Depression or Addiction

What Came First: The Depression or an Addiction?

What came first the chicken or the egg? It’s a question that children and even adults ponder, and to be honest, we may never know. In the case of addiction and depression, one often leads to the other. Unlike other dual diagnosis disorders, addiction can cause depression, but depression can also lead to an addiction. In fact about 20 percent of Americans with depression or other mood disorders have a substance addiction. Likewise, 20 percent of people with a substance addiction also suffer from depression or a mood disorder. What this means is that in many instances a person will suffer from both issues and require complex treatment that approaches and addresses each one.

Therapists at Siam Rehab often get asked “did my alcohol or drug use cause my depression?” With honesty, we will likely reply “maybe”, or “it depends”. This is when it will take several dedicated therapy sessions to find the source of the depression and addiction. From here, well trained staff will be able to make a determination on which came first.

Why is Knowing What Came First Important

You may wonder why it is important to know what came first. This does matter because someone who suffered from depression before abusing drugs or alcohol may need both rehab and depression treatment (which could include medication) for a longer period of time compared to a person who is depressed because they are caught up in addiction. As a general rule, depression caused by addiction will not require the same treatment as someone who had depression followed by an addiction.

Understanding Depression

Everyone goes through bouts of sadness, anger, apathy, loneliness or emptiness; however, a person who is depressed will feel more than just down or blue. For weeks at a time, a person will feel depressed for no reason. They may feel sad without knowing why and are unable to feel happy or pleased during their most enjoyable activities. In the case of depression getting out of bed, going to work or even just speaking can be exceedingly difficult.

There are two primary types of depression: endogenous depression and situational depression. Endogenous depression occurs when there is a biological or genetic connection to the disorder. Typically, close relatives will also suffer from depression and episodes can intensify with stress or anxiety. Most people with endogenous depression will suffer episodes throughout their life and will require long term treatment and medication. Often, this depression causes addiction rather than vice versa.

Situational depression, also known as readjustment disorder, occurs when a person is unable to healthily cope with specific stressors, environmental factors or major life events. Situational depression often occurs after the loss of a loved one, job woes, financial issues, divorce/breakups or reoccurring stress. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can be a result of this depression or alternatively, lead to depression.

Signs of Depression

  • Feeling down or low for most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Feeling tired even after a restful night
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or insecurity
  • Inability to concentrate or think straight
  • Difficulty speaking or moving
  • In extreme cases, thoughts of self harm or suicide

Addiction and Depression Present a Dangerous Combination

It's one thing to have an addiction and one thing to have depression, but when a person suffers from both of these at the same time the risks of incurring negative effects significantly increases. Without going to rehab for addiction and depression, a person could be suicidal or even homicidal. They may become extremely reclusive; allowing their hygiene and overall state of health to deteriorate. With the addiction, the individual may increasingly use more and more drugs or alcohol to escape the feelings of depression. As a result, the risk of overdosing is high.

When a person has depression and has sought out treatment for the addiction only, there is a greater concern for relapsing. This is especially true when the triggers are directly related to the depression. In short, depression and addiction is dangerous and yet very common. The good news is that both disorders can be effectively treated at the same time.

Treating Addiction and Depression

Rehab centers are often specially equipped to treat people with depression and addiction. This is partly to do with such high odds of suffering from the two. Known as dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders, the treatment plan will implement a variety of different therapies to work through and recover from both issues. The ultimate goal of treating depression and addiction is to resolve both so that a successful, long term recovery can happen.

Going to a Private Rehab for Addiction and Depression

If you think you may have an addiction to drugs or alcohol as well as, suffer from depression, a rehab in Thailand may be able to help. Siam Rehab is a private facility based in the beautiful North of Thailand in Chiang Rai. As a private rehab, we are able to offer the utmost privacy, comfort and treatment. Contact us today to find out how we can help.