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Why do people use Alcohol/Drugs to hide their depression?

14 Answers
Last Updated: 07/23/2018 at 4:51pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
January 13th, 2015 3:33am
Drugs and Alcohol are easy masking coping mechanisms. When you do drugs or drink alcohol, you seem to forget your issues while the high lasts. However, drugs and alcohol are only short-term 'fixes' that always seem to end badly.
February 15th, 2016 4:03am
They think nobody will understand and the alcohol/drugs are the best option. They feel as though they can take them away from the emotions they are feeling but don't want to
June 9th, 2015 6:58pm
In a lot of cases people use alcohol and drugs to hide their depression because sometimes it can be too much to face, especially if they are feeling alone. The alcohol/drugs are used to cope and they provide temporary relieve from the depression and pain they are feeling. When you find something that can make you feel, what you believe is better, it can be hard to want to find new ways of handling things. These are just temporary solutions to mask the real feelings. Sometimes it's easier to hide the depression than to have to face and deal with it head on.
October 25th, 2015 5:05pm
Because it makes them feel numb, it's kind of like another method of self-harm or an unhealthy coping method, because they are damaging their own body but they normally do it because they don't want anyone else to know and they don't want to feel the sadness and then it becomes an addiction because it eventually begins to take more and more of it to help you feel numb and it just eventually gets out of hand, if you or anyone is having trouble with drug or alcohol abuse, contact someone here at 7cups or use one of our self help guides.
May 23rd, 2016 5:26am
Because a lot of people do not want to admit to being depressed, and it is a release for them. It takes away the pain
June 23rd, 2016 7:02pm
They are many reasons. I have experience with them because I have a friend who suffered from severe alchohalism but is slowly starting to recover now. One reason for drinking or doing drugs is because you feel more social and less awkward when you're drunk rather than sober or you want to forget. If you or a friend drinks or does drugs too much it could be because of depression
December 13th, 2016 6:11am
There are many reasons people with depression may use alcohol and drugs. One commonly identified reason is simply the altered reality these substances provide; substance abuse offers users what seems like a temporary escape from their problems, while the long-term effects can be much worse. However, with depression, a quick fix or temporary solution may be the only relief in sight. This is a complicated question.
July 2nd, 2018 10:13am
Both alcohol and drugs alter your thoughts and behaviours through releasing different chemicals. They are both also known to help people "let go" and relax more, including saying or doing things they usually wouldn't do. For someone with depression who has a constant weight of negative emotion, alcohol and drugs can provide a distraction and escape from those everyday feelings.
May 28th, 2016 12:52pm
People use drugs and alcohol to hide their depression because it is easy to do.. They could possible think that their feelings will go away with the use of - drugs and alcohol.
June 27th, 2016 5:46am
I feel like alcohol/drugs is a coping mechanism. When someone is using alcohol or drugs they have a fleeting high that makes them feel better, even if only for a moment.
January 2nd, 2017 9:54am
Because sometimes it feels as if it is your only escape. When your emotions become seemingly too much for you to endure anymore, and you can't see anything positive in your future or the world, you turn to drugs as a means to feel nothing. It's a temporary solution to a recurring problem. If you lack the ability to see your potential and value in life you resort to hating yourself and temporarily fixing this distress in a self-destructive way. You begin to not feel "normal" without the use of substances. You have to learn that trying to fix an internal problem with an external mechanism will never work. Go within yourself.
January 17th, 2017 3:05am
a lot of people use them to get out of themselves to allow themselves not to feel
October 31st, 2017 8:00am
This will be a very personal answer on why do I use alcohol/drugs when depressed. The way I experience depression is a combination of emptiness, hopelessness and helplessness, with emptiness dominating. It's an emptiness to such an extent that I start doubting that I exist at all. I simply don't feel anything, I don't care for anything. Then comes in the substance. It enhances some senses, it initiates reactions, changes my overall perception and I get interested in what is it that I'm feeling, I start to react to the environment. So to me it's not about hiding the depression, it just provides a short period of time when I start to feel that I actually exist. It also makes me a bit more social. Of course you pay it back on the next morning, as when the substance leaves your bloodstream it takes the feeling of existence with itself, and the depression hits you even worse. So to make the point, in the end I never thought a substance use was a good idea, especially when depressed.
July 23rd, 2018 4:51pm
It can help fill a void left by something or someone, or to completely numb out emotions to help them become more manageable and less dominant in the depressed mind. It helps to feel happier, and even though its at the cost of health/money/friends and relationships/ family/housing etc etc, drugs are a false promise of short term happiness, and sometimes, somebody depressed would do anything just for that split second of calmness and euphoria, because its all they have to look forward to and hope for. Thats how it may seem to somebody depressed. This is only one reason they may use.