Although depression and anxiety are separate conditions, and have their own set of causes and symptoms, they are closely related and often go hand in hand. They share a number of symptoms and those with one are far more likely to experience having the other disorder as well, especially in the realm of addiction. These two disorders are also specifically connected to addiction because they are the most common co-occurring disorders. A high percentage of people with substance use disorders also experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is difficult to know if the depression and anxiety led to the addiction or active addiction caused someone to develop anxiety and depressive symptoms. Depression and anxiety are serious disorders that can lead to feelings of hopelessness, despair and even suicide.
Co-occurring disorders describe those who are affected by a substance use disorder along with another mental health diagnosis. The most common co-occurring disorders are eating disorders, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bi-polar disorder, and personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorders. Those with co-occurring disorders are at a much higher risk for relapse than those with just substance use disorders. Therefore, it is especially important that those with co-occurring disorders treat their underlying mental health symptoms to remain sober.