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Which came first: The depression or the addiction?

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by crackerjack9, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. crackerjack9

    crackerjack9 Member

    depressed.PNG I have been depressed for as long as I can remember-from my earliest childhood memories. I began drinking at age 12 and I remember being so depressed that I thought that if I hadn't found alcohol, I surely would've killed myself at a young age. The alcohol helped me cope. Then it ruined my life. After 30 years of chronic relapsing, I am now 5 1/2 years sober. But I believe it is only because I addressed the depression AND the addiction at the same time.

    So, my question is...What came first for you? Did the depression lead to substance abuse or did the substance abuse cause your depression?
    missbishi likes this.
  2. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    In most instances it is the depression which leads to addiction. However, there are persons who started using drugs due to peer pressure and just wanting to try. These persons oftentimes least expected to become addicted and so it just happened without them expecting it. A lot of persons don't realise that they are addicted until they try to quit. I would think most addictions started due to depression though.
    missbishi likes this.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Davienna is right. Not everyone starts using drugs because they are addicted. There are some place in the world where once their work day is over, first thing they'll do is stop at a bar, have a beer or two with friends then head home. Such drinking eventually leads to addiction. And depression might follow soon after because once productivity at the workplace is affected getting laid off is what follows. And naturally when you don't have job but have bills to pay . . .

    For others depression forces them to find drugs so they can escape reality for a little while.
    missbishi likes this.
  4. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I can't speak from experience but I believe a lot of the times stress misinterpreted as"depression" leads people to addiction. Then there is real depression which leads to addiction as well. Still others because of other external forces including peer pressure find themselves addicted.

    Crackerjack9. I am just happy you addressed both the depression and the addiction and you are now sober. Hopefully others will be positively affected by your story. Thank you for sharing.
    missbishi likes this.
  5. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    It varies, because some people find their drug addiction first which leads them into depression. For example, I know a few people who began taking pain relieving pills for their injuries or body aches, which later they became addicted to it and would become depressed if he/she didn't take their pills even after their injury had healed or they didn't have any physical pain anymore.

    However, I believe most people do start their drug addiction from personal depression, oppression, or suppression first, then he/she starts their downward path on drug addiction.
    missbishi likes this.
  6. LitoLawless

    LitoLawless Senior Contributor

    From, my personal experience, I would have to say that the depression came first. I really didn't experiment with drugs until I was about 18 or 19. I can remember getting really depressed around this time, and how "better" I felt when I was on drugs. I really think that it differs from person to person though.
    missbishi likes this.
  7. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    I've never really had an addiction of my own that I have had to deal with throughout my life, but I have had to deal with depression for as long as I can remember. Even when I was a little kid no one really knew about it or cared that I was dealing with it on a regular basis, but I was definitely very depressed, and over the twenty years that I have been alive I've honestly just become more and more depressed.
    missbishi likes this.
  8. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    Well, according to this article; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html
    Depression usually comes first.

    For my SO I think it was depression, too.
    And for me -- I don't think I'm addicted to any one thing. I fall into "addiction" patterns when I'm at my worst, neglecting my life and being an unimpressive pile of crap for a while, until I can pick myself up and pry myself away from obsessive habits.
    missbishi likes this.
  9. Rita

    Rita Member

    My aunt and cousin are addicted to alcohol. My cousin is addicted to pain pills. They use people to move in with. As long as there are people to take them in, my aunt uses her social security to pay for the alcohol.
  10. daregicide

    daregicide Member

    In a lot of cases I see that the depression kicked in first. People try to find an escape from their depression so they rely on substances that claim to eliminate them. In reality, all of these substances just make you into something you're not and make things worse.
    missbishi likes this.
  11. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think depression comes first for most people if not all because most people probably don't get driven to escaping if they have no need to due to already being satisfied with their actual life. I personally usually find myself being sad whenever I am driven to my bad habits so I can relate.
    missbishi likes this.
  12. Jybrael

    Jybrael Member

    Depression is definitely the first thing to take a hold of people before substance abuse does. Mainly because people tend to abuse different substances in order to escape reality and get away from the problems they are facing. Therefore in my opinion depression came first. I usually always end up giving in to my bad habits whenever I find myself depressed, if I was satisfied I don't think I would even think about smoking or drinking...
    missbishi likes this.
  13. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    This sounds like a paradox. But I would go with addiction for me. Addiction led to guilty thoughts which led to depression. I wonder how it works the other way.
    missbishi likes this.
  14. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    For me it was depression. I have always battled with depression, and just emotional term-oil. I found that drinking, and getting drunk helped me with it. Yes I was self medicating no doubt. It did little to help the problem. It only made me that much more depressed drinking was only good for a short term answer.
    missbishi likes this.
  15. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    Firstly I would like to congratulate and commend you for winning your battle and keeping your head held high! It couldn't have been an easy journey. With that said, personally I experienced that the substance caused the depression. Generally what are the daily stresses of life like one of the posters said gets misconstrued and labelled as depression which then leads the individual to try an reduce it by ingesting different substances. So from my point of view I believe that first comes the substance abuse then the depression which sometimes in bad situations leads to even more substance abuse.
    missbishi likes this.
  16. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    Alcohol is a depressant. I used it to numb myself out. I thought of killing myself every day for years. Not a day went by with out thoughts of suicide. I was so afraid of those thoughts that I thought I may not be able to stop myself, and actually act on them. Getting drunk stopped the thoughts til the next day.
    missbishi likes this.
  17. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I think that at first, any substances that I was using were only for recreational use, for having a good time. As time went on, certain life issues and challenges came along, those challenges became depression. In order to cure the depression, I upped my "dosage" from recreational use to self-medicating. I think the majority of people who use drugs or drink to excess do so in order to feel "better".
    missbishi likes this.
  18. davidj96

    davidj96 Member

    Well with me, the depression came first and then lead onto addiction. I began drinking tons of alcohol and also began smoking weed,as I gave into peer pressure that I obtained from my friends. Anyways, with me being depressed, I started my bad habits and years down the road here I am in an even worse situation because of the actions that I took.
    missbishi likes this.
  19. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It was the depression for me. I've had it for as long as I can remember and I can't even recall being happy as a child. At one point, cocaine was the only thing that made me happy so it's no surprise I ended up with an addiction.

    Have you ever heard someone talking about a user and saying something like "They must be crazy to take those drugs"? They are absolutely right (although crazy isn't really a nice word to use) in my case. I'd probably never have touched cocaine had all been well with my mental health.
  20. Metalhead

    Metalhead Member

    For me it was the depression too. I felt unfulfilled in life, nobody really got it, so I just resorted to alcohol. Feels a lot better now that I got my crap together, but I can still remember the nights I couldn't sleep because I felt too sick from drinking..