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Depression and Addiction: Does it Relate, and How do You Treat it?

 In Addiction

While many people use alcohol or drugs to avoid the symptoms of depression, in reality, they only worsen it. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that can intensify the signs that someone with depression is already experiencing. Alcohol consumption can also lower inhibitions and impair judgment, increasing the risk of suicide. Substance abuse can also have adverse effects.

Along with influencing depression symptoms, mixing drugs with medications prescribed to treat depression can be dangerous. If you are struggling with both depression and addiction, seek help. It is possible to overcome the addiction and live a stable life. 

Signs and Symptoms 


  • Low, depressed mood
  • Loss of pleasure in daily activities 
  • Feelings of self-hatred
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Guilt
  • Physical fatigue 
  • Weight changes
  • Low energy 
  • Concentration issues 
  • Poor memory 
  • Suicidal thoughts, ideation, or attempts 

Substance Abuse:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Pupils larger or smaller than usual 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Deterioration of physical appearance and grooming habits 
  • Runny nose
  • Sniffling 
  • Sudden weight change 
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech 
  • Poor coordination
  • Strange odors on breath, body, or clothes. 
  • Anxious or paranoid 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Mood swings 
  • Change in personality 

Depression and substance abuse are both individually hard to manage on their own. When combined, they can be especially brutal. If you are struggling with depression and addiction, reach out. Residential facilities are prepared to help guide you on your road to recovery. 

Types of Treatment 

When treating someone who suffers from depression and substance abuse, it is crucial to make sure they receive treatment for both issues. Many inpatient rehab programs are designed to accommodate a dual diagnosis like this. During inpatient, the person can find coping strategies that work best for them, learn life skills, and learn relapse prevention. Alternative treatment methods include intensive outpatient rehab, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12-step programs, support groups, sober living, and medication. If you or a loved one are battling depression along with an addiction, contact a trusted medical professional to discuss the best treatment plan for you. Start your recovery today. 

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