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Sleep Disorders, Depression and Addiction

Sleep Disorders, Depression and Addiction

Thanks to the recent surge in addiction research, professionals now better understand its causes, risk factors, symptoms and options for recovery. One bit of knowledge that benefits addicts is the commonality of co-occurring disorders. The Journal of the American Medical Association recently reported the following statistics:

  • Roughly 50 percent of individuals struggling with a mental health disorder are affected by substance abuse or addiction
  • 43 percent of individuals with a 12-month addictive disorder also faced a 12-month mental health disorder


One common combination of co-occurring disorders is sleep disorders, depression and addiction. Why this combination of disorders occurs together so frequently is because each disorder can trigger or increase the risk of the other. Now, these disorders do not create each other, but are regularly conjoined with other biological, genetic, social and environmental factors.

Why Sleep Disorders, Depression and Addiction Occur Together

The exact cause of depression is unknown, but most research shows it as a chemical imbalance in the brain. Sleep affects brain function, which is why it has a major impact on depression. Even a healthy person feels the effects sleep disruption, so a depressed patient relies even further on a consistent structured sleep schedule, or depression may worsen. On the other hand, oversleeping, irregular sleep patterns, sleep deprivation or insomnia are all common symptoms of depression. When the two disorders occur simultaneously, they only prolong the other’s existence and can lead to a continual cycle of one disorder sparking the other.

Addiction falls into the mix in a few different ways. First, sleep disorders and depression are common results of addiction. Again, these disorders aggravate each other, creating a never-ending cycle that makes it nearly impossible to get better unless all disorders receive treatment. Second, mental health disorders are physically and emotionally excruciating. If a sleep disorder is present as well, an individual can be in a great deal of pain. As drugs and alcohol can temporarily improve one’s mood, create euphoria and numb pain, people with depression and sleep disorders may abuse drugs to escape pain or forget the other issues plaguing them. Drugs and alcohol may seem like an easy way to cope with the lack of sleep, and the hopelessness of depression, and it is quite easy to develop an addiction from there. However, addiction only fuels the symptoms of depression and sleep disorders, as well as initiating another batch of problems.

Help with a Sleep Disorder, Depression and Addiction

If you have been struggling with depression, sleep disorders and addiction, rest assured there is treatment available for exactly what you are experiencing. To learn more about treatment and recovery options, please call our toll-free helpline now. A trained rehab counselor is on-hand 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment program that meets your needs. Counselors can answer your questions and even determine if your health insurance will help you out. Call now to learn how we can help.