Dual Diagnosis: Depression & Addiction

One in ten Americans suffer from depression. One in twelve Americans have a substance abuse disorder. Those who are afflicted with both depression and substance abuse disorder have what is known as dual diagnoses. Around half of people with substance abuse disorder will experience mental health issues in their lives. Vice versa, around one-third of those with depression will engage in substance abuse at some point.

If it’s not already clear, there is a direct tie between depression and addiction. Both are diseases of the mind, and rather unfortunately, one can easily lead to the other. Those with depression may turn to drugs or alcohol in order to temporarily feel better. Those with substance abuse disorder often lead themselves down a path to depression.

Bluecrest Recovery Center wants to help educate you on some of the symptoms, causes and treatments of depression and addiction. Far too many suffer from these awful diseases, so it’s important to know as much as you can about them. Education can also help remove the stigma that is associated with those who suffer from mental illnesses.

Symptoms and Causes: Depression

Everyone has bad days. Those with diagnosable depression experience a low mood for a long time. According to the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, severe depression is defined as lasting two weeks or longer and impacting daily function. Clinical depression is defined as a persistent feeling of sadness, apathy and/or loss of interest. Symptoms of depression affect many areas of life.

Mood-based Symptoms

  • Hopelessness
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • General discontent
  • Loss of interest
  • Mood swings
  • Guilt
  • Worthlessness

Behavioral/Physical Symptoms

  • Agitation/Irritation
  • Restlessness
  • Social isolation
  • Excessive crying
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss or gain (extreme)
  • Lack of concentration
  • Excessive fatigue

The causes of depression are so widely ranged that they cannot be listed conveniently like symptoms can be. Mental imbalance, genetics, life events, substance abuse, and pre-existing health conditions are among the more common causes. Due to having such a wide range of causation, depression is extremely common. All too often, people with depression turn to substance abuse to ease the pain.

The major issue with this self-medication is that depression will be worsened by substance abuse, creating a vicious cycle. Left untreated, the dual diagnosis of depression and substance abuse disorder can completely ruin lives, if not take them.

Symptoms and Causes: Addiction

The obvious symptom of addiction to intoxicating substances, otherwise known as substance abuse disorder, is abusing drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you know is abusing drugs or alcohol, please give us a call or click today.

Other, less obvious, symptoms of addiction include but are not limited to:

  • Tolerance (requiring more of a substance to achieve desired effects)
  • Withdrawal (becoming sick or unwell once sober from a substance)
  • Remorse (feeling guilty or sad after abusing)
  • Relapse (attempting to quit but failing)

One must first use an addictive substance in order to acquire an addiction, but the causes of addiction are both mental and physical. Repeated use of addictive substances, family history of addiction, pre-existing medical conditions, mental imbalance, and environment all play a role.

Dual Diagnosis

Someone with both depression and substance abuse disorder almost always must recover from depression prior to recovering from addiction. This is because more often than not, the underlying cause of the addiction is the depression. An integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment program is crucial to the well-being of someone with a dual diagnosis.

Bluecrest Recovery Center offers such programs and wants to help. A substance abuse recovery program alone is not enough for those with dual diagnoses. Such patients require inspiration and belief that it’s possible to recover from both diseases. We can identify and heal addictive and depressive behaviors, as well as give you tools you can use to stay sober after you move on from the program.

Don’t delay if you or someone you know suffers from depression or addiction or both. Call Bluecrest Recovery Center today. We’re waiting for you.

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