The more we learn about substance abuse and mental health disorders, the better we understand the link between them. Mental health professionals call it a dual diagnosis when someone struggles with addiction and a mental health disorder at the same time. If you are living with both depression and a substance use disorder, you may wonder which came first, and how to effectively treat them so you can live a happier, healthier life.
Addiction and Depression: A Chicken-and-Egg Scenario
Does substance abuse cause depression, or vice versa? The answer is that both can be true. Often, the pain of depression leads people to drink or use drugs to mute their negative feelings. Drugs and alcohol can provide temporary relief from the debilitating symptoms of depression. However, you’ll discover these substances are not a genuine solution. Depression comes back, usually worse than before. Once again, you reach for intoxicants, thus deepening the cycle.
By the same token, substance misuse problems may cause people to self-isolate from loved ones, leading to depression and other mood disorders. As the addiction worsens, you could lose interest in the things you once enjoyed. Over time, your relationships with friends, family and colleagues could suffer, exacerbating your symptoms of depression.
Treating Addiction and Depression
People dealing with addiction and depression may discover the symptoms of their dual diagnosis can wax and wane over time. Compared to individuals who are only living with one of these disorders, those with addiction and psychiatric disorders may experience more challenges in therapy, and may also require more time to treat. Despite these hurdles, recovery is within your reach.
The past approach to treating a dual diagnosis often involved deciding which to tackle first, then treating them separately. However, we now know that this method is often ineffective, and in the worst-case scenario, can lead to a relapse. Finding relief from co-occurring depression and addiction requires a tactic called integrated intervention, where you can get help for both disorders at the same time. Using a combination of proven methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and experiential therapy, treatment professionals can design a tailored program to help you address the root causes of your addiction and depression and learn to manage both simultaneously.
Your Life Is in Your Hands
At Segue Recovery Support, we know addiction is a chronic disease that requires a complete continuum of care. Our philosophy is that people can learn to heal themselves from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, but they require a complete support system to do so.
In many cases, people get discharged from their recovery program, only to find that they weren’t quite ready to resume their pre-treatment lifestyle. We provide a bridge between addiction rehabilitation and the world beyond with our high-accountability sober living environment. Protect the progress you’ve made and free yourself from the physical, mental and spiritual burdens of substance abuse at our sober living facility in Texas. Learn more today.