Co-Occurring Depression & Substance Abuse
It’s common for people who enter rehab for substance abuse also suffer from depression. Studies have shown that almost one-third of people who are clinically depressed have abused drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication to help them deal with their depression. This creates a dangerous cycle of co-occurring disorders – the substance use grows into addiction and the depression is never really cured.
If you have depression, this unhealthy pattern may have persisted without you even realizing it. Perhaps you never thought you needed treatment for depression or recognized that your drug and alcohol abuse was triggered by a mood disorder. But once you see the connection, it’s easy to understand the need to treat both issues together.
Depression can be caused by a variety of circumstances, such as the death of a close loved one or another traumatic life event like an injury, illness, or the breakup of a long-term personal relationship. It may also be caused by deep-rooted issues such as a family history of depression or childhood trauma. And it can even be caused by biochemical issues such as a neurochemical imbalance.
Recognizing the signs of clinical depression
Everyone experiences sadness or grief at various stages of life. But in most cases, those feelings lessen over time and until no longer consume you. With depression, however, those feelings may persist for weeks and months, disrupting every aspect of your life.
If you experience five or more of these symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks, you meet the criteria established for clinical depression.
- Suicidal thoughts, or frequent thoughts of death
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Lack of interest in normal activities, such as hobbies or sports
- Outbursts of anger or frustration
- Trouble concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
- Sleep disturbances, including sleeping too much or too little
- Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
- Physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
All of these signs and symptoms should be taken seriously. In addition to contributing to your substance abuse, depression can cause problems in your relationships and home life, and at work or school. Loved ones are also impacted by the effects of your depression.
Treating depression at Harbor Village
At Harbor Village, we understand the importance of treating your depression as part of your overall drug rehab or alcohol rehab program. A recovery plan that addresses both your addiction and your depression has a much greater chance of helping you achieve long-term sobriety.
Our team is experienced in treating depression and other co-occurring mental health disorders discovered through dual diagnosis along with your substance abuse disorder. Through cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and other evidence-based treatment methods, we help you uncover the roots of your depression and learn ways to overcome it without resorting to drugs and alcohol. OUr evidence-based psychotherapies combine counseling, education, and peer support to help you beat your addiction and avoid relapse.
Call Harbor Village today to learn more about how we can treat your depression.