Guest Post: Depression And Addiction - How Are They Related?

Both addiction and depression are two serious health concerns that plague millions of people around the world. Dealing with addiction or depression on their own can be hard enough, but what happens when the two combine ? Studies have shown that there is a definite correlation between depression and addiction, and the two often go hand in hand. Here are some examples of how addiction and depression are related.

Depression Can Cause Addiction/Addiction Can Cause Depression
Depression can cause a person to turn to illegal drugs and alcohol to help mask the sadness and despair. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol can cause an even deeper depression when a person realizes these substances only disguise problems for a short time. Because addiction and depression often occur simultaneously, they are closely related.

Psychological Problems

One way that depression and addiction are related is that they both stem from psychological problems. Chemical imbalances in an addicted or depressed person's brain cause him or her to suffer from these crippling mental illnesses.

Changes In Behavior

Both addiction and depression cause changes in a person's behavior. Both of these mental illnesses cause a person to become withdrawn, irritable and angry. These mental illnesses can also cause negative changes in the depressed or addicted person's relationships with others.

Medical Attention

In order to begin the long journey to recovery from depression or addiction, a person must seek medical attention. It is only with the help of ongoing therapy and/or medication that a depressed or addicted individual can have the tools needed to combat these horrible mental diseases.

Suicidal Thoughts
Depression and addiction can cause any person to have suicidal thoughts. In some cases, a person may even make suicide attempts. This is because both addiction and depression can completely diminish a person's will to live.. This hopelessness can cause suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Weight
A person who is suffering from addiction or depression usually experiences drastic weight gain or loss. This is because both of these mental illnesses cause disruptions with a person's appetite.

Appearances

When a person is depressed or addicted to illegal drugs or alcohol, he or she will eventually begin to acquire a disheveled appearance. Addiction and Depression often cause a person to give up caring about personal hygiene and cleanliness.

Depression and addiction to illegal drugs or alcohol are crippling conditions that can cause a variety of issues in a person's life. While depression and addiction are different mental health issues, they are related in many ways. In fact, in many cases addiction and depression occur at the same time. From a disheveled appearance to angry outbursts, addiction and depression can cause a variety of related problems. While they do have many similarities, both addiction and depression need to be treated individually by a medical professional. It is only through treating each issue individually that a person can begin to heal from addiction or depression.

Marcia Timm is a substance abuse counselor who who writes about health, nutrition and more. Her most recent work focuses on the Top 10 TED Talks on Psychology.

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