Overcoming addiction or mental health disorders of any kind is difficult, with many personal challenges, hurdles, and stresses along the way. However, for those challenging the use of drugs or alcohol, feelings of depression can be extremely common, facilitating the need for a personalized approach to recovery. The connection between depression and substance use can be intimate, with both these feelings informing the use of self-destructive coping strategies and adding to the emotional challenges ahead. Understanding their connection is necessary to create an effective approach to professional outpatient treatment available at The Redpoint Center.
The Intimate Relationship Between Depression and Substance Use
It can be difficult for those overcoming either addiction or depression to recognize how interconnected the two can be. Of those with major depressive disorder, some 16.5% also qualify for alcohol use disorder (AUD), and 18% engaged with drugs in an attempt to self-medicate. However, this connection can vary from person to person, and understanding the various ways in which depression and substance use can continue to inform each other is crucial for developing an effective treatment plan in outpatient care.
For some, pervasive feelings of depression and prolonged depressive episodes can cause an individual to feel desperate to get such feelings to stop, and many may turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to push down uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. With others, the pervasive use of addictive substances can make it difficult to regulate their mood, with the emotional effects of addiction having lasting effects and birthing newfound feelings of depression. Regardless of which affected an individual first, it is paramount to develop an outpatient treatment plan that treats them in tandem for the most effective and transformative results.
The Various Forms of Depression
Just as an individual will have their own unique journey with substance use, each person will also experience depression in their own unique way, with depression manifesting differently for each person. There are various forms of depression a person may experience.
This form of depression comes with intense symptoms that can impede a person’s ability to tend to responsibilities or basic needs, affecting workplace performance or attendance, at-home responsibilities, and even a person’s diet or daily hygiene routines. Major depression can make it difficult to even garner the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, with symptoms typically lasting over two weeks.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Also known as “dysthymia,” this form of depression often involves experiencing less severe symptoms than major depressive disorder but over a much longer period of time. While an individual may be able to tend to responsibilities, they may not do so with desired motivation. These symptoms can continue to impact an individual over multiple years until addressed, fundamentally affecting a person’s perspective, mindset, and self-confidence and informing the dangerous use of drugs or alcohol.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This type of depression is often tied to changes in season, impacting an individual at a certain time of year. While most commonly associated with the winter months and dwindling temperatures and daylight impacting a person’s mood, it is also possible to experience summer SAD.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Any form of depression can come with a myriad of challenging symptoms that can inform the use of drugs or alcohol if untreated. Some of the most common symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Compromosied motivation or intense lethargy
- Pervasive feelings of pessimism or doubt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Comprmosied routines, from daily schedules to sleep schedules and appetite
- Mood swings, from sadness to irritation, anger, and frustration
- Intense fatigue
- Disinterest in previous hobbies or interests
- Compromised sense of self-worth or feelings of worthlessness
Other stresses can also lead to depression, from difficulties in the workplace to social stresses. This compromised sense of self can not only inform the use of drugs or alcohol as an attempt to “escape” from these challenges but can also compromise a person’s motivation to pursue treatment or belief that a sober future is possible for them, creating a complicated journey to sobriety that demands professional care.
Finding Treatment for Depression and Substance Use
Depression and substance use are difficult to overcome on their own, let alone simultaneously. Overcoming addiction without addressing symptoms of depression can increase the chance for relapse, while addressing depression without how it is informed by substance use can compromise any otherwise effective coping strategies. The Redpoint Center’s Glenwood Springs location can be instrumental in addressing the symptoms of both depression and addiction simultaneously while creating a personalized program for a transformed sober future.
Our outpatient programs available at Glenwood Springs are designed to incorporate proven and effective mental health treatment to address the signs and symptoms of depression, all while creating a community of healing from addiction for a truly transformative and supportive approach to change. Blending cognitive-behavioral therapies with unique experiential approaches, all backed by a community and atmosphere of acceptance, our approach to professional mental health and addiction treatment can ensure that each program is personalized to address depression and substance use in tandem while continuing to scaffold a healthy daily life.
Depression and substance use are often interconnected, and there is no way to overcome one effectively without addressing the impact of the other. Redpoint’s Glenwood Springs location is prepared to create a personalized treatment plan to address your journey with recovery effectively, overcoming the use of alcohol and drugs and their effects on feelings of depression. With personalized treatment modalities and plans to create a community and atmosphere of healing and acceptance, we are available to help you challenge depression and substance use effectively for a healthy future. For more information on how we can help you, or for more information on how we can personalize your time with us at Glenwood Springs, call us today at (303) 710-8496.