Depression and substance abuse are both extremely common conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. However, the phenomenon of both occurring at once or even feeding into each other is nearly as common. Generally, a dual diagnosis treatment at a personalized facility like Liberty Bay Recovery Center is the best choice for someone facing both depression and addiction at the same time.
Generally, it can be difficult to determine whether depression was the root cause of addiction development or whether the struggles of addiction caused the progression of depressive episodes. In addition, once the two have become co-occurring disorders, it can be difficult to disentangle their symptoms and side effects. If you’re struggling with depression and addiction or other co-occurring disorders, call Liberty Bay Recovery at 855.607.8758 to learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program.
What Are Co-Occurring Disorders?
Co-occurring disorders are two or more mental conditions that occur simultaneously and affect each other physically or psychologically. Though there are many common pairings of co-occurring disorders, depression and substance addiction are very often seen together.
Generally, someone struggling with both depression and a substance use disorder will be described as having received a dual diagnosis. However, since there are multiple categories of depression and various types of substance abuse, the signs and symptoms of co-occurring addiction and depression can vary from person to person, depending on their circumstances.
Symptoms of Depression
Around 17 million adults worldwide are currently suffering or have suffered from depression, and the number of people struggling with substance addiction who also experience depression is around one-third. In addition, approximately 17% of adults with depression also abuse alcohol, and about 18% also abuse drugs of some kind.
In many cases, the symptoms of depression can be masked by the symptoms of substance abuse as they can be pretty similar. However, there are a few key signs of depression in regular substance users, including:
- Changes in sleep or appetite
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Lack of interest in hobbies or responsibilities
- Low energy
- Difficulty focusing
- Suicidal ideation or attempts
The nature of the relationship between depression and addiction is bi-directional. This means that people who are depressed are more likely to abuse substances and vice versa. In fact, many people who suffer from depression turn to substances to cope with their symptoms, leading to the development of an addiction.
Signs of Addiction
In many cases, it can be difficult for people to realize that they’ve become dependent on a substance, especially if their substance use is co-occurring with a disorder like depression that can mask the warning signs of addiction. Some of the most common signs of substance addiction include:
- Inability to quit the substance
- Dependence on the substance for emotional or physical stability
- Obsession with the substance
- Lack of interest in other activities
- Changes in behavior or appearance
- Increasingly risky behavior
- Needing larger and larger doses to achieve the desired effect
In many cases, the co-occurrence of depression and addiction can make the signs of substance abuse challenging to see, as they may overlap with depression symptoms.
How to Treat Co-Occurring Depression and Addiction
Working with a professional, be it in a psychiatrist’s office or an inpatient facility, is the best way to face your co-occurring disorders head-on and have a successful recovery process. Though depression is often a lifelong struggle, the symptoms can be significantly alleviated by regular self-care activities like exercise, proper hygiene, talk therapy, meditating, journaling, and the use of antidepressants when prescribed by your doctor. Our Maine rehab offers a number of programs designed to treat co-occurring disorders. A few of these include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Residential drug rehab
- Treatment for depression
You don’t have to face your depression and addiction recovery alone—in fact, you shouldn’t. So let our experienced team at Liberty Bay Recovery Center help you on your journey by calling 855.607.8758.