Understanding the Correlation Between Depression and Addiction

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Both depression and substance abuse are difficult issues to deal with on their own. But the fact is, often these two problems occur together, making recovery and healing especially hard to achieve. Feelings of guilt, shame and hopelessness common with both problems can make getting the help you need even harder, and sometimes, it may even feel like you don’t deserve a healthy, happy life.

Understanding the ways these two health problems are related can also help you understand those feelings so you can get the care you need to get past them. At Emerald Neuro-Recovery Centers, we specialize in treatment programs designed to address substance abuse and depression, and we use a custom approach to care that can help our patients overcome their health concerns so they can lead healthier, happier lives. Here’s how to get started.

Depression and substance abuse

The first step in getting the help you need is understanding the unique and complex relationship between drug abuse and clinical depression. Together, these two problems can have a cause-effect relationship that can interfere with many treatment plans and delay or even prevent a full and complete recovery. That means that not only can one condition exacerbate the symptoms of the other, but having one condition can actually make it more likely you’ll develop the other as well.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 20 percent of people with depression also have a substance abuse disorder, and about 20 percent of substance abusers also have a mood disorder like depression or anxiety (or both). In fact, people who suffer from depression are about three times as likely to have a substance abuse problem compared to the general population.

The cause-effect link between depression and substance abuse isn’t that difficult to understand when you consider the primary triggers for substance abuse. Many people who have clinical depression feel like there’s no solution for their feelings of sadness and hopelessness. And often, they turn to drugs or alcohol as a type of self-medication to help them modulate their feelings so they’re better able to cope. Aside from the obvious negative impacts on physical health, self-medicating using alcohol and drugs can cause additional problems with your brain chemistry, which means that not only will these substances provide you with any kind real relief for your symptoms, but they can actually make your depressive condition worse in the long run.

What’s more, once the effects of the drugs or alcohol wear off, those feelings are still there. That makes it more likely the person will turn to drugs and alcohol again, only this time, in greater amounts to extend that temporary “high.” In a short period of time, “occasional use” can turn into a full-blown dependency or addiction problem.

Treating both problems: The key to success

Emerald Neuro-Recovery Centers focuses on treatments that help the body combat depression and substance abuse naturally by replacing and supplementing depleted levels of of essential amino acids and a special chemical called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Both amino acids and NAD play vital roles in helping your body function normally at the cellular level.

NAD and amino acids (called NAD+ therapy) are especially important for healing and recovery from depression and substance abuse disorders. Derived from vitamin B, NAD works to help repair damaged tissues and nerve receptors in your brain and elsewhere in your body, helping to restore normal chemical balances necessary for recovery and a return to good health.

During treatment, the special NAD+ solution is delivered intravenously, so these important nutrients and building blocks reach your tissues and organs more directly and at higher concentrations compared to oral supplements. Plus, the solution used in your treatment can be adjusted and customized to suit your specific needs for optimal results.

Compassionate, non-judgmental help for depression and addiction

Overcoming substance abuse and depression is a long road, and it’s one you shouldn’t try to travel on your own. At Emerald Neuro-Recovery Centers, we help men and women get the help their bodies need to battle substance abuse problems and mood disorders so they can enjoy a lifetime of better health and wellness. Don’t face your battle alone. We can help. To learn more about the confidential, patient-centered treatments we offer, contact the practice today.