Sue Devaney, 54, first appeared on the cobbled streets of Weatherfield as a café worker way back in 1984. The actress returned as Kevin Webster’s sister, Debbie, and has dealt with her fair share of drama and darkness. In reality, Sue is no stranger to the difficulties of life and how turning to substances only perpetuates the situation even further.
Sue bravely opened up about her previous struggles in an interview with Manchester Evening News and said: “I have experienced mental health issues – low self-esteem, low self-worth, like many of us.
“I know what it’s like to be an addict… People turn to substance abuse because, initially, it takes the pain away, even if it’s just for an hour or so.
“Then, it stops working and the very thing you used to take the pain away is causing you catastrophic pain.”
Sadly, according to statistics, mental health and addiction often go hand in hand.
In fact, nearly nine million people have a co-occurring disorder according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Comorbidity refers to the fact that two conditions, such as a specific mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, often co-exist together.
Therefore, many people with addictions have an underlying mental health issue such as depression as well.
Symptoms of depression and addiction include:
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling tearful
- Feeling guilt-ridden
- Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
- Having no motivation or interest in things
- Finding it difficult to make decisions
- Not getting any enjoyment out of life
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself.
- An inability to stop using
- Use and abuse of substances continue despite health problems
- Taking risks
- Dropping hobbies and activities
- Secrecy and solitude
“I am lucky. I got help,” admitted Sue.
“I had the disease of more, more, more… more drink, more sugar, just an insatiable appetite for the bad things in life.
“Nothing in moderation, everything in excess. I attracted the wrong type of folk.
“Am I less of a person for having the disease of addiction? I am not.”
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy approach that can be used to help treat substance use disorders.
CBT is commonly used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, and other mental disorders, but it has also been shown to be valuable in treating alcoholism and drug addictions.
Talking therapies are also effective at helping to treat the core issue as to why some people suffer with low moods and addiction issues.
If concerned for yourself, or someone you may know, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional who can offer the best treatment options to help with these issues.