Depression and Addictive Behavior Thesis

Pages: 16 (4458 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

Depression and Addictive Behavior

Double Cruel Hand

Comobid Conditions

Contemporary, Challenging Concerns Worldwide

Derangement of the Volition 7 Contemporary Addictions



Role of Cocaine Use in Depression

Clinical Techniques of Helping



Tried and True" Techniques


Points for Treatment Consideration

Clients' Reported Med Use When Admitted to Substance Abuse Clinics

Personal Growth and Maintenance (adapted from Daley, 2007)

"To Do" Recommendations

Physical and Lifestyle Areas Meriting Focus in Recovery

Emotional Areas Meriting Focus in Recovery from Addiction and Depression



Addiction and depression are common comorbid conditions." (Daley, 2007)

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TOPIC: Thesis on Depression and Addictive Behavior Assignment

Comorbid," the term Daley (2007) purports in this study's introductory quote, denotes addiction and depression. According to Webster's New Millennium ™ Dictionary of English, comorbid, an adjective, pertains "to two diseases which occur together, such as ADHD and depression," (comorbid, n.d) or in the case of this research effort: addiction and depression. In the 1997 book, Terry, George McGovern, a former U.S. Senator, recounts details of his daughter Terry, who battled both the addiction of alcoholism and depression. McGovern wrote that Terry "was dealt a double cruel hand: the companion demons depression and alcoholism. They were demons that warred ceaselessly against the other aspects of her being -- a warm and sunny disposition." (Daley, 2007) According to McGovern, he and Terry's mother, along with numerous others who cared about Terry, repeatedly tried to help her recover. Late one December evening, however, despite attempted interventions by family and friends, a police officer and minister related details of Terry's death to the McGoverns. After consuming alcohol, Terry had gotten drunk and passed out in the cold, where she froze to death. Experiences McGovern (Daley, 2007) shares in Terry's story reveal that not only does the person suffering from common comorbid conditions such as an addiction, along with depression, his/her family simultaneously suffers.

In Terry's case, as common to individuals suffering a dual diagnosis, alcoholism combined with depression challenged the course of her recovery. Similarly, a person suffering from addictive behavior, coupled with depression, faces a challenging course to reach recovery. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, (1772-1834), a British poet and critic, who suffered from addiction to laudanum, in addition to depression, reportedly experienced difficulty completing numerous projects and, as a result berated himself for his "indolence."

Everett (2000) notes that whether Coleridge's increasing use of opium depicted a symptom or a cause of his growing depression is not clear. Even today, no model, as in Coleridge's time, completely explicates the addictive behaviors in a lucid, scientific manner. Nor does any definition propose a common cause for various "addictive" behaviors. (Campbell, 2002)

Significance of Study and Thesis Statement

Consequently, the thesis this researcher purports for this study proves significant, as it aims to enhance understanding regarding the relationship between addictive behavior and depression. Research indicates addictive behavior may evolve from depression, albeit depression may simultaneously stem from addictive behavior, as each "disorder" contributes to the other, this researcher contends. To confirm this particular proposed thesis, through the course of analyzing literature retrieved through the literature review, this study examines answers to the research question: How does addictive behavior relate to depression?

Problem Statement

Findings from a study conducted by Daley (2007), along with colleagues at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, reveal that individuals with addiction and depression experience:

higher risk for suicidal and homicidal behaviors, poorer treatment adherence, higher relapse rates to either disorder, and higher re-hospitalization rates." (Cornelius et al., 1997; Salloum et al., 1996; Daley & Zuckoff, 1998 & 1999; cited by Daley, 2007)

Comobid Conditions

When individuals suffering from a dual diagnosis, also known as "comorbid conditions," professional treatment, as well as involvement in recovery can significantly, positively impact some clients and their family members, Daley (2007) stresses, while helping them manage the disorder s and improve quality of life for persons involved.

A number of treatments which may prove effective for depression include, but are not limited to:

interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and supportive counseling; anti-depressant medications; and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)." (Daley, 2007) few of the numerous effective treatments to treat addiction include "behavioral therapies and counseling, and sometimes, the use of medications." (Daley, 2007)

Treatment should be "integrated" and go beyond symptom reduction by helping the client engage in a recovery process (Daley & Thase, 2000). Recovery aims to help the client manage the disorders over the long-term by making changes in self and lifestyle and may occur in any of the major domains of functioning.... (Daley, 2000; cited by Daley, 2007)

The following figure (1) denotes 11 vital points for consideration in professional treatment and recovery of addiction and depression.

Figure 1: Points for Treatment Consideration (adapted from Daley, 2007)

High Rates of Combined Disorders

Studies of clinical populations also reveal high rates of numerous combined disorders. (Salloum, Daley & Thase, 2000; Daley & Moss, 2002; cited Daley, 2007) Many clients have to contend with recurrent major depression, and/or dysthymia (a chronic form of depression) or potentially both major depression and dysthymia, identified as, "double depression." Clients contending with addiction and depression frequently have additional DSM IV diagnoses including anxiety, bipolar, personality or other addictive disorders. In one study reported in 2007, conducted with 153 new clients seeking to secure treatment at six different substance abuse clinics, participants revealed "a mean Beck Depression Inventory of 18.8 (sd=13.0), which is in the moderate range, and a mean Beck Anxiety Inventory score of 23.3 (sd=21.8), which is in the moderate to severe range." (Daley, 2007)

The following figure (2) portrays percentages of clients' reported meds, when newly admitted to substance abuse clinics.

Figure 2: Clients' Reported Med Use When Admitted to Substance Abuse Clinics (Daley, 2007)

Contemporary, Challenging Concerns Worldwide

Drug addiction reflects a contemporary, challenging concern worldwide, reportedly linked with powerful genetic and environmental influences. Research reveals a variety of genes and biological processes underlie addiction, albeit, individual or a minute number of genes constitutes surveying one pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Consequently, "individual technology can be biased and render only an incomplete picture." (Public Library of Science, 2008) Accessing and studying a majority of the addiction puzzle pieces from various regions and arranging them together in an orderly manner still may not reveal a complete picture of an addition. It will most likely, however, as this paper, present a semblance of fascinating, emerging patterns that contribute to potential, effective treatment options.


The following definitions denote considerations this paper examines.

A addict person who cannot stop doing or using something, especially something harmful (Cambridge, 2008) depression (Unhappiness)

[U] a feeling of unhappiness and lack of hope for the future:

was overwhelmed by feelings of depression.

[C or U] a mental illness in which a person is very unhappy and anxious for long periods and cannot have a normal life during these periods:

Tiredness, loss of appetite and sleeping problems are all classic symptoms of depression. (Cambridge, 2008) clinical depression mental illness which causes feelings of sadness and loss of hope, changes in sleeping and eating habits, loss of interest in...usual activities, and pains which have no physical explanation...,(Cambridge, 2008) manic depression mental illness causing someone to change from being extremely happy and excited to being extremely sad...,(Cambridge, 2008)

During this paper's next segment, the review of literature, this researcher presents more specific information relating to, as well as, exploring the relationship between addiction and depression, which constitute, as Daley (2007) notes: "common comorbid conditions."


My case is a species of madness, only that it is a derangement of the Volition, & not of the intellectual faculties."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) (Columbia, 1996)

Derangement of the Volition

In a letter dated April 26, 1814, regarding his addiction to laudanum, Coleridge, purports that his addiction adversely affected his "Volition" (the power to make his own decisions); however, it did not negatively impact his intellectual faculties. During the winter of 1801-1802, Coleridge's despair deepened due to two causes reportedly attributing to Coleridge's unhappiness: "opium and domestic discord." ("Coleridge's Conversation Poems, 1999) His plight and battle with depression addiction, similar to many individuals suffering "common comorbid conditions" throughout history may be attributed to a myriad of causes. Literature presented in this study's segment, however, claims that no concrete, credible causes for depression and/or addiction yet exist.

Contemporary Addictions

Caffeine Dependence/Addiction in addition to drug and alcohol addictions, addiction to caffeine, a contemporary addiction to a potent, addictive stimulant (caffeine), also "in non-herbal teas (bancha, green and black), chocolate, carbonated sodas, coffee-flavored dairy products and over-the-counter cold medications," (Hunt, 1999) does not present life-threatening health risks, Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and author of Foods That Fight Pain, reports, are not life threatening, however, they possess the potential to become a problem. As caffeine stimulates a person's brain, increases his/her heart rate and relaxes kidney muscles, as well as the digestive system, it affects an individual's central nervous system. Excessive caffeine may contribute birth defects, infertility, miscarriage,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Depression and Addictive Behavior" Thesis in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Depression and Addictive Behavior.  (2008, September 16).  Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Depression and Addictive Behavior."  16 September 2008.  Web.  26 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Depression and Addictive Behavior."  September 16, 2008.  Accessed October 26, 2021.