Understanding How Drugs Can Aggravate Depression
Depression is the concern of not only the sufferer, but also all those who care about them. Its awful effects are not limited to just the mental aspect of your health; it extends to the physical. A link between this condition and drug abuse has been identified. In what way or manner can the use of drugs cause or worsen your depression?
Effects of Depression
Also commonly known as major depressive disorder, depression is a condition that affects many people in the United States with potentially grave consequences. Around 15 million people are affected by the disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It is typically characterized by a variety of unpleasant feelings, such as:
• Constant low mood
• Overwhelming sadness
• Physical exhaustion
• Suicidal thoughts
Clinical depression may cause you to sleep little or too much. It can also give rise to digestive disorders among other symptoms. For a person to be suspected of suffering from depression, such must have had a minimum of five of its possible symptoms for at least two weeks.
Depression and Drugs
The relationship between depression and the use of illicit drugs may be compared to that of a vicious cycle – one aggravates the other, and vice versa. These are two different problems, but they can be present at the same time. How? A depressed individual may turn to drug abuse in order to get relief from the unpleasant symptoms, with this exposing them to a graver situation, even though they might get temporary relief by doing this. On the other hand, drugs of abuse, such as cannabis, heroin and ecstasy, are known to alter mood (or brain chemistry) and this could lead to depression, especially when you stop taking them. Another angle to the whole problem is that heavy drug use can predispose you to relationship problems and financial difficulty, with these capable of causing depression.
There is a very serious problem you will need to get emergency help for if the dual diagnosis of depression and addiction is present. This is because there is a higher risk of you committing suicide when that happens. More than 39,000 deaths recorded in the U.S. every year has been attributed to suicides, according to SAMHSA. Mental disorders, such as depression, are the leading cause of suicides, followed closely by drug abuse. You can now understand the grave risk involved when the two are present at the same time.
What is the Implication for Someone with Depression and Addiction Issues?
Many medical professionals, even the experienced ones, find it hard to identify the difference between major depressive disorder and effects of drug use. It is important to get to the base of the role played by drugs in a person suffering from depression and addiction for proper treatment to be possible. This is useful in that it helps to determine whether the symptoms of depression resulting from drug use are temporary. It will also assist in determining whether the use of antidepressants would be advisable.
If you are battling with depression and drug abuse at the same time, you should waste no time in seeking professional assistance. Your doctor is in a better position to help or he may arrange for you to see a specialist, if the problem is beyond what he could comprehensively handle. Rehabilitation centers can also help, at least with the drug use aspect.