Depression and Addiction: How They Intertwine

Depression and Addiction: How They Intertwine

Depression and Addiction

Drugs or alcohol and depression are a dangerous, but common, combination. On their own, they’re already tough to deal with. Put them together and it gets even harder. Because each can lead to the other, it’s important to understand how depression and addiction intertwine.

Depression and Addiction: How They Intertwine

Recognize the signs of depression

First, it’s important to understand the difference between depression and just feeling down. If a person is experiencing a case of the blues, it’s quite likely that they will be able to continue with their lives. They can get up and go to work or see friends. These activities could even potentially make them feel a little better. However, with depression, it isn’t the same story. The disorder interferes with their daily lives.

People struggling with  depression often experience:

  • low mood most days of the week, for months at a time
  • feeling guilty, worthless or hopeless
  • thoughts of death or suicide
  • physical exhaustion
  • a lack of interest in activities they once found enjoyable
  • difficulty focusing on important tasks
  • unwanted weight loss or weight gain
  • too much or too little sleep
  • slow thinking/moving

How does depression begin?

Depression can stem from many different factors, including life events and health problems. Some people will develop a depressive disorder after the death of a loved one, a serious illness like cancer, or even divorce. Even having a family member who has struggled with depression can mean an individual is more likely to have the same disorder. Abnormalities in the areas of the brain that regulate mood and memory can also cause depression in people.

The relationship between depression and addiction

Often, when a person has depression, they will turn to alcohol or drugs as a form of self-medication. Unfortunately, this toxic combination can not only cause a worsened state of depression, but it can also lead to addiction. Studies have also shown that neurological factors that cause depression can make a person more inclined to form an addiction.

Just as depression can lead to addiction, so can addiction lead to depression. When a person has a problem with substance abuse, the drugs or alcohol can alter the chemicals in their brain. This chemical alteration could then lead to depression.

Do you have any questions about how depression and addiction intertwine? Give us a call at 855.981.2020. We’re here to help.


Artesian Recovery & Wellness Centers, LLC is all about recovery that lasts. Our holistic approach is what sets us apart from traditional treatment centers.  A fresh start is a beautiful thing, so let us join you on your path to recovery.  Contact us today.

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