Because of the way that addiction and mental health problems are closely related, it is very common for patients in rehab to require treatment for both substance abuse and issues of depression. When you are focusing on recovery it can be difficult to simultaneously battle symptoms of depression which often contribute to the cycle of abuse.
With the right kind of treatment program and help from professionals it is possible to manage both your addiction and depression at the same time without the two influencing one another and causing a relapse. People in recovery who are also dealing with mental health problems require special treatment often from facility that handles cases of dual diagnosis.
This kind of treatment is the best way for an addict to prevent their depression from impeding their progress in recovery.
The Connection between Depression and Addiction
There are a number of reasons that mental health problems like depression and addiction are often connected. It is common for people with pre-existing issues with mental health to begin drinking or using drugs as a way of escaping or combating their symptoms.
For anyone diagnosed with depression, the high of drugs or alcohol can help them temporarily alleviate their feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Unfortunately, drugs can worsen symptoms of depression in the long run and people may find themselves trapped in the cycle of addiction before they realize it.
Often addicts without a pre-existing mental health problem can begin to develop symptoms of depression or anxiety because of their substance abuse. This can happen because addictive disorders often incur negative consequences which can impact a person's self-esteem and sense of well-being.
Addiction itself can also cause mood instability because of the ups and downs of chemically induced highs and subsequent withdrawals. Regular and excessive drug use can lead to a myriad of emotions that can eventually culminate into a serious problem with depression.
Treating Both Disorders
In order for depressed addicts to deal with their co-occurring disorders, they need to treat both problems simultaneously and understand the relationship between the two. In a specialized treatment center, addicts can receive counseling and advice from professionals regarding both their depression and their addiction.
If you have severe enough depression that affects your relationship to drugs you might be able to receive anti-depressant medication that will be effective in managing your mental health symptoms. This kind of depression treatment can make it easier for addicts to focus on their issues of substance abuse without too many intense emotions interfering with the process of recovery.
The most important aspect of treating depression and addiction, however, is receiving both individual and group counseling. One on one therapy is a good way for you to talk through emotions and discuss many of the negative thoughts that contribute to your depression.
Mental health problems cannot be resolved without professional counseling and the same can be said of addiction as well.
While in treatment, you must take the time to build a support network of people who can be there for you in times of need. It would be best to find some that suffer both from addiction and depression so that they can have a better understanding of what you are going through at any given time.
A support system is essential to recovery and connecting with others is a good way to alleviate symptoms of depression. With both disorders it is also important to avoid people, places or things that can trigger either your symptoms of depression or your problems with addiction.
In the early days of recovery it can be a lot of pressure to handle both addiction and depression but with professional help and a network of supportive friends it is possible to manage each problem successfully.