Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Robin Williams, and a long list of other celebrities and countless regular people. They whose lives were taken from them by their own demons as they are gripped by depression and substance addiction. So what does addiction, depression, and suicide all have in common? They can kill and altogether, the fatal risk increases exponentially.
Let’s take a closer look.
Depression and Substance Addiction
Depression and substance addiction’s link can be found in the brain. The same regions responsible in handling stress are affected by both conditions. Furthermore, the same factors that lead to drug addiction make them also susceptible to mental health issues such as depression. Factors such as trauma and genetics make a person more susceptible to developing depression and substance abuse.
Early drug use, which can affect brain development can also make it more likely for a person to develop mental health disorders such as depression. Consequently, early mental health problems can make it more likely for a person to turn to drugs and alcohol later on in life as a form of self-medication.
In fact, people who have depression and turn to alcohol is making things worse for themselves. Drinking alcohol to cope with depression can intensify depression because alcohol is in fact a depressant.
Meanwhile, those who turn to drugs, especially stimulants or uppers to counteract their depression is also making matters worse. Once the drug wears off, the feeling of depression multiplies.
Increased Suicide Risk
Substance addiction can contribute to suicidal behavior because drugs and alcohol can impair judgment and make them more impulsive. They are more likely to attempt suicide than ask for help.
To help prevent suicide, it is best not to leave the person alone. In fact, you should seek help for them immediately. Also, remove any objects that they may be used for self-harm or suicide attempts, such as sharp objects, fire arms, and drugs.
Treating Depression and Substance Addiction
When a person enters addiction rehab, it is important that both substance abuse and depression are addressed. At Bridges of Hope, we conduct psychological and psychiatric evaluation to pinpoint any mental health issues that a person might have before they start with the treatment program. This ensures that we can tailor a treatment plan that suits him and is most effective for him.