Depression and Substance Abuse

Mood disorders and substance abuse go hand in hand. Data from treatment seeking populations indicate that substance abuse disorders and other psychiatric disorders co-occur more commonly than would be expected by chance. Substance abuse, chemical dependance and alcoholism in particular are more common in patients with bipolar affective disorder than in the rest of the general population. The National Institute of Mental Health data indicates that when an individual suffers from bipoler affective disorder, that individual is most likely to have a substance abuse or dependence issue as well. There is evidence that bipolar patients with substance abuse have it worse than just having bipolar or substance abuse alone. It is difficult to diagnose a patient with bipolar dissorder when they are substance dependent because substance abuse mimics many psychiactric disorders. According to the U.S. department of Health and Human Services, a person dealing with depression may try to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol. 21% of adults who went through a depressive episode within the past year used some kind of alcohol or drug compared to only 8% dealing with depression alone.

It has also been found that co-occuring diagnosis does not limit itself to adults alone. Depression sometimes leads people to drink, which makes things worse because alcohol is a depressant. The same goes for drugs because the depressed person wants to make their bad feelings dissapear. By using alcohol and other drugs, the depressed person feels a reprieve from their depression. Some connections that researchers found between depression and substance abuse are shared brain regions; depression and substance abuse affect the same area of the brain that handles our response to stress. Genetic factors; if a person is genetically pre disposed to depression or a type of mental disorder and begins to drink, alcoholism can occur. Brain development isssues; can lead a child to depression or substance abuse, also early drug use can spark a mental disorder to appear early on.

It is important that both depression and substance abuse be treated by professionals so that the person may have a good chance at recovery. The chances of relapse are higher if both conditions are not treated. Call us at 951-676-9111 to discuss possible treatment for your substance abuse issues. We are here to help!