Depression and Addiction

Living with depression and addiction takes specialized treatment for recovery. Our mental health counselors and physicians are experienced in testing, therapy, medications and counseling to help you better manage your depression in a way that improves the chances for long-term sobriety. You no longer need to feel alone or hopeless about your situation.

How is Depression Related to Addiction?

Studies have shown a strong link between depression and substance use and addiction. One of the most respected efforts was performed at Harvard School of Public Health in which 15,000 people across the country were tracked. A correlation between depression and substance use tendencies was identified, and this has strengthened approaches for co-managing the mental health condition and addiction.

What are the Signs of Depression?

Depression is a common human experience, and mental health professionals categorize depression diagnoses as chronic or situational. A person living with depression may feel hopeless, unenthusiastic, tired and sad. The condition affects every aspect of a person’s life, and unfortunately, those around them may not understand and choose to keep a distance. The isolation worsens the symptoms and may send someone deeper into depression.

Common signs of clinical depression are:

  • Feeling “stuck”
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Poor sleep patterns, such as sleeping too much or too little
  • Changes in appetite
  • Low self-esteem and self-value
  • Mental confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Having little to no interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Very low energy and motivation

What are the Risk Factors for Depression?

Depression can affect anyone, but those who are diagnosed with clinical depression may have a history of:

  • Dysfunctional family life in early childhood
  • Numerous failed relationships
  • Poor performance in school and work
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor social skills that lead to feelings of isolation and not fitting in
  • Being teased as a child

How is Depression Diagnosed?

The differences between situational and chronic depression must be understood prior to diagnosing someone as chronically or clinically depressed. Having a difficult period in life is normal and does not necessarily mean that someone is depressed. Our mental health counselors are trained to recognize the signs of depression and recommend treatment that complements addiction recovery.

How Does Depression Affect Addiction?

A person living with clinical depression may choose to use drugs or alcohol to alleviate the symptoms or escape life in general. Some people with the condition also use drugs and alcohol as a way of feeling accepted by others. Because these behaviors generate a type of positive result, addiction can soon take control of the person’s life.

What Treatment is Available for Depression and Addiction?

In many cases, depression can be treated through appropriate counseling that builds life skills. Some people, though, do require medications to manage their symptoms so they can focus on overcoming the addiction. We begin with a thorough mental health assessment that helps us understand your limitations, both in life skills and in managing depression. Our approach to treatment is based upon a combined plan that manages your depression and addresses addiction so that you are better equipped to maintain sobriety.

Depression makes life feel hopeless, and like many other people, you may rely on drugs and alcohol to alleviate your symptoms. If addiction has taken control of your life because of your depression, contact us to schedule an assessment with one of our mental health counselors.

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