Do you remember playing with your toys as a kid? There seemed to be a limitless supply of adventure to go around. But as you got older, it became harder to break into that imagination. Slowly, that experience began to fade, until you no longer felt that special connection with your toys.
This is what depression feels like, only amplified and it tends to happens with almost everything. With depression, you can’t help but feel hopeless, lost and numb. Situations become bland and nothing excites you or grabs your attention. You literally begin to question your purpose in life and can’t seem to find joy in anything around you.
Depression can be an exhausting challenge, where it feels like every step forward is followed by two steps back. This is part of the reason why depression and drug use are so closely linked. While it’s destructive, drug use can be a quick fix to depression. The problem is, drug use is only a temporary fix and it ultimately leads to dual diagnosis disorders.
But why does depression lead to drug use? In this post, we’re going to explore some of the main reasons why this connection exists.
5 Reasons Why Depression Can Lead to Drug Use
So, we know that people turn to drug use as a way cope with their depression. But how did their depression get to the point where drug use seemed like the best option?
1. Being Too Afraid to Ask for Help
This plays a big role in the connection between depression and drug use. Depression is scary, and one of the natural symptoms is your self-esteem plummets. The desire to do anything fades. It can get to the point where asking for help becomes an overwhelming decision. Unfortunately, this isolating behavior only makes matters worse. When you feel like you have no one to turn to or no other solution, drug use quickly becomes an attractive option to cope with the symptoms.
The challenge is that depression can sometime be hard to identify. So, it’s possible for someone to no know that what they’re going through is depression. Not knowing what you’re going through can make asking for help that much harder.
2. The Stigma of Mental Health
If someone knows they are depressed, the stigma associated with mental health can persuade people to keep their issues to themselves. This negative stigma convinces some people to stay silent about their struggles. You could worry about what your friends, family or even co-workers would say if they knew. That fear builds until you’re convinced that the best option is to find a way to deal with the depression on your own.
Rather than going through healthier channels for help, turning to drug use for relief allows people to stay isolated. It’s part of the appeal of drugs for people who are depressed. It allows you feel better (at a cost) without challenging any of the negative emotions that are often hard to break.
3. Erosion of Self Worth
With depression, your self-worth takes a big hit. Ruminating thoughts pick up steam, and you begin to fall into a cycle of self-loathing. This might even be happening on the unconscious level, but it has a real impact on your motivation to get better. How does this link to drug use? People with a higher sense of self-worth are less likely to use drugs. After all, there’s a reason why developing a higher sense of self-esteem is part of many residential treatment programs.
You might know how destructive treating depression with drug use can be. But with low self-esteem, you might feel like you actually deserve the negative result of drug use.
4. Fear or Lack of Trust for Psychiatric Drugs
Psychiatric drugs are helpful for many people across the country. While they have plenty of benefits, it’s not an exact science. Oftentimes, doctors have to try out a few different drugs to see what you respond best to. For some, the trial and error aspect partnered with side effects makes them distrust psychiatric drugs.
As a result, some people feel more comfortable treating their depression with drug use. Instead of having conversations with their doctor, drugs become a more immediate (and dangerous) fix to the problem.
5. The Mindset that Therapy or Treatment Won’t Help
Why do some people turn to drug use to treat depression? It could be from having the mindset that therapy just doesn’t work. This way of thinking can become even more engrained if you’ve never been to therapy before. Compared to drug use, therapy (although healthier) is a process. There’s no magic solution and it takes time and work to see results. That’s a hard sell to someone who is depressed.
Silver Maple Recovery Are Experts in Dual Diagnosis Treatment
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression and drug use, our dual diagnosis treatment can help. We take an evidence-based approach to treatment. Our team will do an assessment to determine your unique substance abuse and mental health challenges.
Silver Maple Recovery is a premier dual diagnosis treatment center in Cleveland ready to support your recovery. If you’re ready to start your journey towards sobriety and mental wellness, contact us today. We have professional caregivers ready to speak to you about your situation 24/7.