Revealing the Connection Between Depression and Addiction

March 3, 2021

You've been living with your addiction for a while now. However, every attempt at rehab or recovery continues to fall short. But why? Could a mental health issue like anxiety or depression be driving your addiction?

Mental health issues are common. Disorders such as depression and anxiety can lead to thoughts and emotions that leave you wanting to escape or numb out. As a result, addictive behaviors have turned into destructive addiction. So, why isn't rehab helping you overcome your addiction for good?

In this article, we'll discuss why depression or anxiety may be keeping you from enjoying the benefits of addiction recovery.

Could Depression Be Driving My Addiction?

Before we discuss if depression could be driving your addiction, let's first define what depression is.

All of us experience bad days. Likewise, we may have periods of sadness, grief, or frustration. However, there's a difference between a few bad days and depression. The key difference is it lasts for at least two weeks. Likewise, symptoms interfere with your ability to function and maintain everyday life. The following are symptoms you may experience daily:

  • sleeplessness or oversleeping
  • lack of or increase in appetite
  • anxiety
  • crying
  • no energy
  • feelings of guilt or hopelessness
  • no longer interested in things you once loved
  • feeling worthless
  • anger or irritability
  • thoughts of suicide

There are many symptoms of depression. Therefore, symptoms can appear differently from person to person. However, a good indication to determine if you're sad or if it may be something more is whether you're able to go to work or engage in social activities. If you're turning to addictive behaviors to bury your emotions, seeking professional support is vital.

The Vicious Cycle of Depression and Addiction

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 10 percent of Americans suffer from depression.

Addiction is common among people who are struggling with depression. For example, you may reach for drugs or alcohol to lift your spirits or numb your emotions. Similarly, you may turn to your porn or sex addiction to combat negative feelings. As a result, addiction and depression follow each other into a vicious cycle—both making a difficult situation worse.

Suppose you have both an addiction and mental health issue. Then, you likely have what's called a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis is a combination of a mental disorder and an addiction such as sex, drugs, or alcohol.

Depression not only impacts your happiness but can also impact your safety. Likewise, it can weaken your immune system. However, adding addiction to the mix increases the risks to both your physical and emotional health. So, as day-to-day activities become unbearable, turning to porn or sex addiction may seem like the only way to escape. However, it's only temporary. Once the negative feelings return, you find yourself needing to turn to your addiction to quiet your thoughts or numb them out. As a result, the vicious cycle continues.

I May Have An Addiction and Depression, Is There Help For Me?

The good news is, there are specialized treatment centers that can help you address both your addiction and depression. A dual diagnosis can be complex, especially when it involves porn or sex addiction. Addressing both issues will be crucial to interrupting the cycle you're stuck in. For example, if you're unable to address your depression, it's likely to continue to drive your addiction and vice versa. However, with the right help, you can learn the skills necessary to have the enjoyable and hopeful life you deserve.

At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we understand the importance of addressing all of the issues that may be present. Our therapists are trained to address and treat dual diagnoses. As you work toward recovery from your porn or sex addiction, it will be just as crucial to learn skills to help you manage any mental health issues. We would love to help you on your journey toward hope and healing. Please visit our website or call us to learn more.

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