Everyone gets the blues now and then. When those feelings of melancholy and despair linger for weeks, not days, it can be a sign of something more serious. Depression affects 1 in 10 Americans, but the depression rate among those struggling with addiction is even higher. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 21 percent of those suffering from depression report abusing substances, nearly three times the rate of those who are not depressed.
Depression can make recovering from addiction more challenging. However, it does not mean you should lose hope. Addiction and depression can be treated, and you can find your way to sober living. Here’s what you need to know about depression and addiction.
Signs of Depression
The key thing to remember about depression is that it is different than occasional sadness.
Depression is an all-encompassing feeling of despair. You may feel life is not worth living anymore. You may feel like you are just going through the motions. Signs of depression include:
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Losing or gaining a lot of weight in a short period of time
- Suicidal thoughts
- Inability to concentrate
- Finding tasks that were once easy impossibly hard to complete
- Becoming irritable or aggressive
Many individuals who suffer from co-occurring mental disorders such as depression seek comfort by abusing alcohol or drugs. The lift in mood or numbing of feelings provided by these substances offers temporary relief, but these are patterns that can lead to addiction.
Soon you may find yourself battling both depression and addiction. Luckily, you can find help.
Addiction and Depression: Seeking Treatment
Depression may feel defeating, but it can be treated. The first step is admitting to yourself that you have a problem and you need assistance. Many suffering with addiction don’t realize they are also depressed, and vice versa. You may seek treatment for one problem and end up discovering another.
At Clarity Way, you can work with counselors who have experience treating both depression and addiction. Avoid rehab centers that have no experience with co-occurring mental disorders, as they will not be able to address your problems effectively.
Most importantly, don’t blame yourself for your depression. It doesn’t make you weak, worthless, or crazy. Like addiction, depression is a disease but you can fight it.
Recovering From Depression
You’re in this for the long haul. Recovery from addiction and depression depends on a combination of treating the underlying reasons for depression and addiction, continuing with therapy for as long as necessary, and surrounding yourself with people who will support your sober lifestyle.
The most important step you can make is reaching out for help. Contact Clarity Way today to start working towards a happy, sober lifestyle.