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The Link Between Addiction And Depression

Woman experiencing the link between addiction and depression

While it’s very common to experience periods of low mood from time to time, actual depression can be quite debilitating. Many people live with depression, so if you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone and help is available. There is often a link between addiction and depression so, when seeking a depression treatment program, consider dual diagnosis offerings. In this way, you can receive care for both conditions simultaneously. This reduces the odds of relapse in one area triggering relapse in the other.

Call 888.483.6031 to speak with a representative from Northpoint Seattle in Washington State for more information. Our center offers dual diagnosis for addiction and depression, as well as a host of other mental health treatments.

How Addiction Impacts Depression

Addiction and depression often go hand in hand and the direction of causality runs both ways. Some drugs, especially alcohol, are notorious depressants, worsening the incidence of clinical depression with prolonged use. Substances like alcohol, barbiturates, and opioids depress the central nervous system, compromising cardiovascular activity and causing slowed neurological response. When tolerance to such a drug forms, the brain can effectively “forget” how to regulate its mood-boosting chemicals for itself. This results in depression and other difficult emotional effects.

On the other side of things, many people with existing depression may take drugs as a way of self-medicating. For instance, some people may drink for the “buzz” it initially provides even though alcohol ultimately increases depression. Stimulants like amphetamines can also be a popular choice among depressed people since they temporarily manage low feelings. Sadly, in the long term, abusing any drug can never substitute for adequate mental health care. Moreover, many addictive substances alter brain chemistry and harm the organs with extended use, making dangerous choices long-term.

Many of the same factors underlie both addiction and depression, including genetics. Having immediate family members struggling with either or both concerns puts people at heightened risk. Moreover, developmental events can contribute to both conditions, especially childhood or adolescent exposure to trauma or extreme stress. Finally, major life stressors at any age can contribute to both depression and addiction. For instance, a person going through a divorce often faces both depression and a temptation to self-medicate with addictive substances.

What Happens in a Rehab for Substance Abuse and Depression

Dual diagnosis rehab for substance abuse and depression typically features several key components, including:

  • Supervised detox from any substances you’re currently using and chemically addicted to
  • Individual counseling utilizing techniques that help you take charge of your inner landscape by reframing negative self-talk
  • Mindfulness training to help build resilience to challenging thoughts and emotions through cultivated present-moment focus
  • Group therapy, where you gain support through peer conversations and mutual accountability
  • Nutrition counseling to aid physical recovery from the disease of addiction
  • Movement offerings like yoga or wilderness therapy expeditions to provide physical coping outlets
  • Creative expression, such as art or music therapy to help harness the power of unconscious processing
  • Relapse prevention planning through goal-setting, building infrastructure for a safe home life, and potentially enrolling in sober living accommodations
  • Alumni programs where rehab graduates can stay in touch, enjoy support groups, and take part in regular sober recreational activities or volunteer work

The connection between addiction and depression is strong but with the support of experienced professionals like those at Northpoint Seattle, patients can start their journey to recovery.

Learn More About Addiction and Depression and Begin Getting Help Today By Calling Northpoint Seattle

Depression and substance abuse have been strongly linked for centuries. If you are living with one or both conditions, remember support is just a phone call away. Call Northpoint Seattle at 888.483.6031 or use our online contact form to get started. Our caring team can provide you with information about our range of programs for addiction and conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and more.