Challenges in Treating Depression and Anxiety
Alcoholism or drug addiction and depression go hand-in-hand. This makes it a challenge for individuals to successfully embrace sobriety, because they tend to turn to substances as an unhealthy method of self-medication.
Questions to Ask Yourself about Depression and Anxiety
Are you unsure whether or not you are dealing with both addiction and mental health concerns? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I drink because I am depressed? Depression goes beyond just feeling a bit sad. It is an all-encompassing condition that can leave a person feeling completely lost, alone and without hope.
- Do I drink when I am sad? Does a major upset from work or your personal life send you toward alcohol? Many people use alcohol as a method of trying to numb negative feelings.
- Do I drink when I am stressed? Unexpected or increased levels of stress can send a person beyond his or her coping abilities and lead toward using alcohol as an additional coping tool.
- Do I drink when I am worried? Worrying about an upcoming event or situation can be just one more factor sending a person towards seeking comfort and reassurance from alcohol.
If you are concerned about your drug use, replace alcohol with your substance of choice in the above questions. Addiction, anxiety and depression are challenging to treat, but, without treating all aspects of a person’s mental health problems, sobriety will remain out of reach.
Treating the Whole Person
A challenge that can present itself when treating co-occurring disorders like depression and alcoholism is convincing the person struggling with these two very individual yet related concerns that both of them need to be treated. Depression and anxiety are not the only two mental health disorders that an addicted individual may be dealing with on a daily basis. The following are two other disorders that are commonly related to addiction:
- Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder can lead to erratic behavior that leaves the person unable to cope in many areas of his or her life. Drug use may play a huge role in his or her attempts to self-medicate.
- Manic depression: When a person is dealing with a manic downswing, he or she may turn to alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate and numb the emotions that he or she is dealing with.
A Dual Diagnosis can help to determine what a person is struggling with and what treatment and recovery should focus on. By treating the whole person and not just the addiction or mental health disorder a person can find a swifter recovery and a much better chance at long-lasting sobriety.
Getting Help for Depression, Anxiety and Addiction
If you or someone you love appears to be struggling with addiction, depression or anxiety, give us a call. Our compassionate counselors can help you find the answers you need. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, and we are ready to listen to your concerns and discuss your options. We are here to provide the help you need.