Unfortunately, depression and addiction seem to co-occur at fairly regular rates, particularly when it comes to alcohol abuse. This cycle (casually dubbed the DAD effect) is not too difficult to understand. Many struggling with depression may find themselves reaching for the bottle to temporarily escape feelings of emptiness and hopelessness. Temporarily, alcohol and other drugs can help relieve that pervasive melancholy and give a slight boost of enjoyment.
However, once those effects wear off, people with depression may find themselves in a worse spot than before. This issue is because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, meaning it slows brain activity. In the long run, alcohol and substance use can contribute to depressive symptoms all on their own.
This cycle is referred to as the DAD effect when someone struggles with depression, which causes them to self-medicate ultimately contributing to substance use disorder, which is followed by denial and a continuation of the cycle.