Drinking and Depression: Dual Diagnosis Treatment
People develop substance addictions for various reasons. Some become addicted to the medication they were originally using to treat chronic pain. Others grow dependent on illicit drugs as a result of peer pressure. Many people become addicted to or dependent on alcohol while trying to cope with anxiety or depression. In any case, addiction is extremely hard to overcome. It is especially difficult to get past an addiction problem when you are also trying to deal with the underlying causes of addiction. Sometimes, people who are fighting addiction are also living with a mental health disorder. Often, depression accompanies alcohol addiction. In other words, drinking and depression often go hand in hand for many individuals. But, why exactly does this happen? Well, there are a couple of different reasons. But, no matter the reason, it’s important to look for professional help that will treat both the mental health disorder and the alcohol use problem.
The Connection Between Drinking and Depression
As we mentioned just a minute ago, there are a few reasons why depressive disorder and alcohol misuse sometimes coexist in a person’s life. But, before we mention some of those reasons, it’s important to say that drinking and depression don’t always come as co-occurring problems for people. More simply put, not everyone who has an alcohol problem will deal with depression and vice versa. However, it’s also important to point out that many people are impacted by both of these issues at the same time. This is why it’s so helpful to learn about how to help people who are dealing with depression and alcoholism. Now, let’s think a little more deeply about why people experience both of these problems together. What exactly is the connection between excessive drinking and depression?
Well, one reason people develop a depressive disorder is through alcohol use. Sometimes, individuals drink often and become dependent on alcohol. As a result, the addiction can cause them to have trouble in various parts of life. For some, relationships are destroyed. In other cases, a person may lose his or her job. Often, alcoholism causes family separation. All of these issues can cause a person to experience depression. On the other hand, depression can actually cause addiction. Sadly, many people are unsure of how to treat depression in their lives. Or, perhaps they feel that therapy isn’t necessary. Others may feel hopeless and helpless, thinking that no one can really help them feel better. And, instead of seeking professional help, they turn to something that will at least give them temporary relief: alcohol. As they begin drinking more frequently and depend on alcohol, they may become addicted to the substance.
Overcoming Substance Abuse and Its Triggers
When you hear about therapy for addiction, you might hear the term “triggers”. These are the things that could drive an individual to return to unhealthy drug and alcohol use. Some types of therapy are dedicated to helping individuals identify and address those triggers. Depression is something that causes a person to relapse. So, treatment should not only focus on helping the individual overcome substance abuse. It should also focus on helping the person to work through depression in their lives. After all, if the individual stops using alcohol but remains untreated for depression, he or she could eventually relapse because of that depression. So, if an individual has a problem with drinking and depression, a dual diagnosis program is the most helpful treatment option. Here at Simple Path Recovery, we work to help clients who are dealing with addiction and other issues, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. So, if you or someone you love could use some help, please contact us today by calling 855-467-3625.