How to Get Help if Depression Is Causing Your Addiction

How to Get Help if Depression Is Causing Your Addiction

The road to recovery can feel long. The road could feel even more lonely if you are experiencing a mental health condition and addiction. However, you do not have to travel that road alone. Clinics like Alter Wellness Care provide outpatient treatment programs that can help you.

How do you know if your mental health condition is causing your addiction, specifically if that mental health condition is depression? Links between addiction and depression have been shown in studies throughout the years. Knowing that there could be a link could make a substantial difference in how you go about planning your treatment.

If you have a depressive disorder and are struggling with substance abuse, you could be taking that substance because of your depression. There are options there and ways to know if depression is causing your addiction. Remember, you do not have to battle this fight alone if you are seeking a recovery plan.

What Is a Depressive Disorder?

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, is a severe mood disorder. Having a depressive disorder could cause disruptions to your everyday life, including how you manage work, school, and social activities. 

Symptoms included with this disorder are:

  • Constantly feeling sad or “empty”
  • Feeling hopelessness or severely pessimistic
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities or things you used to enjoy
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, unable to make decisions
  • Changes in appetite; weight loss or weight gain
  • Unexplainable aches and pains, including headaches
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide ideation, or feeling as though you are better off dead
  • Attempting suicide or other harmful behavior

For many dealing with a depressive disorder, their symptoms could go on for more than just a few days. In fact, to be diagnosed with a depressive disorder, you must be feeling at least one of the following symptoms for at least two weeks. Talking to your doctor when knowing there may be something that needs to be addressed is key. The sooner you get help, the less likely it is that your symptoms will get worse over time.

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a chronic and treatable disease plagued by the consistent use of problematic substance or substances. These substances can affect your daily life and how you cope at work, school, or with family and friends. 

Addiction is a disease of the brain that is caused by excessive and repeated use of a substance or substances. This disease is also treatable through programs offered by Alter Wellness Care, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other outpatient and inpatient programs.

The Connection Between Addiction and Depression

Depression can make you feel empty. Those empty feelings may be causing you to use your substance of choice more often because those feelings may subside for a time when you are using them. According to the National Insitute on Drug Abuse, “most drugs affect the brain’s ‘reward circuit,’ causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine.”

They also state that while no single factor can cause a person to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are risk factors that can contribute to this. Risk factors include mental health conditions that often go undiagnosed. This may be because the person is solely focused on their addiction, and it may be hard to see the underlying cause of that addiction.

Thankfully, both addiction and depressive disorders are treatable. Programs that are offered at clinics like Alter Wellness Care provide you with the chance to recover in clinical settings that are safe and specifically meant for people in the recovery process.

Group Therapy Aiding in Addiction and Depression

Support groups have aided those in recovery for years. Headed by a licensed professional counselor, group therapy is a terrific way to combat addiction and depression. Support groups provide support to members while also teaching them interpersonal skills needed to cope and manage their symptoms.

Another form of group therapy is CBT groups, which challenge the thoughts and beliefs that lead you to destructive behaviors. CBT groups are developed to help you gain the skills needed to cope and manage your severe depression symptoms while also helping you on your road to recovery.

Seeking Proper Treatment for Depression and Addiction

Seeking proper treatment for depression and addiction doesn’t have to be a challenge. Knowing if an outpatient program is right for you can be determined when you talk to a licensed mental health professional. Tell them about your symptoms and what you need from therapy. They may even suggest medication that can help you while you continue to utilize the skills you learn in therapy.

If depression is causing your addiction, it is important to seek help right away. Without the proper treatment, your symptoms could get worse over time. There is help and hope out there for you, and you don’t have to walk the road alone.

If you feel alone on the road to recovery and are ready to gain help, reach out to us. Here at Alter Wellness Care, we create a safe and nurturing environment to help you manage your addiction and cope with your mental health condition. Depression and addiction can occur together, and with our CBT-based treatment, group therapy, and other programs, our licensed mental health counselors can help you plan a treatment program that works best for you. Give our team at Alter Wellness Care a call at (866) 311-3510. We look forward to helping you on your road to recovery. You are not alone in this fight, and we are here for you. 

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