Most of us have experienced feelings of sadness or grief at some point in our lives, and while brief periods of sorrow or unhappiness are normal, there’s a big difference between suffering from a temporary case of “the blues” and battling clinical depression. Depression is characterized by extended periods of sadness or hopelessness that interfere with the person’s ability to work or maintain healthy relationships, and these negative feelings may lead to self-destructive behaviors, such as self-medication, alcohol abuse or drug addiction. If you recognize depression signs and symptoms in a loved one, and you believe they may be at risk for drug addiction, don’t hesitate to get help. Call (877) 459-9723 today to speak with an experienced addiction recovery counselor at A Forever Recovery.
Link Between Depression and Addiction
There are many different potential causes of drug addiction, but research shows that substance abuse is common among people who are battling a depressive disorder and who believe that drinking heavily or using drugs is the only way to relieve the overwhelming feelings of pain, sadness, and emptiness they are experiencing. When a person is facing a depressive disorder in combination with addiction, it is called a dual-diagnosis, and it’s important to find a professional rehab facility with treatment programs geared specifically towards dual-diagnosis clients. Integrated treatment plans that address both depression and substance abuse concurrently operate with the following goals in mind:
- Helping the client understand the nature of depression
- Teaching the client that lasting recovery from depression and addiction is possible
- Giving the client practical skills for dealing with negative thoughts
- Helping the client identify and address addictive behavior patterns
- Motivating the client to make positive changes in his or her life
Unfortunately, while effective treatments are available at rehab facilities like A Forever Recovery, many individuals struggling with depression and substance abuse either do not have access to treatment or don’t take advantage of services. And for those who do seek treatment, without treating the underlying depression that drives an individual’s addiction, they are likely to return to their addictive behaviors or experience a return of their depression symptoms even after completing treatment.
What are the Signs of Depression?
Alcohol is widely considered a depressant, which means it reduces the activity of the central nervous system, making you feel lethargic, and triggering feelings of sadness, hopelessness and other symptoms of depression. However, many people experiencing these symptoms then turn to drugs or alcohol to lift their spirits or find relief from painful thoughts, thereby allowing the destructive cycle of addiction to continue. It’s important to be aware of the signs of depression so you can recognize the issue in others and reduce their risk of self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Some common depression symptoms include:
- Persistent sadness
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Sleeping too much or too little
- A loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts
- Feelings of guilt
- A sense of worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating on daily tasks
- Aches and pains
The Substance Abuse Experts at AFR Can Help
Depression affects millions of people in the United States, and it is one of the leading causes of disease or injury for both men and women. And not only does depression have an adverse effect on depressed individuals themselves, increasing their risk of drug addiction and death, it also negatively impacts their families and the communities in which they live. If you believe depression is putting your loved one at risk for drug addiction, contact A Forever Recovery today at (877) 459-9723 to discuss your concerns with an experienced substance abuse recovery counselor.