Treatment for Depression and Addiction in San Antonio
Depression and drug and alcohol addiction are complex conditions affecting millions of people in the United States. Treating either of these conditions requires thoughtful, comprehensive treatment to address their underlying causes.
But what if someone lives with both conditions? What treatment is effective for depression and addiction? This article will explore how to identify depression, how depression and addiction are connected, and how to find treatment for depression and addiction in San Antonio. Reach out to the Alamo Behavioral Health Specialists to learn more about our high-quality, effective treatment programs or to find other forms of support during addiction recovery.
Depression is not just feeling sad or blue. Depression is even different from grief, a temporary condition that occurs after a significant loss. Depression is a condition that significantly affects people’s lives on most days for many weeks, months, or years.
Depression can be debilitating. It can prevent people from living healthy, fulfilling, or enjoyable lives. Depression can make people feel hopeless, exhausted, and isolated. There are many symptoms of depression that can help you identify this condition, including:
- Low mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in daily life
- Chronic feelings of worthlessness, self-hatred, or guilt
- Changes in sleep–sleeping too much or not sleeping enough
- Low energy and slow movements or responses
- Intrusive thoughts about death or dying
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Sometimes, depression can occur as part of another condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People who experience traumatic events may have lingering mental and physical effects for years afterward. The symptoms of PTSD can develop immediately after the traumatic event or can show up years later.
The intensity of the PTSD symptoms may change throughout time after the trauma occurs.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Experiencing flashbacks–emotionally re-living the trauma as though it is happening in real life
- Poor memory
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of hopelessness and depression
- Poor sleep and nightmares
- Difficulty with forming and maintaining relationships
- New or increased aggressive behavior
- Poor concentration
- Destructive behaviors–including self-harm and substance abuse
People may attempt to numb untreated trauma by using drugs and alcohol. This is ineffective and can lead to worsening mental health symptoms, as well as a life-threatening addiction that requires treatment.
The Connection Between Depression and Addiction
Research shows that many people with substance abuse and addiction also meet the criteria for major depression and that veterans are at increased risk for both conditions. So what is the connection between depression and substance abuse?
Mental health and addiction experts believe that many people with substance abuse and addiction may begin using drugs and alcohol as a way to mask or dull the symptoms of mental illness, including depression.
When someone experiences stress, pain, or other challenges that exceed their coping ability, they may turn to any means necessary for relief. Drugs and alcohol are widely available in the United States, and they offer a temporary distraction from the immediate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
Using drugs and alcohol to relieve the symptoms of mental or physical pain is called self-medication. Self-medication is a dangerous practice that does not cure or prevent mental illness. in fact, the effects of drugs and alcohol can actually worsen the symptoms of a mental illness.
So, how should people find relief from depression and addiction? Comprehensive treatment can help people identify the roots of their depression and substance abuse and learn practical, healthy ways to manage these conditions.
Treatment for Depression and Addiction
When someone lives with drug and alcohol addiction and a mental illness like depression, it is called having a dual diagnosis. When someone lives with a dual diagnosis, it is crucial to treat both the addiction and the mental illness simultaneously. If you treat only the addiction, symptoms of the mental illness can interfere with their ability to participate in mental health treatment. Likewise, treating only the mental illness will leave them struggling with substance abuse.
Treatment for depression and addiction typically involves participating in a combination of evidence-based and holistic therapies designed to address the underlying roots of addiction and mental illness.
Typical treatment plans for addiction and depression may include:
- Medically-supported detox programs
- Individual therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Group therapy
- Family counseling
- Relapse prevention education
- Medications to manage mental health and addiction symptoms
- Aftercare planning
- Exercise, nutrition counseling, mindfulness, massage, and other holistic therapies to support general well-being
During treatment, people with addiction and depression will work with mental health and addiction specialists to understand the complex roots of these conditions and learn the skills they need to overcome them.
Effective, dual diagnosis treatment can help people manage the symptoms of depression, avoid relapse, and use healthy coping tools to deal with challenges and stress for the rest of their lives.
Find Treatment for Depression and Addiction in San Antonio
If you or someone you love needs treatment for depression and addiction in San Antonio, contact the Alamo Behavioral Health Specialists today to learn about our holistic dual diagnosis treatment programs.
You do not have to live with the symptoms of depression and addiction. Treatment can help. Get the treatment and support you deserve by reaching out to us today.