Depression is a common symptom among drug abusers, and is often a cause of addiction. Often, depression pushes an individual to drug use, and, sometimes, the difficulties of addiction are what drive addicts back to their nasty habit. A relapse is an addict’s mortal foe, and it is what every addiction treatment specialist hopes to avoid. There is a difference, however, between depression and sadness, and this distinction should always be made. Being sad about a certain situation is perfectly normal; it is when one feels down for at least two weeks or more for no good reason that it should become a concern. Depression makes it difficult to get out of bed and engage in one’s normal activities. Even the things that used to cheer one up seem to lose their appeal and become part of the mundane. This is when the temptation to start drinking or using drugs arises. In an effort to obtain even a temporary relief from life’s challenges, many succumb to alcoholism and addiction.
Depression, even without addiction, has its own set of harmful and potentially life-threatening symptoms. It can cause significant weight loss, sleep deprivation or too much sleep, feelings of exhaustion, problems concentrating, and suicidal thoughts. Addressing depression means addressing addiction also, since one causes the other and the resolution of one problem may lead to the resolution of the other.
Almost all individuals that come to a rehab center for addiction treatment come with two conditions – the actual addiction and a psychiatric condition related to it. Dual diagnosis of addiction and co-occurring disorders is usually recommended in order to completely treat an addict and avoid a relapse. Depression does not necessarily lead to addiction, though, and vice versa. Finding ways to cope with depression early on will greatly decrease the chances of one falling victim to addiction, and early diagnosis and treatment of addiction can prevent depression and other harmful symptoms that can complicate addiction treatment.