

Addiction Causes Brain Changes

Substance use, especially over a prolonged period of time, unavoidably leads to serious undesirable changes to brain chemistry and structure. When the brain takes a hit like this, it becomes more vulnerable to developing other mental health conditions, like depression. This correlation is how addiction causes depression.

Addiction unavoidably causes negative consequences to an individual’s life. Common consequences include:

  • Damaged relationships
  • Financial difficulty
  • Employment struggles
  • Lack of interest in other areas of life

How addiction causes depression is easy to see when you consider the devastating effects addiction has on relationships, finances, and general well-being.

Depression Can Lead to Self-Medication

Self-medication is one explanation for how depression can lead to addiction. Individuals suffering from depression may use substances to self-medicate. The use of drugs or alcohol can temporarily alter the negative sensations associated with depression.

Using substances to self-medicate can lead to:

  • Numbness
  • Euphoria
  • Motivation
  • Stimulation

For some users, self-medication can serve to dull the pain associated with depression, while for others, it can help the user feel energized and restored to a healthier mental state.

Although self-medication might appear to have temporary benefits, substance use serves to further contribute to imbalanced brain chemicals. Over time, repeated substance use can lead to a physical and psychological dependency that is difficult to overcome without medical intervention.

Depression and Addiction Have Similar Risk Factors

There’s no one answer when it comes to the question of what causes depression or addiction. However, scientists do know that both conditions share similar risk factors. This similarity helps explain the connection between depression and addiction.

Common risk factors likely to result in either depression or addiction include:

  • Trauma
  • Sexual abuse
  • Presence of other mental health conditions
  • Chronic stress
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Family history

Because the two mental health conditions share common risk factors, there’s a higher likelihood of an individual experiencing both conditions.

Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment in Mississippi

Treating both addiction and depression at the same time can be complicated. However, it’s common for the two to co-exist, so mental health professionals are well-prepared to provide support for both conditions simultaneously.

Residential treatment will provide personalized care, helping you understand how depression and addiction work together to keep you trapped in a destructive cycle.

Patients learn coping methods for dealing with both conditions so negative effects can be reduced upon discharge. Combining therapy with medication to regulate brain chemistry and support long-term recovery is common.

Find Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi 

Depression and substance use disorder can feel overwhelming, especially when experiencing both. Healing is possible through co-occurring disorders treatment in Mississippi. Start your healing journey today at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi.

Contact Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi by calling 662.222.2989 or filling out our online form.