Depression and its symptoms are difficult when faced on their own, but when coupled with addiction, the battle is multiplied.  In an attempt to numb the pain or feel better, individuals may turn to using alcohol or other drugs to self-medicate.  However, substance use and abuse can actually trigger depression symptoms and each condition can worsen the other.  Suicide or self-harm is a concern for people with depression, but when using alcohol or other drugs, the risk increases greatly.  When substances are used regularly, a person can develop an addiction.

The following indicators are warning signs for addiction:

  • Developing a tolerance to a substance, increasing the body’s need for more to obtain the same effect.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after using a substance such as nausea, agitation/nervousness, and cold sweats.
  • Having remorse after using a substance.
  • Relapse

The important thing to remember is that recovery is possible.  Counseling, prescription medications, peer support and relapse prevention all contribute to a person’s chances for long-term success.  Treatment for both is essential and will help maintain an individual’s motivation and strength to overcome challenges that may arise both short and long term.

Helpful Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Health America