Treatment for Addiction and Depression
in Huntington Beach, Orange County

Almost everyone can point a finger at someone they know who is (or was) suffering through an addiction of some sort or who has suffered through depression at some point in their life. These two conditions often coexist, creating a complex challenge for individuals and healthcare providers alike. The good news is that these conditions are treatable, and recovery from both conditions is possible with the proper understanding and resources.

Depression and addiction are intricate conditions that can feel overwhelming, especially when they occur simultaneously. However, understanding the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options can empower individuals with co-occurring disorders to engage actively in their healing process. The relationship between these two conditions is complex, with each having the potential to worsen the other.

An integrated treatment approach, meaning addressing both the addiction and the depression simultaneously, is often the most effective. Treatment plans should consider the patient’s depressive symptoms – such as low motivation, low energy levels, and feelings of hopelessness – while also addressing the addictive behavior. Medication, therapy, and behavioral support can all be crucial in this process. So, let’s dive deeper and explore the path to recovery.

What Is The
Connection Between Addiction And Depression?

Many people with depression or other mental health conditions are also affected by substance misuse issues. Substance use disorder (SUD) is a condition that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to an inability to control the use of substances like alcohol and drugs. Many people suffering from depression or other mental health issues turn to alcohol and other substances as a means of dealing with their conditions, and this makes the situation exponentially worse and harder to treat. This can result in addiction, which means a person is not able to stop a behavior or stop using a particular substance.

Several possibilities that may explain the link between addiction and depression are:

  1. Substance misuse and brain changes: Substance use can cause changes to the brain’s structure and function, and these changes can make people more likely to develop a mental health condition.
  2. Self-medication: Some people with mental health conditions may use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. Certain substances do temporarily relieve a person’s symptoms, but they can worsen them in the long term.
  3. Common risk factors: Those at a higher risk of mental health conditions may also be at risk of substance misuse. There are shared risk factors, including environmental factors like trauma and stress.

What Are
Co-Occurring Disorders?

This term is used when a person has both a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time. It’s like dealing with two health issues simultaneously, and they can affect similar areas of the brain. This type of combined condition will require a dual-diagnosis treatment program.

While the term is commonly used to refer to the combination of substance use and mental disorders, it can also refer to other combinations of disorders, such as a mental disorder and an intellectual disability. The severity of each disorder can change over time and compared to individuals who have a single disorder, those with co-occurring disorders may experience more severe medical and mental health challenges.

The symptoms of co-occurring disorders include those associated with the particular substance use problem and mental health condition affecting an individual. People with co-occurring disorders are at high risk for additional problems such as symptomatic relapses, hospitalizations, financial challenges, social isolation, family problems, homelessness, sexual and physical victimization, incarceration, and serious medical illnesses.

Mental health conditions that commonly co-occur with substance use disorders include anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Substance use disorders are defined by the class of drugs used, including alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, sedatives, stimulants, and tobacco.

Co-occurring disorders can be complex to diagnose and treat, but integrated care is recommended. This approach coordinates mental and substance use interventions by linking people to other providers who can deliver individualized and personalized services to treat the physical and emotional aspects of mental and substance use disorders. With integrated care, a more complete recovery is possible.

What Are
The Most Common Types Of Depression?

Depression doesn’t come in a single flavor: there are several types, each with its own set of symptoms and treatments, the most common being:

This is what pops into most people’s minds when they hear “depression.” It’s characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or a lack of interest in outside stimuli.

Also known as dysthymia, this refers to a type of chronic depression present for more days than not for at least two years.

This type of depression cycles between periods of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression).

This occurs after childbirth and can include symptoms like extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion.

This type of depression usually occurs during the winter months, when there’s less natural sunlight.

This is recognized by a person having severe depression accompanied by some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false beliefs.

This involves depression symptoms that occur one week before menstruation and disappear after you menstruate.

This type of depression includes symptoms like increased appetite, sleeping more than usual, feeling heaviness in your arms and legs, and being overly sensitive to criticism.

This is a childhood condition of extreme irritability, anger, and frequent, intense temper outbursts.

Also known as reactive depression, situational depression is a short-term, stress-related type of depression that can develop after you experience a traumatic event.

What Are the
Symptoms of Depression?

Because of the many types of depression and the possible occurrence of other conditions, symptoms can vary from person to person, but here are some common ones:

This is one of the most common symptoms of depression. People with depression may feel persistently sad or low for extended periods.

Depression can make people feel hopeless because they can’t see an end to their feelings. They may also feel helpless, believing nothing will help them feel better.

People with depression may feel as though they are worthless or their life has no meaning.

People with depression may have ongoing feelings of guilt for no reason. They may focus a lot of energy on this guilt and feel bad about themselves and the things that they have said or done.

This can be a common symptom, particularly in men and children.

People with depression often feel tired all the time.

Depression can wreck concentration and make it hard to focus and make decisions.

Some people may lose interest in food, while others may eat more than usual.

Some people may sleep excessively, while others may have trouble sleeping.

This is a serious symptom of depression. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, it’s important to seek help immediately.

Some people may experience headaches, stomach problems, or general physical discomfort.

How Is
Depression Diagnosed?

Diagnosing depression is a process that involves both talking to the patient and sometimes conducting lab tests.

Mental health professionals typically use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR) to determine whether a person has a major depressive disorder. For a person to receive a depression diagnosis, they must:

  1. Have at least five symptoms of depression.
  2. Experience the symptoms most of every day for at least 2 weeks.
  3. Must have either a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities as one of the symptoms.
  4. For children and adolescents, rather than having a depressed mood, they may present as irritable instead of sad.

Diagnosis also involves ruling out other mental health conditions that may cause similar symptoms, such as bipolar disorder, alcohol use or substance use disorders, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorders. A healthcare professional will also attempt to evaluate the severity of the depression to help devise a treatment plan.

California Addiction Treatment
Offers Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

SUD and mental health issues are never an easy thing to live with: either for the person suffering from these conditions or for their family members and friends. Fortunately, some professionals are available to help you or your loved ones deal with these issues and recover to live healthy and addiction-free lives.

California Addiction Treatment offers personalized treatment plans, medical detoxcomprehensive therapy, and dual diagnosis in the battle against addiction and mental health conditions. Each case is different and requires a different level of care, so contact us today to start your journey to a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Addiction and Depression Treatment

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