Depression Linked to Substance Abuse?

Depression affects many people in a variety of settings. However, it can be even more detrimental to those with substance abuse issues. If it is not the direct cause of these problems, what role does it play? And how can it be dealt with and mitigated?

What Is Depression?

Depression is a common mental health issue. However, clinical depression is characterized by a severe and persistently depressed mood and a loss of interest in activities. This mood will often lead to a significant impairment in a person’s daily life. Though there are a variety of reasons for a person to suffer from clinical depression. The most persistent causes include the following:

When a person suffers from depression due to one or both of these reasons, they may also have other added issues that create lasting problems within the brain. These may need specific treatment, which may include prescribed medication. There may also be other side effects that can introduce a litany of issues to the person, both mentally and physically.

  • Insomnia
  • Lack of appetite
  • Decreased energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Low self-esteem

In some of the worst cases, there may even be a prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. However, dealing with these issues is possible, especially when they are linked to other problems.

Trauma, Depression, and Substance Abuse

Untreated trauma can often be linked to depression. A person who has been unable to deal with trauma may experience a variety of different side effects, one of the most prevalent being depression.

When a person tries to avoid dealing with trauma, bouts of depression will occur, even if they are not extensive. This depression may seem so overwhelming that they believe themselves to have two options. They may resort to physical self-harm or utilize illicit substances in an effort to dull their senses and push away their mental anguish.

More often than not, these people will turn to substance abuse as a way of self-medicating. This is often a double-edged solution as many substances can lead to decreased mood and, therefore, an increase in depression. People may find that their addictions have become too ingrained to stop, and at the same time, their depression has worsened, which creates a challenging situation.

When Depression Worsens Substance Abuse.

Substance abuse is a spiral. Once a person has started abusing illicit substances, they are most likely going to continue using. Not only that, but their addictions will get worse as they require more in an attempt to get the same effects. This tolerance will only build until the person is able to confront their problem or they reach a level where they overdose.

When you add depression to the mix, things can worsen much more quickly. In fact, a person’s realization that they need to rely on these substances to numb themselves can lead to depressive thoughts. These will work alongside the existing substance abuse spiral to bring a person further into their problems.

They may see how substances have helped numb certain thoughts and assume they will work to combat their depression. Unfortunately, this does not happen, and substances that do provide momentary highs often leave people in even lower lows than they were in before using.

It is important for people to not only understand that they have a substance abuse issue but for them also to realize the cause and effect of their depression. Once they are aware of how things are linked, they may have more of a drive to seek assistance from the self-perpetuating problems caused by their substance abuse issues.

Twilight Recovery Center’s Approach

When an individual arrives at Twilight Recovery Center, the staff will conduct an initial assessment on them. This assessment will determine their initial issues and what the facility can do to help. A person entering with a substance abuse problem will often be experiencing side effects such as depression. With this in mind, the individual may be provided with medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in an effort to help combat this type of oppressive side effect.

Often, when someone presents this option to a person, it may look like they would rather not have another substance in their body when they are already trying to get rid of others. However, in this case, it is a prescribed medication from a medical professional. They have either administered or spoken with the individual who has administered the assessment, and are acting accordingly.

People will find that with the overarching depression taken care of, they are able to relax more and focus on the larger issues that may be causing the depression. Following detox and intensive group and individual therapy, they will learn to understand their condition, what has caused it, and ways to deal with it going forward.

There are a number of factors that contribute to substance abuse.

In fact, each person has a variety of personal issues that can lead them to engage in dangerous habits. One of the main causes can be depression. This depression does not need to come from one particular source but often stems from previous trauma. At Twilight Recovery Center, we are well aware of these connections. We are prepared to use a variety of techniques to assist our residents. For people who are just discovering their mental health issues, our program can bring things to light that may not have been previously understood. To learn more about our program, call us at (888) 414-8183.

Depression Physically Affects

Depression Physically Affects Individuals

When people are depressed, there can often be physical side effects. Depression may have its roots in a variety of places and could, in fact, be linked to other co-occurring disorders. However, these will only serve to bolster the already deprecating mental and physical side effects.

The Roots of Depression

Depression can come from many different sources. However, it is often linked to two particular areas:

Brain Chemistry

This is a critical piece to think about. A number of individuals will look at their lives and see nothing but positivity. They will see that their family is great, their job meets their needs, and they make enough money to afford fun vacations with the kids.

However, they find themselves depressed. Often, they are depressed for no apparent reason, and it makes them feel awful that they could possibly allow themselves to feel this way. They may feel selfish and berate themselves for having depressive thoughts.

In these cases, the problem may be a matter of simple brain chemistry. People with clinical depression often have low levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. This is often due to an increase in the levels of monoamine oxidase A.

Though it may sound extremely technical, the bottom line is that there are chemicals the brain needs to stay balanced, and people with clinical depression are not getting enough of them. The solution is actually quite simple. Often, a person will want to attend therapy sessions, but the main solution can be medication. These can often include:

Each of these is a category of medication, as there are quite a number of them specifically made to treat symptoms of depression. Once a person has found the right balance of medication and therapy, they will often feel quite a bit better.

it is important to remember that this type of depression can have a variety of physical effects. These can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Inability to engage in physical activities

There are other examples as well, but when someone is depressed, they will often shut down mentally, which leads to a severe decrease in normal physical activity.


The other cause of depression is trauma. This trauma can come from any event in a person’s life or any combination of events. When this happens, individuals have been through something that has so affected them that they cannot get rid of the memories or the residual feelings.

A person who has suffered from trauma may not only feel depressed but may, in fact, have multiple issues associated with their depression. These co-occurring disorders can result in a decrease in activity and an increase in the use of illicit substances. Should a person reach this stage, they will have far more physical issues to deal with as a tangential result of their initial depression.

For people with trauma-related depression, the best way to deal with it is to seek therapy as soon as possible. Individuals may be feeling depression due to unaddressed childhood trauma and have therefore been suffering for decades. These people should be encouraged to find a medical professional that they trust as they may have exponentially worse mental and physical side effects due to the amount of time that has passed since their traumatic event.

Early Detection

Depression is insidious. It can strike at any time and sit in someone’s system for any length of time. Often, individuals are unaware that they are experiencing long-term clinical depression until others point out their lethargy and reticence to participate in activities.

Therefore, early detection is important. Unfortunately, one group that often gets left behind in this type of treatment is teenagers. People forget just how stressful it can be to be in their teens, and when someone has clinical depression mixed into the pot, the results can be disastrous. The rate of suicide among young people remains high, and in 2022 the group with the highest increase (8%) was males between 15 and 24.

One of the best types of early detection comes from the outside. Friends and loved ones are often the first to notice changes in an individual and should not feel awkward about bringing them up. If someone who is typically happy suddenly becomes morose, it’s important to speak up or ask a few questions. Nobody wants their friends or loved ones ignoring symptoms, especially when they may be subconscious cries for help.

Facilities such as Twilight Recovery Center are keenly aware of the issues that come with depression and how they can lead to substance abuse. Twilight Recovery Center is ready to work with those who need help, tackling overarching and underlying issues.

When a person begins experiencing depression, it may come as a surprise. Depression has many origins, but for some people, the idea seems to be that the condition is only mental. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, those with depression, especially prolonged depression, may find that the physical side effects make things even harder. At Twilight Recovery Center, we understand that individuals need assistance. Depression is not something to be swept under the rug. We are firm believers in discussing personal issues, how they have affected people’s lives, and what to do to make things better. Call our facility today for more information at (888) 414-8183.






Twilight Recovery Center

Receive the highest level of care at our upscale recovery center. We offer world class treatments to ensure the finest road to recovery.





Farallon #9751, San Antonio del Mar, Baja California Mexico CP 22560


(1)888-414 81 83
+52 664 80 58 882 


Twilight Recovery Center

Receive the highest level of care at our upscale recovery center. We offer world class treatments to ensure the finest road to recovery.



Farallon #9751, San Antonio del Mar, Baja California Mexico CP 22560


(1)888-414 81 83
+52 664 80 58 882 


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