How Depression in Teens Leads to Addiction

Depression in teens is far more common than many people realize. Unfortunately, there’s an overall lack of education regarding mental health in the United States. Too often, people disregard teen depression because they assume it’s normal. However, this misconception is one of the main reasons we have higher teen suicide, self-harm, and addiction rates than ever before.
Understanding Depression in Teens
Primarily, depression symptoms develop between the ages of 14 and 24. Teens are far more at risk because their brains are still developing. Depression is a result of various neurotransmitters dysfunctioning. For example, the most common symptoms of depression include:
Sleeping too much
Isolating and becoming anti-social
Extreme weight loss or weight gain
Lack of motivation
Our brains naturally tell us to repeat actions that give us pleasure. However, an individual with depression doesn’t have these. Therefore, they neglect activities that give them pleasure because they aren’t getting the same neurological rewards. For example, something that most people get pleasure from, like accomplishing goals, doesn’t affect a person with depression in the same way.
How Depression Turns into Addiction
Depression can involve negative thoughts and emotions, as well as feelings of numbness. People use drugs or alcohol to get rid of or enhance their feelings. Often, those with depression turn to substances for emotions they don’t normally experience. When you spend months or years feeling numb, drugs seem like the ultimate solution.
The problem is that abusing alcohol or drugs to cope with depression is merely a short-term solution. Unfortunately, a person actually sinks further into depression from excessive drug or alcohol use. This leads to a cycle in which people turn to substances to manage depression. Therefore, co-occurring disorders develop.
Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment at Steps to Recovery
When someone struggles with addiction and depression, they have co-occurring disorders. When treating someone with two disorders, it’s important to address each mental illness separately. Without addressing both, an individual might not succeed in recovery. It’s hard enough to stay clean and sober. However, it’s even harder when you continue struggling with depression.
Steps to Recovery is an addiction treatment center that helps people overcome their mental illness symptoms. We offer addiction treatment as well as dual diagnosis treatment methods. The additional programs we provide include:
Group therapy
Outpatient treatment
Family therapy
Dual diagnosis treatment
Call us today at 866-488-8684 to begin your renewing journey to recovery.
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