In the world we all live in drugs are all around us, whether its a dispensary or an underground drug affiliation, they are there. Another thing that is all around in society today is mental disorders, specifically depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability around the world according to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO states that over 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide and that only about 50 percent of these individuals will ever receive treatment. In the United States, over 15 million adults experience an episode of clinical depression in any given year (close to 7 percent of the population), according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Depression has a severe impact on physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as personal relationships, occupational status, and financial health. Many depressed individuals reach for drugs as a way to lift their spirits or to numb painful thoughts, this can often turn into an addiction. As a result, depression and substance abuse feed into each other, and one condition will often make the other worse.
When an individual has both depression and an addiction, it is called a Dual Diagnosis. A Dual Diagnosis can be made up of any combination of a mental disorder (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.) and addiction (drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc.). Dual Diagnoses that include depressive disorders are among the most common forms of the problem; in fact, the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Dual Diagnosis) reports that one in three adults who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse also suffers from depression.
If society was more aware of the damage these two complications together, then awareness could be spread saving lives all over. Depression can lead to so much more than just a mental sadness. Depression can lead to serious illnesses, it can affect the way you sleep, eat, and think overall. Physical and mental health are completely taken over when depression is present (Recovery First). Suicide is a big factor of depression or any type of physical harm, and when drugs are added to the mix everything can be worse. This is why addiction and depression both have treatments. If you know someone who is depressed tell someone, get them help before it’s too late. If drugs are already involved get them help, there are addiction counselors all over.
As young kids reach high school curiosity and exploring is bound to happen. As kids grow up, it is known life becomes harder. Stress and anxiety can come with growing up which can be coupled with depression. Once teenagers reach high school everyone tries to fit in, if you don’t do the drugs you’re (nicely) considered a scaredy-cat. Then you can be bullied for that so its not often for a teenager to say no. Because of that drug use rates go up and if the depression rates are already high then the overall rate of Dual Diagnoses go up as well. Depression itself is a devastating this to handle ut image dealing with is combined with an addiction.
It is a diagnosable mental illness that affects millions of teenagers every year. Especially when coupled with substance addiction, depression can devastate your child’s life.(NVG). Knowing this, it is proven the rates for these problems are only on the rise. With awareness, they can be stopped and held at a minimum. Depression is more than just that is also bad thoughts. It is the way it affects the way you feel about yourself and those around you. It even affects your thoughts. People who are depressed cannot simply pull themselves together and be cured. When depressed, facts have proven that more bad decision are made since your mental stability is off. Your thought process isn’t strong. Since more bad decisions are made it is important to get help.
Depression itself is unhealthy but the use of substances makes it worse for the body. Depression can also suppress the immune system and weaken the body, making you more susceptible to physical ailments and chronic illness. When you add drugs or alcohol to the mix, the risks to your physical and emotional health increase exponentially. The most recent studies exploring health and major depression have looked at patients with stroke or coronary artery disease. Results have shown that people with major depression who are recovering from strokes or heart attacks have a more difficult time making health care choices. They also find it more difficult to follow their doctor’s instructions and to cope with the challenges their illness presents. Another study found that patients with major depression have a higher risk of death in the first few months after a heart attack. This leads to getting help. Addiction specialists and mental health clinicians view co-occurring disorders treatment as a unique field in its own right.
Not only is depression and drugs considered a dual diagnosis but if depressed you are more likely for substance abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, data indicated a connection between mood disorders (depression, bipolar, etc.) and substance abuse. These chemical intoxicants known as drugs can become a form of self-medication for soothing the feelings of low self-worth, hopelessness, and despair that characterize this psychiatric illness.
Those individuals diagnosed with a mood disorder being twice as likely to abuse substances than a person without a mood disorder. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) stated that about 7.9 million adults in the United States had two simultaneous mental health issues, such as a substance use disorder and depression, in 2014 alone. Bringing in another factor to these statistics is sex. Engaging in sex and drug behaviors places adolescents, and especially girls, at risk for future depression.
Future research is needed to better understand the mechanisms of the relationship between adolescent behavior and depression, and to determine whether interventions to prevent or stop risky behaviors will also reduce the risk of later depression. These survey results are only going to raise if something isn’t done which is why treatment is so important.
Addiction specialists and mental health clinicians view co-occurring disorders treatment as a unique field in its own right. This means that combining strategies from the fields of psychiatry and addiction treatment can lower the relapse rate among the people who are struggling, reduce the number of suicide attempts and foster a long-term abstinence, according to research gathered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. If help was given to the ones in need, suicide rates, depression rates, substance abuse rates, even alcohol abuse rates would all decrease. This is important because depression is inescapable without help and addiction can be life-threatening and completely take over one’s body. A little help can go a long way. There are so many hotlines to call for depression and addiction. A phone call can change someone’s life..save their life.
Although drugs and depression combined can be threatening. On the contraposition drugs allow the body to relax from depression. Individuals reach for drugs or alcohol as a way to lift their spirits or to numb painful thoughts. This can be a good thing since depression can bring suicide or other physical and mental harms. Being able to relax from feeling bad, not good enough, or however, the depression is making the individual feel is better than using then feeling depressed. Therefore in this sense, the use of drugs is useful. But the idea of relaxing from depression is overlooking so many other issues as a result, depression and substance abuse feed into each other, and one condition will often make the other worse.
In the end of feeling relaxed, you are actually hurting your body more. Whether the individual feel the use of drugs is allowing the depression to be less noticeable it’ll get to the point that when not off of a drug the depression can be 10x worse just by using drugs as a relief factor. People who have depression may abuse a substance in an effort to self-medicate and treat the problem. Typically, this is only a temporary solution, as the substance abuse worsens the depression over time. Drug or alcohol dependency can cause a lot of hardships across all spectrums of life, and ultimately, these hardships worsen the person’s depression. For example, the comedown from cocaine and other stimulants oftentimes worsen the initial depression.
It is proven that cannabis, which is a drug, is a depression reliever. Regardless of the research, some patients certainly claim cannabis is effective as an antidepressant. These patients admit that it helps them cope with life stressors and will sometimes allow them to see things in a more positive state of mind. Including the study conducted in Sweden by Edison, the results of the 45,000 individuals who participated concluded that After control for confounding factors and especially markers of disturbed behavior during childhood, there was no increased risk of future depression among cannabis users at age 18 to 20.
With the large number of cases, and control for important background factors, we believe our study adds to previous findings supporting the hypothesis that cannabis use does not increase the risk of depression. While it is also proven that drugs increase depression the use of cannabis limits is. This is what is being missed, the use of cannabis, a drug, is escaping the depression as if it was a prescribed antidepressant except it’s not. Its an enhancement drug that makes the depression feel as if it is going away when in reality it is being covered up by a drug. A prescribed antidepressant is prescribed by a doctor to help solve depression instead of just applying drugs to it to make it feel like ti going away, or getting better. A prescribed antidepressant might still be considered a drug but it is a researched drug to solve and get rid of depression…not cover it up by being high.
The longer depression goes on with the use of substance abuse, the worse both rates will get. Addiction will only increase and depression can only rise with it. Treatments are available and should be used. This dual diagnosis can be life-threatening if not taken care of. Act now, be aware, give help, get help.
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