Depression And Addictions – The Connection

Depression And Addictions – The Connection

Psychologists have long established the connection between depression and addictions. The only score to settle now is, determining which causes what. Does addiction cause depression or is it the other way around?

To give an outright answer to those questions, it can actually be both. If you want to find out how and why, then read on.

First off, perhaps it would be safe to start with defining the terms that will come into play in this discussion. Addiction, in relation to substances, is defined as a person’s unusual need to consume something in huge amounts. Their initial purpose is to use these substances to help them alter their moods. Depression, on the other hand, is often characterized by doctors as a person’s unexplained sadness or melancholia that lasts anywhere from two weeks up to a full month or a year.

Now that we have a common understanding of what it is we are dealing with, let us move on to the topic at hand, the connection of depression and addictions.

Addiction as One Cause of Depression:

Mood altering substances are typically classified into 2 groups. They are what we call, uppers and downers. As implied, uppers, (like methamphetamine – commonly found in ecstasy), can bring about instant feelings of elation and lightheadedness. Downers, on the other hand, (like alcohol, tranquilizers, heroin and/or cocaine), give a calming and soothing effect. When taken in huge amounts, downers may have the tendency to bring forth a person’s melancholic mood. In fact their effects may be enough to make a person withdraw from their life, friends and family. And this prolonged melancholia and withdrawal brought about by substance abuse may become the cause of clinical depression in the long run.

Depression as One Cause of Addiction:

It is not unknown to most of us that when a person is faced with too much emotional troubles that they feel they cannot handle, there is a great tendency for him to try to resolve his problems in a different way. And most of the time, they see drugs or other similar substances as their easy way out. As they try using these “alternative” solutions, they find satisfaction to the point that they get hooked to them. They stop using the substances as a mere coping mechanism and start becoming dependent to them. That as we all know is the start of addiction.

Those are the connections of depression and addictions. Judging how both factors are closely intertwined with each other, it will be pointless to pinpoint which really causes what. What we all have to remember is how depression and addictions are closely linked to each other and avoid both of them at all costs.

Remember, people can and do make recoveries from depression and go on to lead their best lives imaginable. Seek help.