Life is complicated enough without adding any outside elements to make it more difficult. Many people in the United States suffer from a condition known as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Better known as clinical depression, this condition may be brought on by a number of things, including alcohol or drug use. We at Asheville Detox want you to understand the connection between meth use and depression, and identify how one feeds the other. Let’s take a moment to understand how this happens.
What Is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)?
More than just feeling a little blue for a short period of time, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is sadness that is persistent or intense. It lasts for an extended period of time.
It’s only natural to feel melancholy when you have an undesired event happen in your life, such as a death or another life challenge. On the other hand, clinical depression may happen for seemingly no outward reason at all.
Being clinically depressed has an impact on all areas of your life. Not only are your mood and behavior affected. Aspects such as your sleep and your appetite are involved as well.
One of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the United States, major depressive disorder can be effectively be managed with the help of medications and psychotherapy. However, many people who have the condition fail to seek out help for their condition.
Can Meth Addiction Be a Cause of Depression?
The exact cause of major depressive disorder is unknown, however, there are several risk factors that can contribute to your chances of developing it. Many times, a combination of stress and genetics has an effect on brain chemistry, making it difficult to have moods that remain stable. Another possibility is changes in hormonal balances may cause an individual to become depressed.
Alcohol or drug use, such as methamphetamines is another possible cause of depression. Furthermore, if a meth user already has an underlying mental health condition such as depression, their condition will only worsen without a dual diagnosis intervention that treats both the addiction and the depressive symptoms. This is important because a user may be using meth to block difficult psychiatric symptoms by using meth.
In fact, it is estimated that adults who have a serious mental illness are more than eight times more likely to also have a co-occurring illicit drug dependence than those who don’t have a mental illness.
The Meth Depression Connection
There are actually several ways that doing meth can send you on a path to acquiring Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Because meth is so addictive in its very nature, an individual can develop an addiction to meth in no time. As a result, if the person slows down or stops taking the drug, they begin to experience undesirable withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include depressive and psychotic episodes that generally will resolve themselves within a week or so. Should they decide to use meth again, and then try to quit at a later point, the cycle of highs and lows only repeats itself.
In addition to the depression felt during withdrawals, one cannot underestimate the way that meth alters brain chemistry, essentially destroying the brain cells where dopamine is released. This event certainly will have an effect on whether or not the person experiences depression when they are not taking the drug. This is because long-term meth use causes a condition called anhedonia. This means that the person is no longer able to experience pleasure.
Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
How do you know if you or a loved one is clinically depressed? Although it is best diagnosed by a physician, here are the criteria that are involved in the diagnosis.
- The way you are functioning now must be different than before
- The symptoms you are experiencing must last for 2 or more weeks
- You must be experiencing a depressed mood or loss of pleasure or interest
In addition to this, you must be experiencing 5 or more of the symptoms below during this two-week timeframe:
- You have lost interest in the activities you used to enjoy.
- You feel restless.
- You lack energy and feel unusually tired.
- You have trouble concentrating, making decisions or thinking.
- You lose or gain weight suddenly and have an appetite change.
- You feel guilty or worthless
- You are having suicidal thoughts.
- You are sleeping more than usual or can’t sleep.
- You feel irritable or sad most of the time, every day.
If you know that you are clinically depressed, turning to meth is never the answer. The euphoria that it gives you is short-lived and in the long run, it leaves you devoid of pleasure.
Common Behavior When Using Meth
Now that we have established that meth can make you depressed and keep you that way, let’s talk about what your behavior is like when you use it. Rapid addiction is the most obvious problem that comes out of using meth.
Compulsive, drug-seeking behavior often causes you to do things you never thought you would do, only to get your next fix. You develop a tolerance, so you will need to use more and more in order to get the desired effect.
People who use meth long-term display behaviors such as confusion, anxiety, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violence. They may also show psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, seeing and hearing things that aren’t there, and feeling things that don’t exist.
Get Help at Asheville Detox Today
If you have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and you have been using meth to try and make yourself feel better, know that you are taking part in a vicious cycle. It is only a matter of time before the pleasure wears off, and you are left feeling worse than you did before.
Our trusted staff of professionals at Asheville Detox know how to help someone like you who suffers from depression and is dealing with a meth addiction at the same time. Both conditions must be addressed hand-in-hand to ensure your best success. Give us a call today and allow us to guide you out of the darkness.