Depression is one of the most common, and most debilitating, mood disorders.There are several theories about the cause of depression. It has been established through researches that factors involved in depression, they also play a part in substance use disorders. Imbalances in brain chemistry, family history, and past trauma, for instance, are frequently involved in both depression and addiction. The physical and psychological effects of addiction worsen the condition of psychiatric illness and mask the signs of depression. Depression is one the leading cause of disability around the world. World Health Organization states that over 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide, and that only about 50 percent of these individuals will ever receive treatment. In the United States, over 15 million adults experience an episode of clinical depression in any given year.

Amina Javed 00Ms. Amina Javed is working as a Clinical Psychologist at Willing Ways, Lahore. In 2015, she completed her MS in clinical psychology, from Centre Clinical Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore. She had training of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Behavior Therapy and she is interested in Dialectic Behavior Therapy as well.

Editor: Samreen Masud

Approximately 15 to 30 percent of addicts suffer from both addiction and underlying depression. This is sometimes called a dual diagnosis. People who have both depression and addiction often have a repeating pattern of staying sober for a while and then relapsing because they feel awful. There is a strong connection between alcoholism and major depression. In a nationwide study of 43,093 adults age 18 years and over, for those found suffering from a current alcohol addiction, the was evidence that over 20 percent of them also met the criteria for that of a comorbid major depressive disorder. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that may initially function as a stimulant, but then quickly intensifies feelings of lethargy, drowsiness, and depression.


Alcohol use, which lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment, also increases the risk of suicide in depressed person. At least half of individuals who attempt suicide have some form of depression, and people with depression are 25 percent more likely than non-depressed individuals to display suicidal behavior. Alcohol and drug abuse can worsen the course of a depressive disorder by vexing the symptoms of depression, increasing the likelihood of hospitalization, and interfering with the course of treatment. Individuals whoare being treated for depression while using drugs or alcohol are unlikely to see positive outcomes from therapy. Substance abuse spoils motivation and decreases the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. In addition, alcohol or drugs can have dangerous interactions with the medications used to treat depression.