As a chronic illness, depression is likely to foster addictive behavior. This is especially true when you consider the symptoms of depression. Feeling despondent, hopeless, having trouble sleeping, and other symptoms are all often masked by the use of drugs or alcohol.
The issue with this is that once a person starts using drugs and alcohol to deal with depression, they become addicted and start relying on these substances on a regular basis. In reality, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol won’t help depression, they actually worsen the symptoms and cause individuals to enter a downward spiral where they try to use more substances to help.
Depression is also often a secondary illness to other issues such as bipolar disorder, PTSD, eating disorders, and more, which means those with depression are even more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol and seek a substance abuse treatment program.