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How Addiction Can Worsen Depression

a person struggling with addiction and depression covers their face as they sit on a floor

Addiction and depression are two of the most common mental health issues worldwide. Unfortunately, they often co-exist, creating a vicious cycle that can be challenging to break without professional help. Managing substance abuse and your mental health is possible, and you don’t have to do it on your own.

Evoke Wellness at San Marcos offers dual diagnosis treatment that helps patients learn to overcome their substance use and manage their mental health. Our team treats both conditions simultaneously to promote long-term recovery. Call 888.450.2285 now to get help.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Are Connected

The cycle of substance abuse is deeply tied to your mental health. Trying to cope with an addiction can trigger depressive symptoms, while depression can fuel substance abuse as a form of self-medication. When addiction and depression occur at the same time, they’re referred to as co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis.

Trying to break free from the grip of substances without addressing your emotions and behaviors often leads to relapse. Learning to prioritize healing yourself as a whole can help you find the right type of dual diagnosis treatment.

How Addiction Intensifies Depression

Addiction drastically affects your emotions and mental health. The dopamine cycle is especially impacted. Dopamine is the brain chemical responsible for feelings of pleasure, motivation, and reward. When you use drugs or alcohol, dopamine floods your system and creates an intense high.

However, with continued substance abuse, your brain’s ability to produce dopamine on its own decreases. This leads to a reduced ability to experience joy or excitement without using substances. As a result, depression can set in as you feel unable to find pleasure in everyday activities.

This restarts the cycle of substance use, where you try to escape the negative feelings of depression by drinking or using drugs.

How Depression Fuels Addiction

On the other hand, depression can also fuel addiction. As mentioned earlier, individuals may use substances as a form of self-medication to cope with their depressive symptoms. This can create a dangerous cycle where they rely on substances to numb their emotions and temporarily escape their reality. However, this only provides short-term relief and can worsen the symptoms of depression in the long run.

Depression can fuel addiction whether it was an issue prior to the initial substance use or did not onset until after. In some cases, individuals may turn to substances as a way to cope with trauma or other underlying mental health issues that have contributed to their depression. It’s crucial to address these underlying issues in order to break the cycle of addiction and depression.

The Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Managing addiction and depression through a dual diagnosis program offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Simultaneous treatment – Addressing both conditions at the same time increases the chances of long-term recovery. By focusing on treating the root causes and triggers of addiction and depression, individuals can learn healthier coping mechanisms and find lasting relief.
  • Individualized care – Dual diagnosis treatment takes a personalized approach to each patient’s unique needs. This means that you receive tailored therapy and support based on your specific struggles, making it easier to manage both conditions effectively.
  • Holistic treatment – Dual diagnosis programs often incorporate a variety of therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and holistic practices like mindfulness and yoga. This comprehensive approach addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of recovery.
  • Supportive environment – Dual diagnosis treatment provides a safe and supportive environment where individuals can openly discuss their struggles and receive guidance from trained professionals. This creates a sense of community and accountability, which are vital for long-term recovery.

Addiction and depression can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to face them alone. Evoke Wellness at San Marcos offers professional treatment that can help you find a better way forward.

Call Evoke Wellness at San Marcos Now

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and depression, it’s essential to seek help from a dual diagnosis treatment program. At Evoke Wellness at San Marcos, our team of experts is dedicated to helping individuals overcome their challenges and find lasting recovery. Call 888.450.2285 or contact us online now and take the first step forward.