Depression and Addiction – How Are They Related?

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When it comes to co-occurring disorders, depression and addiction often come to mind. Besides the fact that depression can cause someone to experiment with substances, once someone uses drugs and/or alcohol, a person can become depressed after the high is over, and even during withdrawal and recovery. If you are interested in getting help by admitting yourself into an addiction treatment center, you could very well be depressed the entire time and this could be fueling your substance abuse.

Not everyone gets the same exact withdrawal symptoms, but depression is the number 1 complaint of those suffering from addiction. You can certainly diminish the time you are depressed by focusing outward instead of inward when you are in detox/rehab, a recovery or halfway house, or even at home. If you make sure to get enough nutrients and exercise, have fun, learn to relax and don’t let the stress of the world get to you, your depression will not last very long.

Depression Statistics

Tricky Neurotransmitters

The disease of addiction affects your brain directly as it is re-wired in an unhealthy way once you abuse substances. It’s not the drug that gets you “high”; it’s the way the substance increases neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA in the brain. All 3 of these neurotransmitters will affect the way you feel. This re-arrangement of chemicals in the brain can cause you to feel depressed and out of sorts.

Substances such as heroin and marijuana are not only both considered “depressants” which is why you may be more depressed when you don’t have them, but their chemical structure looks similar to an organic neurotransmitter. Your brain is tricked into thinking it has it’s regular neurotransmitters when you abuse substances because they all look the same.

What to Expect?

It’s vital that you are realistic with yourself during the recovery process so that you can know what to expect between the depression and addiction recovery, and how to deal with it. Substance abuse is a brain disease and when the brain is compromised from addictive substances, you are not going to feel like yourself – not for quite some time.

Depression and addiction put you in a catch 22 situation because depression may once again cause you to self-medicate with illegal drugs. You must push past this, get counseling, find new hobbies, and work hard on your recovery if you want to get well and feel 100% again one day in the near future.

At Restore Health and Wellness, we are a dual diagnosis treatment facility that is able to handle even the most complex cases of co-occurring disorders. If you or a loved one struggle with an addiction and a behavioral or mental health problem, contact us for a confidential assessment right now. Visit our addiction treatment center in Calabasas at 6918 Owensmouth Ave Canoga Park, CA 91303. 24/7 Admissions (818) 722-9019. On-Site Contact (818) 806-3914.

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