Depression and substance abuse are two conditions that go hand in hand. For many, substance abuse is a way to self-medicate against the agonizing mental anguish they face every day.
Depression is a mental condition that comes in many different forms and varies from person to person. For some, emotional trauma may be at the root of their depression. The same emotional trauma causing their depression could also be causing substance abuse. But depression doesn’t just affect those with traumatic pasts. A chemical imbalance in the brain is the medical explanation for depression. Even your genes can cause this imbalance.
For many, understanding the relationship between substance abuse and depression is like asking what came first, the chicken or the egg. Drugs and alcohol can do serious damage to the way your brain operates, causing a wide spectrum of mental health disorders, including depression. However, some start abusing drugs to shield themselves from the pain of depression.
Many substance abusers use their drugs or alcohol as a sort of “happy button.” They think if only they could press that button enough times, they could feel whole, or satisfied. But no matter how many times they push that happy button, no matter how many drinks they take or pills they pop, in the long run, substances won’t make you feel fulfilled. Even the happiest drunks are often sad when they wake up in the morning. And eventually, the joy of using will be replaced with a dependency on using just to function.
The Importance of Treating Depression and Substance Abuse
Those in recovery have usually figured out that substance abuse won’t make them happy. However, what they might not know is that treating their depression is as important as treating their substance abuse. Depression can make your life just as miserable as abusing substances, and it can even take your life from you.
Medical treatment is necessary to treat the chemical imbalance at the root of depression. For that reason, getting medical treatment for psychological disorders like depression while you are in substance abuse treatment is crucial for a complete recovery.
If you receive a diagnosis of depression, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health condition, be sure to follow your doctor’s prescriptions. This could include medication, psychotherapy, or even things like getting enough sleep and exercise. By treating your depression, you will have a better mental platform from which to treat your substance abuse.
Get Treatment for Depression and Substance Abuse Today
Dual diagnosis treatment at Serenity House Detox can help you treat your depression and substance abuse. If you suffer from mental conditions such as depression, we can help treat that too. Check out our comprehensive services and start on the path to a happier, healthier life today. Contact Serenity House Detox today at 866-294-5306.