Double Trouble: Depression and Addiction in Women

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Women tend to put others first. While this is a good trait, it can also take a toll on them in the long run. And this is one of the reasons why women are more prone to depression and addiction, as a co-occurring disorder.

Many women are living everyday in their version of a silent hell. They struggle with depression all on their own, afraid to speak up, and therefore resort to destructive behavior such as addiction or even suicide.

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Contrary to popular belief here in our country, where depression is merely chalked up as make-believe or a way for people to draw attention to themselves, depression is a real issue. Everyday, people around the world take their lives through different ways of suicide because of depression. And the percentage of it happening in women are alarming.

Depression and Addiction

Studies have shown that women who have depression are three times more likely to abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol at some point in their lives. This is called a co-existing disorder, when substances are used to cope with mental health disorders, causing another problem, which is addiction.

While depression has many factors such as heredity, biology, chemical balance, hormone balance, environment, psychological predisposition, and many other factors, women have other unique factors to be considered. This includes premenstrual syndrom (PMS), post-partum depression (PDD), and menopause. Furthermore, it’s harder to diagnose and treat depression and addiction in women because they are less likely to seek help. This can be due to fear, humiliation, embarrassment, and inability to find the support they badly need.

Why Depressed Women Turn to Drugs

Without the much-needed support and treatment, women with depression turn to other things in order to cope, one of which is drugs. Using drugs or drinking alcohol, as well as engaging in certain activities, are ways for them to self-medicate their depression.

As a result, everytime the depression kicks in, they will turn to negative behavior to cope, and as this goes on, they develop a habit that turns into an addiction. Soon depression and addiction will feed on each other, making it harder for them to acknowledge the problem and get treatment.

There is Hope for You

Women with depression and addiction are caught in a vicious cycle, but treatment is possible. However, it’s important to get rid of the myths and stigma surrounding depression and allowing them to express what they’re going through without the fear of being judged.


If you’re a woman or you know someone who is struggling with depression and has resorted to drugs, alcohol, or addictive behavior to cope and self-medicate, seek help. Call or text us at Bridges of Hope at 09175098826.

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