It’s a fact. Depression and drug abuse go hand in hand. What makes this so difficult is that for people struggling with depression, getting sober is more challenging than normal.
Depression And Drug Abuse: Which Comes First?
It can go either way. It’s common for drugs and alcohol to become a way of coping with the symptoms of depression. In this case, the depression comes first. The person is desperately seeking relief from the constant hopelessness, lack of motivation and low self-esteem. Unfortunately, while alcohol and drugs may feel like a solution and give a sense of temporary relief, the end result is worsened depression.
Other times, people develop depression as a result of substance abuse. This can occur due to chemical imbalance as well as life challenges and consequences of using, as well as in response to trauma.
Either way, it’s important that depression is addressed. When someone is diagnosed with both depression and drug abuse, it’s called having a co-occurring disorder.
The Challenges Of Co-Occurring Disorders
For people struggling with co-occurring disorders, the statistics are often discouraging. Many times, relapse after treatment is due to unaddressed mental health conditions. It’s important when seeking treatment that any mental health problems such as depression, trauma and anxiety are treated along with the addiction.
When these issues aren’t dealt with, the result is often relapse. People do well in treatment, complete their programs and leave full of hope, only to go back to using a short time later. This happens because they experience a reoccurrance of symptoms and turn to old coping mechanisms to help alleviate them.
When depression is treated and managed, patients are far more likely to experience sustained recovery. They leave treatment with tools and education. They understand their depression, and how using substances only leads to a worsening of their conditioning. They are able to manage their depression through a combination of strategies, support, healthy lifestyle, and if necessary, medication. It’s important that patients leaving treatment have a solid plan in place not just for continuing their addiction recovery, but for continuing their recovery from depression as well.
You Can Recover From Depression And Drug Abuse
When in the midst of the struggle, it can feel like there is no relief in sight, but there is. Quality treatment that addresses not just the addiction but also the mental and emotional health of the patient is vital to success. If you are struggling with addiction and depression, contact Atlantic Recovery Center today. The help you need is a phone call away.