Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Depression

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Depression

If you have a substance abuse problem and are experiencing serious symptoms of unhappiness, lethargy, hopelessness or suicidal thoughts, you might be experiencing clinical depression. While this may sound like an overwhelming situation, there is hope. New treatment centers are available that focus treatment on dual diagnosis for both substance abuse and depression.

But what does it mean to have a dual diagnosis? Dual diagnosis occurs when a person has both a mental disorder and a substance abuse problem, and it is much more common than you might think. Because both the depression and the substance abuse issues are equally important to treat, it is important to find a treatment solution for both issues.

Which came first: the depression or the substance abuse problem?

John began drinking heavily at age 39. After his drinking led to a troubling divorce, he found himself feeling very depressed and unable to function well on a day-to-day basis. When he felt sad, he drank more, and soon he lost his job as well. The severe depression that followed led John to drink even more.

Sometimes it is very difficult to determine why a substance abuse problem began or why a mental illness begins. Often, people try to self-medicate tough feelings with substances. When the substances begin to take over, anxiety, depression and other unpleasant feelings may emerge.

Every person is different and every situation requires specialized care. Some people may read the story above and wonder what caused John to drink in the first place. Was he unhappy? And furthermore, if he was unhappy, was his depression caused by an event or by genetics?

We may never know the origin of John’s situation, but John soon learned where his problems began by working with a trained therapist to determine the best way to treat both his depression and his drinking. If John had simply treated his drinking, he may have had a very hard time staying sober when another depressive episode hit. If John had simply treated his depression, he may have become depressed again soon after because of his drinking.

If you have a dual diagnosis, it is absolutely vital that you treat the substance abuse issues along with the mental health issues. If you ignore one problem and treat the other, success will be much harder to maintain.

How to Choose Treatment for Dual Diagnosis with Depression

  • Ask Important Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist if he or she has dealt with dual diagnosis in the past.
  • Research: If possible, learn more about your potential treatment center. Look for a quality website, knowledgeable staff, and a solid reputation with insurance carriers.
  • Seek Dual Diagnosis Specialty: Ask directly about dual diagnosis specialty. Ask about success rates of treatment. Ask how your potential treatment center plans to treat both the substance issue and the emotional issues.

Depression Treatment Help

We offer a toll-free, 24 hour helpline to provide you with personalized information about your treatment options. We have trained counselors on staff who are very knowledgeable about dual diagnosis treatment. Please call today and allow our counselors to explain your options and help you find the best possible treatment for you or your loved one.