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Why Addicted Individuals Show Signs of Depression

Depression is a serious mental illness (SMI) that commonly occurs alongside substance use disorder (SUD) or addiction. A substance use disorder involves dependence on alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Individuals battling a depressive disorder feel hopeless and may exhibit other signs of depression. Fortunately, a dual diagnosis treatment center in Hanover, PA, or elsewhere can help treat these co-occurring disorders. Regardless of where you receive treatment, the goal is to help you manage depression and prevent recurring substance abuse.

What You Need to Know About Signs of Depression

Depression is more than just the “blues.” It lingers for two weeks or more and negatively affects how you think and act. The mood disorder affects millions of Americans—about 10 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Types of depression include major depressive disorder (MDD), persistent depressive disorder, seasonal depression, psychotic depression, and post-partum depression. MDD affects 16.1 million American adults in a given year and is the leading cause of disability in Americans ages 15 to 44. Doctors prescribe one or more antidepressant drugs to help treat the symptoms of depression. The drugs work by balancing brain chemicals that affect mood and emotions. The positive effects include improvement in mood, sleep, appetite, concentration, and function.

Is There a Connection Between Depression and Addiction?

Someone with an addiction may develop or manifest signs of depression or anxiety at some point. For example, depressive disorders are common in heavy drinkers. This is because alcohol is a depressant triggering the condition. Alcohol can also worsen depression in those who already have it. In other cases, depression may be the root cause of addiction. This happens when the person starts taking larger doses of their antidepressant medication or use it with alcohol or other drugs. They may do so to escape from their worries, but these practices often lead to a substance use disorder. Antidepressants commonly involved in prescription drug addiction are paroxetine, fluoxetine, escitalopram, and citalopram. Also, antidepressants can cause physical dependence when misused or taken for a long time. Studies show that more than 60% of Americans take antidepressant medication for two years or more. Of those individuals, 14% take it for 10 years or longer.

What are the Signs of Depression?

People with depression are often unable to carry out daily life functions because of how the disorder affects the brain. One of the telltale signs of depression is a loss of interest in activities of pleasure. Other common signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or despair
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Trouble falling or staying sleeping (insomnia)
  • Lethargy or extreme fatigue
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Thinking of suicide

This is a non-exhaustive list of the signs of depression. For example, a person experiencing this mental illness may also have difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions. Further, they may walk or speak slowly or pace the floor purposelessly.

Treating Substance Abuse and Depression in Hanover PA

Recovery from addiction requires treating both substance use disorder and depressive disorder. The Ranch PA treats addiction to alcohol and drugs, including opioids, cocaine, heroin, meth, and benzo. During intake, our mental health professional will evaluate you for symptoms of depression before deciding if you should receive dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis treatment remains an effective way to treat substance abuse and mental health disorders together. It involves using various psychotherapies to help you cope with stress or despair. Types of psychotherapy include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy. Also, clients benefit from our other addiction therapy programs, such as :

Also, there is a holistic therapy program where we use art, music, and exercise to help clients heal naturally. You can receive any of these treatments in a residential or outpatient program.

Overcome Depression in a Caring Environment

Depression and addiction can happen to anyone. That’s why the substance abuse and mental health treatment professionals are here at The Ranch PA. We are located in Hanover, PA., but no matter where you live, we can help you recover from these co-occurring disorders. Find out how by calling 717.969.9126.

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