It is a common fact that addiction and depression go hand in hand. SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) statistics say that about 8.9 million adults have what’s called a “co-occurring disorder,” which means they have both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder.
Unfortunately, a co-occurring disorder is one of the most difficult disorders to treat. Not only do many people not know which came first, but many also don’t get treated for either depression or drug addiction. According to SAMHSA, a mere 7.4 percent of people get treated for both conditions, and a whopping 55.8 percent get no treatment at all.
We offer dual diagnosis treatment for those with co-occurring mental health conditions and addiction. By treating depression and drug addiction at the same time, we aim to help you get and stay sober.
A Debilitating Disorder
Depression can be debilitating. According to NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health), signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling sad or anxious
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling guilty
- Easily irritated
- Loss of interest in what used to be fun activities
- Feeling tired
- Difficulty focusing or making decisions
- Changes in sleep patterns, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Changes in eating patterns, including eating more or eating less
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Headaches or other pains that don’t go away with treatment
Anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder often occur alongside depression—making your treatment needs even more specialized.
Untangling Depression and Drug Addiction
Often, it’s hard for people to tell which came first: Do I drink or use because I’m depressed, or am I depressed because I drink or use (or, am constantly in withdrawal, which can feel like depression)? Many use drugs and alcohol in an attempt to “self-medicate.” In other words, they treat their depression with the “high” of using or drinking—which inevitably offers only temporary relief.
“With each bout of depression, the sufferer may feel a type of emotional blunting or, worse, find his mind crowded with all the old bad feelings—hopelessness, anxiety, preoccupation, dread, fear, self-loathing—often leading to sleep and appetite issues and spurring a turn to alcohol or other drugs for relief,” Dr. David Sack writes in a column for Psychology Today.
Depression can be a relapse trigger—even if you’ve gotten sober, you are at risk of relapse if your depression went untreated. “In fact, studies have found that it’s the single biggest predictor of alcohol relapse,” Sack says.
Cornerstone dual diagnosis treatment program
The dual diagnosis treatment program at Cornerstone Recovery Center focuses on treating both depression and drug addiction through effective behavioral therapies and medications—aimed at long-term mental health and sobriety. Based on a 12-step model but also offering alternative approaches, our center has a diverse staff specializing in co-occurring addiction and depression.