Drug use and depression are related and suicide can occur if depression becomes too intense. There is a relationship between depression and suicidal thoughts, but not everyone who is depressed will resort to suicide as a final solution to their problems.
Using drugs can make people more vulnerable to depression. People are not attracted to drug use unless they are looking for a solution to a problem in their life. Even prescription medications for anxiety and depressive disorders are no guarantee that people will be able to manage their depression. When people self medicate with illicit drugs or abuse prescription medications there is more risk of mood swings and resultant deep depression.
When people resort to drug use it is in the hope of finding relief from emotional conflicts. Obviously the solution to emotional difficulties cannot in the longer term ever be resolved whilst a person is dependent upon drugs to master and control their conflicted emotions and feelings.
Often intense depression can occur when a person addicted to drugs or alcohol realizes that drugs are not the answer to their problems, yet they still feel a need to use. An addict can also feel more depressed as a result of having lost family, friends and physical possessions, perhaps their job as a result of drug use. Instead of providing the intended relief, prolonged drug use only leads to more intense feelings of futility and hopelessness.
The more the person uses drugs, the harder it is for the body to maintain chemical balance in the brain. With long term drug use and when using potent drugs such as cocaine, the body is simply unable to produce naturally the necessary bio- chemicals which enable us to feel happy and experience pleasure.
Drug use and alcohol abuse is all about power and control over life’s circumstances and our emotional responses. Drug use gives a person a strong feeling of being in control and having personal power over their destiny.
Disappointments and failures can be forgotten, disregarded and seem unimportant when a person is finding in drug use a solution to their problems.
Depression occurs whenever people feel that the environment is not meeting their expectations and needs. If drug addicts do not get help to deal with negative feelings, they tend to become more and more immersed in drug use and depressive ways of thinking. Gradually, a person can start to experience the whole world as being an unfair, hostile and persecutory place. Long term illicit drug users find their world to be a violent and criminal place, without drugs they feel isolated, depressed and lonely.
People want to commit suicide as a way of regaining power over their life and to put an end to intense emotional pain. Suicide is never intended to hurt or to harm anyone else. It is simply a desire to put an end to personal suffering. It is part of the suicide dynamic that the person cannot at that time relate to anything else than a means to end their suffering.
Anyone who talks about death or suicide needs to given immediate help. Suicide prevention is always possible while a person maintains any hope of improvement in their life.
You can help a severely depressed person who has thought of suicide by being emotionally available and letting them know that you love them unconditionally. Open up a space of hope between a person and their depressive feelings – you can rekindle the spirit of life.