Table of Content

Depression: Resources, Treatment, and Your Path to Recovery with Therapy

Getting Help for Depression and Co-occurring Addictions

Treatment and Interventions

Depression can raise the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses, such as substance abuse. Up to one-third of clinically depressed people abuse drugs or alcohol. These chemical intoxicants can be used as a type of self-medication to alleviate the low self-esteem, hopelessness, and despair that are associated with this mental health illness.

Although the user may rely on substances to alleviate depressive symptoms, chemical intoxication can exacerbate depressive episodes by increasing the frequency and intensity of negative thoughts and self-destructive behavior. A rehab program that tackles both depression and addiction, as well as therapy for depression and anxiety, may be able to halt the course of both conditions and empower the individual to live a healthy, sober life in recovery.

Common Symptoms of Depression

Feeling Extremely Guilty

Guilt is a natural reaction after saying or doing something you regret, but people suffering from depression may have persistent feelings of guilt for no apparent cause. They may devote much energy to this guilt and feel horrible about themselves and what they have said or done, including situations that have long ago passed.

Lack Of Interest or Enjoyment in Activities

Some people suffering from depression lose interest in hobbies or activities that they once enjoyed. These can include sports, hobbies, socializing with friends, music, or sexual activity. They may decline requests to participate in activities or socialize with people, and they may refuse to do things they formerly enjoyed. Anhedonia is the inability to feel pleasure when engaging in previously rewarding activities.

Anger And Irritation

Depression is classified into numerous categories, and symptoms differ from person to person. Although anyone can experience some of these symptoms from time to time, a doctor can only diagnose depression if a specific set of symptoms develops and lasts for two weeks or more.

Feeling Down or Empty

Mood swings are among the most prevalent signs of depression. A person suffering from depression may experience prolonged sadness or a low mood. They may also express that they are “empty” or unable to feel happy. Some may define this emotion as despair or melancholy.

Feeling Hopeless or Powerless.

Depression can make people feel hopeless because there is no end in sight to their symptoms. An individual may also feel helpless. They may claim or believe that no one can help them recover and that they will always be depressed.

Feeling Worthless

A depressed individual may believe that they are worthless or that their life is meaningless. They may also believe that they are a burden on others and that the world or their family would be better off without them. If a person has these symptoms in addition to suicidal thoughts, they should seek emergency care.

Investigating the Causes of Depression.

Depression is one of the most frequent and debilitating mood illnesses, but studies have struggled to pinpoint the actual etiology of this ailment. There are, however, various ideas on the causes of depression.

Brain Structure

Some people with depressive disorders have structurally different brains than those without depression. MRI imaging studies show that people with severe mood problems have a distinct look in the areas of the brain involved in mood, cognition, metabolic function, and sleeping.

Environment and Childhood Experience

A chaotic home life or a history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse in childhood can raise the likelihood of developing depression in adolescence or adulthood.12 Trauma therapy can be particularly effective in processing unresolved memories and repairing hidden emotional scars that might lead to depression later in life.


The brain characteristics that distinguish people with depression are at least partially inherited. According to a genetic study, those who have a close relative who is depressed, such as a parent or sibling, are 20 to 30% more likely to get depression themselves. Depression, unlike disorders like cystic fibrosis, is more likely to be caused by a combination of genes.

Situational Factors

Although the losses we all face may not always result in sadness, a major setback can precipitate a depression episode. For example, the death of a loved one or a bitter divorce may cause a person to experience sadness and mourning, which can lead to depression if the emotions surrounding the loss are not effectively handled. Unlike bereavement, depression is frequently accompanied by feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing, and suicidal ideation.

Brain Chemistry

Neurologists and pharmacologists have long sought to understand the link between brain chemistry and depression to provide treatments for this debilitating disorder. Depression has been connected to abnormalities in brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which govern emotional states, moods, energy levels, and appetite, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Depression, like other chronic mental illnesses, is usually caused by a combination of causes. A family history of depression, for example, may be mixed with a history of trauma or marriage breakdown to increase an individual’s vulnerability to depression.

Getting Help for Depression and Co-occurring Addictions 

Living with a family member or spouse going through a depressive episode can be difficult and stressful. It is typical for loved ones to feel helpless, disappointed, and even emotionally drained because of their encounters with depression. Approaching a relative or friend about depression and substance usage is complex, but it can help the individual avoid serious harm. Without care, addiction, disease, and depression—both chronic illnesses—are likely to worsen until the individual becomes very ill. It’s also possible that loved ones’ involvement will help to avert a suicide attempt and save the individual’s life.

People suffering from depression frequently feel alone, intensely lonely, and powerless. Offering support and practical solutions has the potential to improve a depressed person’s outlook on the future significantly. Mental health experts can be valuable partners in the intervention process for someone suffering from depression. With the help of a therapist, families can learn about the facts concerning depression and gain a better knowledge of how to connect to someone who has this disease. If substance misuse is a concern, a therapist or intervention specialist can advise on how to help someone with depression effectively, including Therapies.

Treatment and Interventions 

Treatment for depressive disorders with co-occurring addiction can be tough. Depressive symptoms such as low motivation, low self-esteem, and a flat emotional state might mimic the effects of drug overdose or withdrawal.

To distinguish between the consequences of depression and substance usage, the client must undergo a complete psychiatric evaluation.15 Although major depressive disorder is one of the most severe and debilitating forms of mental illness, it is also highly curable with the correct combination of therapy approaches. Depressed individuals and their families can regain hope for the future with the assistance of trained, licensed mental health specialists.