Addiction is a complicated condition. There is no single cause and no single treatment that applies to everyone. Recovery is about more than just stopping drinking or drug use. Addiction affects virtually every part of a person’s life. It is not uncommon for individuals struggling with addiction to also be battling mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety. It is important to address all of these issues in recovery to support long-term change and healing.
Dealing with Depression
Depression itself is another challenging condition, and paired with addiction, it becomes even more essential to seek professional treatment. Even if someone does not have an official diagnosis of depression, he or she may still experience symptoms to some extent, and that can impact addiction. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with feelings of depression, but these substances can exacerbate these symptoms and make people feel worse instead of better. Substance use is a temporary fix and leads to more serious problems.
Each year, National Depression Screening Day is held on the Thursday of the first full week of October. Recognizing the signs of depression can help people to get the treatment they need for recovery. Some signs to be aware of include:
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Poor concentration
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Changes in appetite
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
Treating Depression and Addiction
At Crossroads, all clients undergo mental health screenings to ensure that treatment is tailored to their unique needs. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both addiction and mental health disorders together. It is important that clients understand how depression impacts substance use and vice versa. It can become a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. By treating both conditions concurrently, clients can develop more effective strategies for reducing risk of relapse and building healthier routines in recovery.
Even individuals who are not formally diagnosed with depression can benefit from mental health care while in addiction treatment. Drugs and alcohol alter the way the brain processes information. They also take a toll on families, relationships, careers, finances, and much more. Treating symptoms of depression and supporting clients in developing more positive mental health can benefit quality of life and recovery efforts.
Creating a plan for addressing mental health – such as therapy or counseling, physical activity, meditation, mindfulness, or stress management – can help reduce risk of relapse and support continued progress in recovery. These strategies can also be beneficial in overcoming cravings. Addiction and mental health disorders can go hand-in-hand, but treatment centers such as Crossroads provide clients with comprehensive care to meet their individual needs in recovery.
Be proactive and get screened for depression for an update on your mental health. And if you are struggling with depression or addiction, seek treatment. There is hope and help is available.Don’t let depression take a toll on your life and addiction recovery. Contact Crossroads today about treatment options.