All human beings have ups and downs. Whether it involves work, family, or relationships, there are times in your life that throw you for a loop or aren’t quite what you had planned. For some, getting through these periods is not insurmountable.
For those with depression and anxiety, however, the challenge is not only very real, but it can also be much more dangerous because of the link between mental health issues and substance abuse.
When a person has both an alcohol or drug problem and a mental health issue, it is referred to as a co-occurring disorder. As if dealing with your addiction recovery is not enough of a challenge already, a dual diagnosis can complicate both identifying and treating issues properly. If left untreated, the consequences can be severe.
Fortunately, there are drug addiction treatment programs specifically designed to address co-occurring disorders.
Depression, Anxiety and Addiction
Having a mental health issue like depression or anxiety often drives people to develop a substance use disorder. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that people with mood or anxiety disorders are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder.
Why? The emotional pain from depression and anxiety often drives people to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. As the drug and alcohol use continues, it becomes compulsive and establishes a pattern of addiction that is nearly impossible to break. In many cases, the symptoms of depression and anxiety not only are not relieved by the substance use, but they could even worsen.
Leaving depression and anxiety untreated, particularly with a co-occurring addiction disorder, can be dangerous. For example, patients who suffer from clinical depression face a higher risk of self-harm, suicide, and accidental injury. Getting into a reputable addiction recovery program that specializes in co-occurring disorders is recommended.
Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
The difficult thing about using alcohol and drugs while suffering from a mental health issue is that the symptoms are difficult to pinpoint. Sometimes a short period of sobriety is required to make a true assessment and find a dual diagnosis. Here are just a few signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The common signs of depression include feeling hopeless, having sleep changes, loss of interest in activities, and a loss of energy. You may also have appetite changes and problems concentrating. Common signs of anxiety are excessive worrying, insomnia, headaches, nausea, irritability, and restlessness.
Drug Addiction Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
Depression, anxiety, and addiction rarely resolve themselves on their own. If you or a loved one needs help with a co-occurring disorder, professional intervention is usually required to begin the process of addiction recovery.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that these issues are highly treatable with a combination of therapies that include medication management and behavioral modification strategies. The Recovery Village offers an integrated substance abuse treatment program that combines care for both mental health issues and all substance use disorders. Patients not only receive education about their conditions but are also given the tools and strategies to strengthen their addiction recovery program. Contact us to learn more about our treatment programs for co-occurring disorders.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.