Avoiding Therapy to Avoid Being Labeled Depressed or Addicted
Fear of being labeled as an addict is a common reason people avoid drug addiction therapy. There is a fear of the social stigma attached to needing treatment, and there is also the fear of stigma attached to depression. Many people feel that they should be able to solve their problems and that needing help is a sign of weakness.
Therapy for Depression and Addiction Is Important
Both depression and addiction have been recognized by medical science as diseases. Both conditions are common to modern life and are often the result of environmental, situational and experiential factors. When addiction or depression occur, these mental health issues produce chemical as well as psychological changes in the brain. These changes are a medical problem, and a person suffering from one or both of these diseases cannot cure themselves by sheer force of will.
Not so many years ago it was common for people to advise someone suffering from depression to simply “cheer up.” The idea that depression is something you can simply get over still pervades the public consciousness, but this view is not realistic. It fails to recognize the true nature of the disease and the effect it has on the sufferer and can cause people to avoid the treatment that could put an end to their struggles.
Drug addiction and recovery are also accompanied by misperceptions. People think that addiction only happens to those in the fringe element of society, recreational users and those looking to “get high.” The fact is that addiction can happen to anyone and often occurs as a result of legitimate medical use of a drug. Many drugs produce a strong physical dependency after a relatively short period of regular use. Once addiction has occurred, stopping use can produce extremely unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to stop using the drug.
Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Addiction and Depression
Drug addiction and depression are often co-occurring disorders. Depression is a common side effect of drug addiction, and drug addiction can be a result of depression. It can be difficult to determine which one came first or if one caused the other, but it is common for addiction and depression to amplify and perpetuate one another.
Recognition of co-occurring disorders such as depression coupled with addiction is known as a Dual Diagnosis. The best option for treating co-occurring disorders is integrated treatment. Integrated treatment addresses all aspects of the patient’s psychological and physical health and explores underlying causes of depression and addiction. The patient will gain an understanding of who he or she is and the factors that led to depression and addiction, will learn healthier ways of living, adapting and coping with stress and will learn to recognize and avoid situations that could trigger relapse.
Help with Depression or Addiction
Don’t let fear of what others will think stop you from getting the treatment you need. There is no shame in getting help for depression or addiction. Professional treatment can help you recover from these devastating conditions. If you or someone you know needs treatment for addiction or depression, call us. Our number is toll free, and we are available 24 hours a day.