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Are Depression and Addiction Related?

Woman wondering if depression and addiction are related

Depression and addiction are two of America’s most common and widespread health issues. On its own, either of these conditions can affect you in seriously harmful ways. Having depression and addiction at the same time only magnifies that harm. Are the two illnesses related? Not in the strictest sense of that term. Still, you may need combined depression and addiction treatment in order to return to a state of wellness. You can get that treatment in a facility that offers dual diagnosis recovery options.

Basic Depression and Addiction Facts and Statistics 

Roughly 25 million Americans experience episodes of major depression each year. Most of those affected are adults. However, a sizable minority are teens and preteens. There is no single reason for developing depression. Instead, experts have identified several common risk factors, including:

  • Having a family history of depressive illness
  • Being exposed to traumatic events or highly stressful situations
  • Using certain kinds of medication
  • Having certain kinds of physical health problems

Well over 60 million of America’s adults, teens, and preteens have some kind of diagnosable substance problem. Many of these people are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Others aren’t addicted but still experience serious harm related to their substance use. As with depression, there is no single cause that explains all cases of addiction. Instead, research shows that the risk factors for addiction are largely the same as those for depression.

The Depression and Addiction Relationship

Roughly half of all people affected by depression also suffer from serious drug or alcohol problems. In turn, roughly half of all people affected by addiction also suffer from depression or another mental health condition. Given these facts, it’s easy to believe that one of these illnesses causes the other. 

But in reality, there is no concrete evidence to definitively support this conclusion. Rather, depression and addiction are said to co-occur. This means that, for various reasons, they may affect you at the same time. The list of these reasons includes:

  • The risk factors that addiction and depression share in common
  • An increase in your depression risks as a result of substance use
  • A similar increase in your addiction risks as a result of having depression

These factors help explain why the depression and addiction relationship is complex. In fact, it’s so complex that even specialists can’t always tell which of them began first in affected people. 

Understanding the Cycles of Depression and Addiction

Major depression occurs in bouts or episodes. During an episode, you feel the illness’ life-disrupting symptoms. You may only go through one such experience in your lifetime. However, the cycle of depressive episodes typically recurs over time. 

Addiction can also be described as occurring in stages or cycles. In a best-case scenario, you will only go through these stages once on your way to lasting sobriety. However, they can occur again if you relapse after getting sober. For some people, the cycles of depression and addiction overlap. In other words, you may experience a depressive episode at the same time that your addiction is active. 

Get Help for Depression and Addiction with Evoke Wellness at Cohasset

Having depression and addiction at the same time adds an extra layer of difficulty to an effective recovery. But a return to health and well-being is still possible with dual diagnosis treatment. In a dual diagnosis program, you receive help for your depression symptoms, as well as your addiction symptoms. This coordinated approach is backed by extensive study and research.

At Evoke Wellness, we offer a dedicated dual diagnosis program. With our expert support, you can undertake a customized, step-by-step recovery from depression and addiction. To learn more, just call us today at 866.931.6429. We’re also available through our online contact form.