Depression Is Habitually Rooted In Addiction

Depression Is Habitually Rooted In Addiction | Transcend Texas

Addiction and depression may seem like two related yet separate conditions that cross paths often as a case of coincidence rather than as a part of high statistical likelihood. Yet in truth, depression and substance abuse are common comorbidities, bedside fellows in many cases of both depression and addiction. It can be a little challenging to determine which really came first – and it’s usually a matter of circumstance, different from individual to individual.

Regardless of whether the depression kicked in after or before the addiction, there are a few reasons why these two psychological disorders are, sadly, commonly linked. But before we go into the specifics, it’s important to know what a depression really is – because there are differences between depressive emotions, a cyclical depression, and a full-blown depressive disorder, and the effects and consequences each of these diagnoses have on substance abuse, as well as the significance of whether the addiction occurred before or after the onset of depression.

What Is Depression?

Depression, as a disorder, is more aptly known as major or severe depression, and consists of a set of depressive symptoms lasting a significant amount of time: usually a period of over two weeks or longer, depending on the exact timing of the symptoms and any possible surrounding triggers.

You see, it’s perfectly normal and even healthy to react to a tragic and traumatic event in life with depressive symptoms. A lack of appetite, a disinterest in old hobbies, problems concentrating on work, feelings of hopelessness and loneliness, nihilistic thoughts and even thoughts of self-loathing or guilt – these are common instances of depressive thinking, and they’re linked to loss, to grief, and to severe emotional trauma.

But usually, we snap out of this line of thinking. At some point, our minds rebound, they come to terms with the situation, and we regain our usual demeanor, or a more somber, yet still normal behavior. It’s when the symptoms last abnormally long, beyond any usual period of grief, that a person could be considered stuck in a depressive state, and put in a major depression. Getting out of a major depression requires a lot of inner strength, and often, professional treatment. Like addiction recovery, overcoming a depression starts with wanting to overcome it. When you get fed up with feeling the way you do, you start to seek ways to improve your demeanor, your outlook, and your take on life. Therapy, picking up exercising and old hobbies, updating your diet, going out with friends, trying even when you really don’t want to – these are all things that, with time, improve the symptoms of depression and eventually reduce a diagnosis from severe to mild, or even nonexistent.

A mild depression that comes and goes, is known as a cyclothymic disorder, and is often characterized by an onset of depressive feelings time and again without any known triggers or reasons. It may be caused by genetics, brain chemistry, environmental factors, or suppressed trauma. And treatment, again, relies on actively seeking ways to improve the mood, through exercise, through social activities, therapy, and more.

Where Does Addiction Come Into the Picture?

When in depression, addiction is often an easy way to snap out of the oppressive emotions surrounding the disorder. The bleak emptiness that many endure can be replaced by the chemical rush of positive emotions and pleasure triggered by many substances. Even depressive drugs like alcohol have a “positive” effect on those struggling with depression. But we all know why addiction is a problem – that rush only lasts so long, and when it’s gone, it replaces itself with a hunger. That hunger becomes a problem, an obsession that takes up your life, and when you’re already struggling with happiness through depression, then addiction can feel like the final nail in the coffin.

And to many, sadly, it is. Suicide is an all-too common end to those struggling with both depression and substance abuse, because the way out can seem almost impossible to see, obscured by darkness. Yet, the good news is that it isn’t. Both addiction and depression are curable – and there are many, many treatments designed to cure one or the other, or both in any order.

Addiction to those struggling with depression is often a coping mechanism, a way to fight the depression on a short-term basis, with long-term consequences. The only sure way to beat something like that, is by treating the cause – the depression – alongside the symptoms of addiction. While someone struggling with depression won’t magically stop being addicted after working to treat their depression, the similarities in depressive treatments and recovery can often mean that those who manage to negate their diagnosis also have a great chance of achieving long-term sobriety, if the treatment is done thoughtfully.

However, in the other way around, it’s more important to focus on the struggle of recovery rather than the depression first. Through helping someone recover from their addiction, they may in fact come out of treatment without any depressive symptoms left, especially after the initial post-rehab phase of emotional instability.

In the end, what links these two conditions together is how they feed off each other. Depression seeks addiction to cope. Addiction often leads to depression, because in between highs, there’s a distinct absence of joy, and the overwhelming sense of pleasure and satisfaction achieved by addiction robs you of the joys of life, ironically leading you a form of anhedonia, or an inability to feel pleasure. It’s especially dangerous in addictions where overdose is common, like in alcoholism, where the cycle of addiction and depression can result in poisoning, and an untimely end.

Beating one and the other requires moving past these negative emotions, and striving for happiness, and a life that feeds off living, off joy, off possibilities, and the motivation and inspiration to keep on discovering new things that bring you pleasure and a sense of achievement in a healthy, non-obsessive way. Some people struggle with these issues for years and years – but today especially, we’re well-equipped to tackle both the darkness of depression, and the falseness of addiction.

3 Types of Depression

3 Types of Depression | Transcend Texas

Depression is not an easy thing to diagnose properly. There are a multitude of websites out there that think they have the right definition. Sites like WebMD says depression is a sadness and that depression is a “treatable medical condition.” This way of defining depression doesn’t even begin to explain what it really is. They also don’t mention that depression can be divided into three different categories. The 3 types of depression are depressive reactions, depressive disorders, and depressive diseases.

Depressive reactions occur when the mental shutdown happens. Closing yourself off and retreating to a sort of isolation is a depressive reaction.

Depressive disorders happen when there are additional circumstances. On top of the “shutdown,” certain other character traits come into the picture. There is an emotional and psychological block, causing dysfunction and other mental issues.

Depressive diseases are the far extremes of depression. This is when the shutdown gets to a level that can’t be explained in the most basic of psychological terms. The symptoms of the state, make you become very resistant to changing. The end result leads to a deep melancholic depression.

For more about the 3 types of depression visit Psychology Today HERE


Drum Circles Improve Depression

Drum Circles Help Depression

We’ve all wondered about these other methods that are used to help combat depression. Some work quite well, while others tend to blur the lines of kooky. There has been something though that has been used for many centuries as a healing tool, drum circles. It sounds strange but, it’s true and according to the cultures it has derived from, it works wonders. Musical therapy works, but this is a different kind of therapy.

Being a part of something like a drum circle has a way of pulling you out of your shell or dark corner and into the light. There are other parts to a drum circle that can help as well. The dancing aspect is something that can elevate the positive in yourself. The act of letting your guard down will in turn help to let the positive things in. Beating the drum in rhythm is a great way to release stress and anger. Banging on the drum as an expression of your frustration is very healing and therapeutic, just like hitting a punching bag does. Only with the drum there is a sort of spiritual sense to it that is uplifting and can help to relieve your depression bit by bit.

For more information on how drum circles work for depression visit Psychology Today HERE

Using Your Senses To Help Depression

Using your senses to fight depression | Transcend Texas

When you are suffering with depression, the mind is not as able to see things in a positive light. If you are depressed you know things are not alright, and have constant thoughts that things will work out in the end. Depressed minds get stuck in cyclical patterns of hopeless and helpless thinking, which makes it hard to find the way out and figure out what might happen next. The focus is on the dark, dull and negative images of life.

When you are suffering through depression, you know the sense of darkness and dismal outlook that sits with you each and every day. Being depressed also has a feeling of being restricting. It’s as though you just can’t quite get to things that are positive, introspective, bright and new. Here are a few ways that working to enhance your senses while suffering through depression might help you get through it.

Be Active: Being physical can actually help you get out of a funk. Exercise, sports, bike riding, hiking, etc, these sort of things pump endorphin’s into your brain and help energize you.

Taste: Experiment with different foods. Raise your curiosity level of different spices and food. Take a chance on something you’ve been wanting to try for a while. The excitement of this can help to bring you out of your depressed shell.

Listening: Engross yourself in music. Make time to listen to things that make you feel good and think of happier times. Go to a concert and hear it live. The feeling of being around other fans can help you to have a connection to the music and other people struggling with the same problems as you.

Smell: Take time to smell the roses and all that nature has to offer. Open up your sense of smell with aromas that are soothing.

Sight: Take in art, sunsets, films, and other things that can make you think. These sorts of things can help incite some creativity into another form of therapy for your depression.

For more on using your senses to help with depression visit Psychology Today, HERE.

12 Signs Men are Suffering from Depression

Men Suffering Depression | Transcend Texas

In America depression is affecting an estimated 15.7 million people and is one of the most common mental health disorders. And a majority of those that are suffering from depression either aren’t getting the right treatment or any at all. There are certain groups are less likely to receive treatment, especially men suffering depression.

Those of whom are getting treatment often times aren’t being matched up the way they should in regards to diagnosis. People who are diagnosed with a mild form of depression are less likely to take antidepressants than those who are suffering from severe depression. The following 12 signs might provide insight on men that are suffering from depression and what to look for.

  1. Fatigue
  2. Too much/ Too little sleep
  3. Stomach and Back aches
  4. Irritability
  5. Difficulty concentrating
  6. Anger/Hostility
  7. Stress
  8. Anxiety
  9. Substance Abuse
  10. Sexual Dysfunction
  11. Indecision
  12. Suicidal Thoughts


For more on these 12 signs of depression in men visit HERE



Video: Bruce Springsteen’s Battle with Depression


Bruce Springsteen has been very open about his dealing with depression since a 2012 interview in The New Yorker magazine. Now “The Boss” is about to get even more candid about his battle with depression in his upcoming autobiography “Born To Run,” which comes out September 23.

In a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Springsteen further elaborated he’s dealt with it through therapy, antidepressants and the support of his wife, Patti Scialfa. But he added that, as often as it’s struck him, he can never predict when it’s going to occur next.

For more on Bruce Springsteen’s battle see the video above.

and visit CBS Sunday Morning HERE