Are Depressed People More Likely to Become Addicted?

Are Depressed People More Likely to Become Addicted?Depression is a serious psychological disorder that renders people incapable to function in an emotionally healthy way. It can be caused by any of the following issues:

  • Biological or hereditary predisposition
  • Exposure to trauma or tragedy
  • Major hormonal changes
  • Substance abuse and addiction

Depression leads many people to addiction, and addiction leads many others to depression. The truth is that these two conditions are so closely related to each other that it can be difficult to discern which came first. The truth is that depressed people are significantly more likely to struggle with substance abuse and addiction, and they are unlikely to heal until they treat all aspects of their mental and physical health at the same time.

What Is Depression?

The nervous system manages a wide range of critical psychological and physiological functions through a fragile system of chemical signals. Imbalances in these natural chemicals can disrupt the following:

  • Romantic and sexual attraction
  • Appetite and eating
  • Sleeping and waking
  • Emotions
  • Memory
  • Impulse control

These imbalances can cause many psychological issues, including anxiety attacks, paranoia, sleeplessness, eating disorders, compulsive behaviors and more. One of the most destructive of these disorders is depression. Many people mistake depression for sadness, but the truth is that it is much more serious than a bad mood. Some of the symptoms of depression include the following problems:

  • Emotional numbness
  • Wild mood swings
  • Challenges managing anger impulses
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Disruptions to healthy eating habits
  • Feelings of hopelessness or apathy
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

If untreated, depression can affect relationships, parenting, career and community.

How Is Addiction Related to Depression?

The part of the brain most closely associated with depression is the part that experiences euphoria from drugs and alcohol. It is called the reward center, and when depressed people get high or drunk it comes to demand the temporary relief offered by a substance. The reward center drives behavior much more powerfully than conscious thought, so when depressed people drink or use drugs they self-medicate symptoms of depression. Unfortunately the relief is short-lived and the repercussions always complicate life more than they relieve pain.

Depression is also a common symptom of addiction. An otherwise healthy person who becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol is likely to struggle with depression at some point or another. The chemicals they ingest interfere with the body’s natural chemicals like endorphins that promote wellbeing.

Treatment for Depression and Addiction

If you would like more information about the connection between depression and addiction, or if you are concerned about your own emotional health, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline any time. Our staff is ready to answer your questions and connect you with the most successful treatment programs for your specific needs. Depression and addiction will strip your life of everything that makes it worth living, so call us today for help.