Everybody goes through bad days. Whether it’s because of problems at work, at school, at home or in our relationships, we all experience down times in our lives. For most people who are in recovery, addiction and depression come together during and after treatment. If you’re asking how you can identify and treat addiction and depression in recovery, this article will help you on how you can cope with these problems.
Defining Co-Occurring Disorders
It is important to acknowledge that addiction and depression (and some other mental disorders) are always linked together. This term is called ‘co-occurring disorders,’ which refers to someone who has been diagnosed with a substance abuse issue as well as a mental health disorder. These so-called co-occurring disorders are known to be common, and certain treatment facilities are designed to treat this problem. In fact, these co-occurring disorder treatments have been playing a great role in addiction treatments overall.
Why is Depression Dangerous in Recovery?
Clinical depression can also be called as ‘endogenous depression.’ This is chronic in nature, and it can also be genetically linked. If an individual is experiencing clinical depression, the risk factor of suicide and self-harm rises because of this genetic link. Depression also weakens the immune system of an individual, making them vulnerable to physical aches and pains. Adding alcohol or drug use into the picture makes it worse, increasing the dangers to the emotional and physical health of an individual.
How to Identify Co-Occurring Disorders?
Sometimes, we feel blue and that is temporary. There are differences between clinical depression and situational depression. Situational depression is normal for everybody. It is the response to an event such as the loss of a loved one, or a loss of job. Situational depression is not chronic and genetic. On the other hand, clinical depression can last for two weeks or more, and even longer if gone untreated. If an individual is experiencing clinical depression it will affect their work, relationships, and social functions.
If you or your loved one has an alcohol or drug addiction and you are experiencing five or more of the following symptoms, you may have a co-occurring disorder:
- Feeling of hopelessness or anxiety
- Chronic bodily pain
- Low energy
- Poor concentration
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Lack of sleep or oversleeping
- Self-harm or suicidal attempts
If you or your loved ones have been experiencing these symptoms and you think that there is no hope left, you’re wrong. There is still hope. Treatment centers make customized treatment plans for treating depression as well as addiction in recovery. So if you have these symptoms, no need to worry. There are treatment options that will meet you or your loved one’s needs.
Treatment for Depression in Recovery
How can you cure this co-occurring disorder or this addiction and depression? The treatment for these sometimes include short-term use of antidepressant medicines, commonly for 3 to 6 months. The important factors toward recovery from the combination of depression and addiction may include:
- Individuals developing new attitudes and new ways of thinking
- Motivating individuals to learn and adopt new coping strategies such as cultivating hobbies, learning medication techniques, building strong support groups, and improving social skills
- Understanding the nature of their condition
- Individuals gaining the confidence that recovery from addiction and depression is possible.