If Meaning in Life is Missing then the Risk of Substance Abuse and Depression is Much Higher


meaning of life and risk for depressionA new study performed by researchers at Florida Atlantic University shows that when meaning in life is missing the risk of depression and substance abuse is much higher. Meaning in life, also considered spirituality, can also help lower the risk of mental health issues. This is the first study to examine spirituality and adult attachment styles both, and the researchers looked at the various factors and their associations with depressive symptoms. The researchers fond that when people were encouraged to use their creative talents and they had opportunities to serve other people they experienced more meaning in life and they had lower risks for substance abuse and depression. According to BHOPB chief clinical officer and study researcher Tammy Malloy, L.C.S.W., “Programs such as the 12-step model might want to take into consideration the relative importance of the two spiritual dimensions and put into place programmatic support for the development of purpose and meaning in life rather than only stressing the perceived closeness to God.”

The findings on the latest study examining substance abuse, depression, and meaning in life are very important from a medical and mental health standpoint. The research shows that there are a variety of ways to assist individuals in treating addiction. According to FAU’s School of Social Work director and a professor at the school John R. Graham, Ph.D., “This in turn not only helps the clients receiving treatment, but also improves how addiction professionals do their work— contributing to the health and well-being of the broader community.”

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