Depression and addiction often go hand in hand. In fact, more than 60% of people in substance abuse treatment programs also fulfill diagnostic criteria for other mental illnesses, including depression. And though the two conditions are related, they are not identical. Depression is a mental disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. On the other hand, addiction is a compulsive need to use drugs or alcohol despite adverse consequences. So what’s the link between these two conditions? And how can you get help if you’re suffering from both?
Defining Depression And Addiction
Depression is a mental disorder that brings on persistent feelings of sadness and disinterest in activities you once enjoyed. People who experience depression may also have trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating. Depression can last for several days, weeks, months, or even years.
Addiction, on the other hand, is a compulsive need to use drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences. Addiction is also characterized by tolerance, meaning that you need more and more of the substance to get the same effect, and withdrawal, which is when you experience uncomfortable symptoms when you try to cut back or stop using the substance altogether.
The Link Between Substance Abuse And Depression
There are several reasons why depression and addiction might be linked. One theory is that people may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to cope with their depression. Another possibility is that the brain changes associated with addiction can also lead to depression.
The truth is that substance abuse can worsen the symptoms of depression and make the condition harder to treat. For example, drinking alcohol can interfere with antidepressant medications. And using drugs or alcohol can lead to risky behaviors that may result in injury or death.
Symptoms Of Combined Addiction And Depression
The symptoms of depression and addiction can vary depending on the person. But some common signs may indicate that you are struggling with both conditions, such as:
- Increasing your alcohol or drug use despite negative consequences
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope with depression symptoms
- Having trouble quitting despite wanting to stop
- Isolating yourself from friends and family
- Missing work or school due to drinking or using drugs
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Experiencing financial problems due to your substance abuse
- Engaging in risky behaviors when under the influence
If you are living with any of the above symptoms, it’s important to seek help from a medical professional who can help you get an accurate diagnosis and create a treatment plan that will address both your depression and addiction.
Treating Depression And Addiction
Depression and addiction are both treatable conditions. Treatment for depression usually involves medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. Medications used to treat depression include antidepressants, which can help improve mood, and antipsychotics, which can be used to treat severe depression. Depression treatment can include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people change negative thinking patterns, and interpersonal therapy, which helps people improve communication and relationships.
Treatment for addiction often includes detoxification, which is when you stop using drugs or alcohol and allow your body to adjust to the withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification can be followed by inpatient or outpatient treatment, which can include counseling, group therapy, and 12-step programs.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
If you have both depression and addiction, it’s important to find a treatment program that can address both conditions. This treatment is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder treatment program. In a dual diagnosis program, you’ll work with a team of mental health and addiction specialists who create a personalized treatment plan specifically for your holistic recovery.
Treatment for depression and addiction is often most successful when it’s done in an inpatient setting, where you can receive around-the-clock care from medical professionals. Inpatient treatment can be followed by outpatient treatment, which can help you transition back to your life and continue to recover from depression and addiction.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment In Redlands, CA
If you’re struggling with depression and addiction, our team at Liberty House Recovery can help. At our inpatient addiction treatment center in Redlands, CA, we offer dual diagnosis treatment for depression and addiction. Our team of medical and mental health specialists will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Contact us today for more information about our program and how we can help you recover from depression and addiction.
Coping With Addiction And Depression
If you’re struggling with addiction and depression, there are a few things you can do to help cope with your symptoms:
- Stay busy. When you’re dealing with depression and addiction, it’s important to keep yourself busy. Try to find healthy and productive activities and make time for them in your schedule.
- Talk to someone who understands. Whether it’s a friend, family member, therapist, or support group, talking to someone who understands what you’re going through can be helpful.
- Find an activity that brings you joy. It may be tough to find things that bring you happiness when you’re struggling with depression, but it’s important to try. Maybe there’s a creative hobby you used to enjoy or an athletic activity that makes you feel good. Make time for wholesome things that make you happy to be alive.
- Practice self-care. Taking care of yourself is important when you’re struggling with depression and addiction. Make sure to eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and take breaks when you need them.
- Get professional help. If you’re struggling with depression and addiction, it’s important to get help from a mental health professional who can treat both conditions.
- Join a support group. There are many support groups available for people struggling with depression and addiction. This can be a great way to meet other people who understand what you’re going through and can offer support and advice.
Depression and addiction are both serious conditions that require professional treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression and addiction, contact us today to learn more about our dual-diagnosis treatment program.