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Did You Know Your Depression May Be Contributing to Your Addiction?

If you’ve been seeking help to get clean and you’ve been diagnosed with depression, you might not know that your depression is actually contributing to your addiction.  You see, people abuse drugs are twice as likely to have a mental illness such as depression than those who do not abuse drugs.  Doctors think there may be several contributing factors that link the two.  The term used to describe it is comorbidity.  If you are looking for a drug rehab center, you also need to look for treatment centers for depression.

Why Understanding Comorbidity is Important

Drug addiction is looked on as a mental health problem rather than a weakness or a crime at treatment centers for depression.  When you have comorbidity, that is, more than one mental health issue in play, they often aggravate each other.  Even though the addiction may not have caused the depression or vice versa, they can still compound the problems associated with the diseases.  This is why if you have both depression and a substance abuse problem, you need to be treated for both at one of the depression treatment centers.  You will have a tougher time making gains if both problems are not addressed simultaneously.

Why Do I Have Two Problems?

You may be wondering why you have two problems, to begin with.  Many substance abusers end up needing treatment for more than their addiction.  So many have needed treatment for mental illness that scientists and researchers asked why and came up with possible answers.  These include:

  • Substance abuse may bring on other mental health problems.
  • Substance abuse may trigger underlying mental health problems to surface.
  • A person may be experiencing mental health problems and unknowingly “self-medicate” to alleviate symptoms of their mental illness.
  • A person may have a genetic predisposition toward both depression and addiction.
  • Environmental triggers that point person in the direction of both depression and addiction.
  • The comorbidity is actually a developmental disorder, meaning that if a person becomes addicted while young, the change in their brain chemistry might put them at risk for other mental illnesses.
  • The neuro-pathways may be the same for the depression as well as the drug being abused.

This means that if you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, you need to be checked for other mental illnesses, even though you don’t think you have them.

How is Treatment Different?

When it comes to treatment, you’ll need to be treated both for your dependency on the drug, and you’ll also have to be treated with antidepressants.  Some antidepressants actually work toward reducing cravings of some drugs, so it is important to be treated.  You may need special counseling to deal not only with the addiction but also the depression.

Because you’re an individual, you may need to have a tailor made program that will treat your conditions.  Not everyone responds in the same way, which is why it is imperative to find a treatment center for depression that will work toward putting together the right program for you.  You have a better chance at successfully quitting drugs or alcohol if the program is designed with you in mind.  You’re more likely to stay off drugs or alcohol for good if the treatment is effective for you.

James Jones

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