Depression and Addiction: The Double Whammy of a Dual Diagnosis
The unfortunate reality of life is that one negative thing can easily spin off into another. This is certainly true in the case of depression and addiction. A depressed individual is more likely to lean on their dependencies, and these dependencies can then lead to a worsening of depression.
It’s a vicious cycle that can be incredibly difficult to break through and overcome. Many people across the country fall prey to this terrible cycle. Many people also overcome it, and you can too if you’ve been hit with a dual diagnosis.
There are many steps to take on the road to recovery, but the first is just learning and understanding the link between these two things. The information below can help.
The Link Between Depression and Addiction
Depression and addiction can both be incredibly difficult challenges for people to work through. They both inflict pain on hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.
Having to fight off the power of both at the same time can be very difficult, and the difficult road one has ahead if they hope to overcome should not be understated. The suicide rate for those suffering from both of these diseases is high.
Factors of Depression and Addiction
Both depression and alcoholism can be difficult to predict or trace. Traumatic events can often lead to these behaviors, but the causes can vary greatly from person to person.
What makes the relationship between these two elements so difficult? Depression tends to act as a relapse trigger. People suffering from depression will turn to anything to help mitigate the debilitating feelings associated with mental disease.
Often, alcohol and drugs become the easiest tools to use to handle this pain. This is especially true if the individual has a past dependency on these substances.
It’s important, then, that the treatment an individual receives speaks to both of these problems and not just one. Having a lopsided approach to the stages of recovery can only lead to a large chance of relapse later on.
Understanding Treatment Options
When suffering from this dual diagnosis, it’s easy to feel helpless. The idea of treatment might feel far-off and seem impossible at best. Pointless, possibly.
However, it’s essential that an inflicted individual remember that treatment can help and it can help immensely. Even if treatment can’t resolve the issues at the root of these problems completely, proper treatment can greatly improve one’s quality of life.
Many who have gone through treatment have come out on the other side with the ability to return to their lives and get sober. That doesn’t mean there aren’t struggles or that the chance of a relapse isn’t impossible. However, it is possible to make forward strides.
There are so many options out there for the treatment of both depression and addiction. There are so many, in fact, that it may feel difficult to know where to start.
Treatments in the modern era continue to grow and expand. Our understanding of the issues has only increased over the past two decades, and the overall cultural understanding of these issues has grown and become more accepted.
Many people who suffer from depression these days are given antidepressants. The antidepressants we have today are better and safer than those given to people in the past. Many people see great improvement after taking antidepressants.
One also might participate in more cutting edge techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. This is a noninvasive brain stimulation that can help to create different feelings in the brain and shake off some of the medical elements of depression.
You can tap certain neural pathways this way that can help lead to some element of depression relief. Similar work is also being done to fight off addiction tendencies within the brain and body.
Get the Treatment You Need
One of the most common problems facing those who do make the move to get help? They don’t spend enough time in treatment.
This is often because treatment can be time-consuming and expensive. However, going to treatment for too little time can be a waste of resources altogether. You might not get the extent of help that you really need.
It is important that suffering individuals are properly educated on the need for ongoing treatment. This isn’t something you can just will away between ten and thirty days.
Treatment and therapy are really about the process of learning about depression and addiction and how to cope. These coping mechanisms will need reinforcement over a person’s lifetime.
Treatment effectiveness will also vary from person to person. While one person might be able to enter some stage of remission after a small window of time, another individual might take much longer. This isn’t to say that the second individual is any weaker or ill-willed. It’s simply a complicated and difficult process.
Each small step forward should be considered a big victory. Changing our mindsets about what treatment is and what one’s relationship should be to it can be a big help.
Only by looking towards the idea of long-term or life-long treatment can one really change their ways in a way that can be long-standing and deeply impactful.
Depression and Addiction Recovery
Everyone has problems, but those suffering from depression and addiction will need to put in extra work to overcome this difficult dual diagnosis. The first step in the process is simply learning about and accepting the dangerous link between these two diseases.
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