The connection between our mental and physical being is a strong one. When your brain is experiencing depression, it can sap all of the energy out of your body too. Many of depression’s symptoms are what drive those who suffer from it to substance abuse in the first place. According to a study in 2020, over 21 million Americans stated that they had experienced depression lasting more than two weeks at least once in their life.

What this means is that there’s a large pool of potential substance abusers that may or may not be aware that they’re at a higher risk of developing an addiction to drugs or other harmful substances. This chance can increase in the winter months as seasonal affective disorder starts to kick in, further adding to the number of people at risk. Battling depressive thoughts and low moods are already hard enough without the added concern of leaning too heavily on drug use to cope with the symptoms.

Depression Is More Than Sadness

Everyone has high’s and low’s in their daily life, but this doesn’t mean that everyone gets depressed randomly each day. Depression lasts for long periods of time and can happen throughout one’s life, even if they get mental health therapy from a psychologist and therapist. It’s a lifelong condition just like addiction, leading to an increase in popularity for addiction treatment that addresses co-occurring disorders.

There’s no denying that part of depression is a general sense of dread and sadness at all times, even when doing something that would normally be enjoyable. Other symptoms that can come with depression are:

  • Lack of focus and concentration
  • Trouble creating or accessing memories
  • No motivation to perform daily responsibilities
  • Poor self-image and care
  • Anxious actions like nail biting or tapping on your desk

A major depressive episode, or MDE, will see at least some of these symptoms present in the individual for at least three weeks. A diagnosis for major depression will further require multiple of these episodes occurring over a span of time, typically multiple months or years. Other forms of depression can stem from traumatic events that have taken the joy out of life when the mind doesn’t know how to react to something so jarring.

Especially concerning for young adults and children who are still developing, the presence of depression makes it more likely that someone will seek out drug use as a form of self-medication. This is true for any mental illness, but depression seems to be one of the most common sources of mental illness that’s met with drug or alcohol abuse.

The Answer Is a Dual Diagnosis

If you or a loved one want to overcome addiction while experiencing another mental health disorder, specialized treatment is required from an experienced team. Combining addiction treatment methods such as medical detox along with various modalities of therapy helps create custom care that identifies triggers and tackles the root causes of anything causing you mental distress.

Without this care, regular rehab can leave you still struggling to handle your depression which can quickly lead to relapse. While relapse is extremely common for those in recovery, it’s crucial to get the right help to minimize the chances of further relapse. The reason it’s so important to receive comprehensive treatment is that a majority of cases of addiction will have painful or even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms associated with the detox process.

Get the Help You Need Today

Are you ready to find treatment for yourself or a loved one? We encourage you to reach out to America’s Rehab Campus to learn more about how we can help those facing the challenges of co-occurring disorders. With a team of recovery specialists and a network of aftercare relapse prevention professionals, your success is our top priority.