It’s horrible to think that someone could be addicted to depression. Why would anyone want to be depressed? The truth is self-hatred is a mean enemy and something we all have within us.

In 12 Rules for Life, clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson says we all have a little bit of self-hatred, and it’s easy to point to. In Rule 2, Peterson explains this.

Think of when you receive mediation for an illness. 30% of medication prescriptions are never filled, and 50% of prescribed medications for CHRONIC ILLNESS are NEVER TAKEN [1].

Now think about how often you ensure a child, or elderly family member, or even how often you make sure your pet takes their medication? Probably a lot more.

Because we care about our pets even more than we care about ourselves. We take the time to ensure they are always getting the best treatment. Same goes for our loved ones. We make sure they take their medication because we want the best for them.

It’s in all of us but some of us take it to the extreme. Self-hatred can really be a nasty thing. Peterson argues that you can fix it though, but it takes time.

Here’s what some dual diagnosis treatment centers know about being addicted to depression.

Can Someone Become Addiction to Depression?

To a point, yes you can be addicted to depression. Though addiction might not be the right word. Instead, we could say that people can become reliant on addiction. See when we spend enough time in a certain frame of mind, we tend to get comfortable with it.

It can get to the point where feeling happy is actually scary. Maybe we have associated negative thoughts with happiness, or maybe we are so scared we are going to lose it that we avoid it. The reasons differ from person to person, but there are a lot of common stories among depressed people.

People with dual diagnosis might have a hard time being happy because they used drugs to avoid dealing with the realities that are too terrible to even think of. For them it may be better to remain depressed and stay hidden from themselves and the world.

Staying in a Comfort Zone

Enter the comfort zone.

You are now addicted to depression, or rather reliant on it and the truth is that in a state of depression you have some control. When you are depressed, you understand the world, you know what to expect and you think you have control over yourself in this world.

Its easy to predict how you will react to bad news, or how you will react to invitations to parties or how you will react to rejection when you are depressed. You know that everything will be hard and miserable and that’s the comfort zone you may prefer.

You can predict the outcomes of everything because you know your depression too well. There are no surprises with depression. It’s as safe as it is dark and bottomless. You have ‘control’ of your emotions, but the truth is you don’t have control, you just know how you will react no matter what.

It’s tough, it’s scary and it’s got a hold of you.

Feedback Loops

Now you have ‘control’ of your life, now you can predict every possible outcome of your life thanks to the predictability of depression. Now that you are addicted to depression, you must maintain a state of depression. So, you will go out of your way to avoid happiness [2].

  • You find reasons to be miserable.
  • You get into destructive relationships.
  • You stop taking care of yourself mentally and physically.
  • You use drugs to cope with depression.

Once you’re in a feedback loop it can feel impossible to break free. Emotional feedback loops are dangerous and so are addiction feedback loops. But you have the luxury of having both. Time to stand up to the challenge.

There is treatment, there are options, you can do this.

Is There a Solution to Depression?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to depression but there are a couple steps you can take if you have the motivation to try [3].

  • Go to a psychiatrist.
  • If you are prescribed medications, take them!
  • Start treating yourself like someone you are taking care of.
  • Begin creating a routine.
  • Put one foot out of your comfort zone and keep the other foot in your comfort zone.
  • Don’t be so damn hard on yourself.

We would say start reading as well. Jordan Peterson 12 Rules of Life is just one resource that can make a difference.

Additionally, individual mental health counselling. You can get better.


[1]: New York Times – The Cost of Not Taking Your Medicine

[2]: Psychology Today – Are You Addicted to Unhappiness?

[3]: Psychology – Tough Truths You Should Know About Addiction, Depression

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