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Clinical Depression and Long Term Addiction

Discussion in 'Dual-Diagnosis Treatment' started by Joyner, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Joyner

    Joyner Member

    I'm realizing more and more that I suffered from clinical depression as a kid. I have been reading the profiles and various traits, such as inability to get out of bed for days on end, reading the same book over and over (or other unseemly repetitious behavior, I'm talking the same book hundreds of times) and extreme anti-social behavior. What was passed off as a phase or something to be ignored had consequences that I am still trying to get over until this day.

    I would like to know how others got over this, as it can correlate with long term addiction. If I had to wager in a "chicken and egg" way, I would say the clinical depression lent to long term addiction. It does seem closely related to the repetitive behavior, perhaps as a coping mechanism to keep your mind intact. Diagnosis of children is tricky since they are still growing, but the profiles seem rather clear now. Since it was untreated, I would like to know ways to treat this as an adult.
  2. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    I think dual-diagnosis is such an odd thing. I think you will find that most people have a mental health issue either stemming from an addiction or being part of the initial cause of an addiction. Mental health has so many undeserved negative stigmas that I think it is often under diagnosed. So many people don't realize that it is no different than having any other medical condition and is treatable.
    Joyner likes this.
  3. danjon

    danjon Senior Contributor

    There's definitely a correlation between depression and addiction, but prizing apart those two things might not be the most helpful way of approaching your situation. Compartmentalizing pathological behaviors and symptoms can overlook or spoil a more effective holistic method of treatment. But these things are always dependent on the opinion of your healthcare professional, who will assess you on the basis of your personal history and therapeutic needs.
    Joyner likes this.
  4. Joyner

    Joyner Member

    I'm not a medical professional of course, I can just go off of what I know from this painful experience. I feel that the addictive behavior was caused when I was trying to self-medicate my way out of clinical depression. And I definitely agree that mental illness is highly stigmatized. To the point where people foolishly call others names like "weak," "lazy," or "stupid," because they couldn't just "get over it." You can't just "get over" mental illness, much like you can't just get over a stomach issue or a virus. It has to be treated. It's a shame that the stigma stops people from getting treatment. Or just as bad, if you have a child suffering with an issue, for getting treatment for the child because you assume it's just a phase they will get over.
  5. Apollo545

    Apollo545 Active Contributor

    I think that the most important thing to assist in overcoming depression is CHANGE.

    Change scares us and give us anxiety, yet deep down we crave for it. I find that whenever I was most depressed in my life, it drove me to make a drastic change whether that meant a new job, picking up a new hobby, or even forcing myself to leave the house and do something. Does leaving the house make you feel anxious? Does the thought of meeting new people or change scare you? This fear and anxiety could be the direct cause of your depression, hindering your upward progression in life. Visiting a psychologist is one possibility for treatment, but I am a firm believer in introspection and self transformation.
  6. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I think you are very right about that Apollo. However, the truth is most people go after something different only to end up with something worse...and I know that is the truth based on personal experiences of mine...so there is a reason we are afraid of change and making decisions..because sometimes the stakes are very high and if we dont have a history of making good decisions, we fear them.
  7. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    I father has clinical depression for a long time. His doctor had prescribed hims drugs that he was supposed to use for life time. However, my father was interested in faith healing.Thus he began praying and practicing meditation. In a short time, he was able to give up prescription drugs.
  8. johnyork

    johnyork Active Contributor

    Prescription drugs aren't as important as life choices. Try to get exercise at least once a day, try eating healthier foods and if anything makes you happy try making that into your hobby :)
  9. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    I never have had any series mental or psychological issues,however, the first time I visited a psychiatric, I was 13 years old.

    My father suffered from clinical depression for over a decade.He was under medication for more than 8 years. However, later he took refuge in spirituality and it helped him.
  10. johnyork

    johnyork Active Contributor

    Many people with depression benefit by making lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise, cutting down on alcohol, stopping smoking and eating more healthily.

    Self-help measures such as reading a self-help book or joining a support group are also worthwhile.
  11. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    The issue with clinical depression is that you have to have the energy to make positive life style changes. If you are truly clinically depressed, getting out of bed is sometimes a struggle. Getting the energy to better your life can be extremely difficult. Not everyone has a spiritual belief, but taking prescription drugs and talk therapy help a lot of people.
  12. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    I think it's unfortunate there is such a stigma for people seeking help for depression or other mental health issues. There are definitely effective treatments and if paired with a plan of lifestyle improvements, it can be managed much more easily. Addiction is often a self-medicating strategy and tends to make depression worse over time.
  13. Kyler

    Kyler Active Contributor

    I understand what you mean. Sometimes they can even be linked together, and I'm speaking from experience here that clinical depression can definitely be worsened if not treated properly. I want to mention though that I knwo some family members who felt more depressed and acted weird when they've had medical treatment, so in my opinion one should be careful as it might also worsen addiction. Depression can lead to other addictions as known, but as others have said, there are types of therapy to help you with it, there is hope.
  14. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I think yes, if you are able lifestyle changes should be your first method of defense. However, speaking from experience here, many times people get into a "What's the use mentality", that can be dangerous. The person at some point has to want better for themselves, or they might end up as a statistic.
  15. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    If you are taking medicines to cure your clinical depression, you can get addicted.The main reason for this addiction is you will have to take medicines for a long time (many years),which makes your body accustomed to the sedative effects. Interestingly, in the depressed state many people also resort to substance abuse.
  16. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    Clinical depression can be treated using supplements like magnesium present in drinks like Eno and Natural Calm which are good sources of magnesium. It alleviates clinical depression. Knowing that you have depression is a significant step towards healing. Deep breathing exercises, walking and starting a new initiative or moving into a new neighbourhood helps.
  17. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Member

    They say you shouldn't be entirely dependent on medication to alleviate depression (trust me, I have it), and my doctor tells me that I should find alternatives to relax, calm myself down, or cheer myself up. Taking long walks always gets my mind off my troubles for a bit. Exercising, going to the gym, walking through the park and talking to people were more or less 50/50 effective, but I can't say that those activities didn't help. Find something that will keep you busy, and keep telling yourself that these "episodes" will pass eventually.