Depression and Addiction are Often Linked

Everybody has bad days and most people go through periods of depression or sadness. However, Depression is diagnosed when people are unable to shake those sad, numb or hopeless feelings for a long period of time. A depressed person may lose interest in everyday life and activities they normally find enjoyable. They may feel anxious, sad or empty. They often have trouble getting up in the morning and experience a slight mood lift in the afternoons.

Depression and addiction often go hand-in-hand. The best treatment for this co-occurring disorder addresses both issues simultaneously and sets the person on a life free of depression and addiction.
Specialized treatment for addiction and depression offers the best opportunity for recovery.

  • It can be difficult to determine which came first – the depression or the addiction. However, an in-depth evaluation with a trained addiction specialist can help sort through events and feelings to reveal the progression of both illnesses
  • Addiction often occurs first; depression occurs when addiction triggers feelings of hopelessness, guilt, shame, anger, anxiety and fear.
  • Recovery may take longer if depression preceded the addiction, but treatment is critical because people with depression show a higher risk for suicide and are more likely to relapse.
  • Depressed people often become addicted when they turn to drugs or alcohol to feel better. Unfortunately, the good feelings last only a short time and matters become much worse when more and more of the substance or behavior is required to sustain the good feelings.
  • Addiction and depression become powerfully linked over time, as one exacerbates the other.
  • Treating addiction without treating depression doesn’t work because sooner or later, the depressed feelings eventually return, usually closely followed by relapse.
  • Addiction and depression are chronic illnesses, not signs of weakness or lack of character. Both are influenced by complex environmental, social, biological, and psychological factors.
  • Depression and addiction each suppress the immune system, making the person more susceptible to physical illness. They are usually accompanied by symptoms such as insomnia or digestive disorders.
  • Effective treatment addresses depression and addiction concurrently with one comprehensive, manageable, strategic treatment plan. Treatment must involve individually tailored therapy, not one person is the same. Often, restoring the body and brain through orthomolecular medicine is a first and helpful step, a depleted body cannot support a healthy mind. Psychotherapy, counseling, family therapy and complementary approaches such as meditation, Yoga, mindfulness training, art-therapy, acupuncture, reflexology and massages are all part and parcel of a holistic approach towards healing.
  • Treatment makes a significant impact, improving quality of life for clients and their families.
  • If you or a loved one is currently struggling with depression and addiction, we can help you work through your problems in a caring, supportive and strictly nonjudgmental therapeutic environment.

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