When people do not address the reasons behind their depression, they may find that it becomes unavoidable and insidious. What may have lasted a few hours begins to last a full day. They find themselves waking up with feelings they cannot deal with and are left unable to get through their day. These people may begin using drugs or alcohol outside of their intended purpose to help them achieve relief from their depressive symptoms
People may feel that they cannot exist without their medications, legal or illegal, and will take more and more to mediate the side effects of depression. The end result is a person that cannot function normally in society without the substance. They may be so self-medicated that they cannot complete work or socialize.
Often a person with depression has two things working against them:
- A chemical imbalance in the brain
- Unaddressed past trauma
Considering that depression only builds on itself when people do not seek treatment, the cycle of depression and addiction will likely continue until addressed.
What Are Co-occurring Disorders?
There is a name for when someone has both substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental health disorder: co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. A co-occurring disorder means that an individual has multiple problems affecting them simultaneously. This can be applied to those with mental health issues such as depression. When someone has depression, they may develop other mental health issues such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
There are others as well, but these are just a handful that could be diagnosed along with any depressive issues.
The Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Though a dual diagnosis may sound a bit intense, this diagnosis can be quite helpful. It means that medical professionals have identified that the person may have even more problems as they are suffering from mental health and addiction issues.
The treatment for dual diagnosis is rather straightforward. It will involve individual therapy, group therapy, and non-traditional therapies. The goal is to address the two pieces separately and then show the person how they relate to each other.
This part of the recovery program will focus primarily on the roots of depression and any other mental health issues. A medically-trained therapist will delve into these issues and develop a plan for individuals to deal with them. This will involve where one has been and where one plans to be. It is important to look ahead and understand why a plan is so important. Post-recovery planning can often mean the difference between healthy living and a relapse.
In group therapy, individuals meet other people with similar issues. When it comes to depression, group therapy can introduce people to others who are dealing with addiction for the same reasons. For some people, the concept of discussing their depression with others can seem daunting and unappealing. However, when individuals work with a group of like-minded people, they can find confidence in camaraderie.
It can be helpful to know that there are others who not only feel the same way but want individuals with similar struggles to succeed. With smaller groups, those in recovery develop bonds that aid their journey. These relationships may be essential to emerging from long-standing depression.
Humans are social creatures. When we see someone we can relate to, it may seem scary to reach out to them, especially if we have mental health issues holding us back. However, in recovery, we are free to be vulnerable. When we find ourselves among others at their most unguarded, we can feel comfortable knowing there is no real risk in developing connections.
Recovery programs do not need to be scary, stodgy places. They are not all hospital-like, boring institutions. In fact, some places offer a variety of helpful, non-traditional therapies that can add to the experience.
Some of these therapies include:
- Expressive art therapy
- Group activities
- Equine therapy
This is only a short list of possible alternate therapies. Each recovery facility will offer its own therapies depending on its location and the extent of its program.
How Twilight Recovery Center Can Help
At Twilight Recovery Center, we are dedicated to helping people with their issues. Whether this is addiction or a dual diagnosis, our knowledgeable and dedicated staff are ready to show people the path to better health.
We are very much aware of the effects that depression can have on a person’s psyche. When depression is long-standing and based on trauma, it can easily lead to addictive behaviors. At Twilight Recovery Center, we are prepared to give every individual the care they need to deal with their depression and any addiction issues that come with it.
When someone is depressed, they may begin using drugs and alcohol as a way to dull their pain or cover up their symptoms. The problem is that once the addiction takes over, depression may get worse. This cycle where depression causes a need for illicit substances followed by those very substances causing depression can seem never-ending. When depression goes unaddressed, it is difficult for the individual to break free of the cycle. For this reason, people need to know that help exists, often in the form of recovery treatment centers. Twilight Recovery Center is ready to accept those with dual diagnoses. Call us today for more information about co-occurring disorders and how we can help at (888) 414-8183.