7 Ways to Know Depression and Addiction Are Spiraling Out of Control

Calendar icon Last Updated: 06/20/2024

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When it comes to staying balanced, both depression and addiction can throw you off. And if you suffer from both, it’s easy for things to get out of hand and quickly spiral out of control.

To help keep you balanced, here are seven ways to know that your depression and addiction are spiraling out of control.

You Use More and Building a Tolerance

For those who have used drugs or alcohol recreationally before becoming depressed, use often increases with depression, and sometimes to the point of being considered heavy. An increase in both the quantity and frequency of drug and alcohol use can lead you to building a tolerance, needing more and more of the substance to get the same high. And when this happens, chances are you’re addicted, which complicates depression and its treatment.

You Feel Remorseful After You Use

When you started using drugs and alcohol, you most likely did it because it was fun. But now, between your depression and addiction, when you drink or get high, you feel bad about using. These feelings of remorse show that you know your use is becoming out of control.

You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms

Depression and Addiction

Experiencing withdrawal is a common sign that an addiction has gotten out of control.

If your drug or alcohol abuse is to the point that you physically don’t feel good when you don’t use, then it’s out of control. After a period of drug use, your body becomes dependent on the substance and without it, the body doesn’t function properly and causes withdrawal symptoms. These can include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

You’ve Relapsed Before

Perhaps you know you have a problem with depression and addiction. Maybe you’ve been to a dual diagnosis facility and sought treatment. Perhaps you even spent time in recovery, from both your mental health issues and drug use. But you’ve relapsed, falling back into negative behaviors. If you’ve relapsed before or let your mental health symptoms go untreated, you have a greater risk of spiraling out of control.

Your Family and Friends Are Worried

Talking to someone you love about their depression and addiction isn’t easy, so if someone you love has reached out and expressed concerned over your own drug use or depression, maybe you should take a second look because chances are it’s spiraling out of control.

You’re Hiding It

When it comes to depression and addiction, if there’s something to hide, chances are it’s a problem, otherwise you wouldn’t feel compelled to hide what was going on. If you’re sneaking around or making up excuses for your use, stop and consider if it’s time to find help.

It Consumes Your Thoughts

One of the signs of addiction is being consumed by thoughts of obtaining and using your drug of choice, while depression often leads to both compulsive thoughts and behaviors. These two things combined make it easy to get lost in the throes of depression and addiction.