Struggling with Anxiety or Depression
For people who struggle with anxiety or depression, drugs or alcohol may seem like a miraculous solution. Unfortunately, that solution is a short-term one for the fear, discomfort, hopelessness or pain they are experiencing. Using drugs or alcohol to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression only makes those problems worse.
Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
There is a debate over whether anxiety or depression causes addiction or if addiction causes some mental health disorders. Truthfully, there is no correct answer. Each person is unique and brings a wide set of life experiences to their current mental health state. There is no sure-fire formula on if and why a person encounters mental health challenges or addiction issues. However, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among adults who had either a mental illness or substance abuse disorder, 8.2 million had both. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 29% of all people diagnosed with a mental illness abuse drugs or alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that nearly 1/3 of people with major depression also have problems with alcohol. The NIAAA also states that in many cases, depression may be the first to occur.
Treatment for Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression can be marked by strong feelings of hopelessness, worry, agitation, despair, fear, guilt, and worthlessness. In fact, drinking and using drugs can amplify these feelings to a strong degree. Also, for people prone to anxiety and depression, long-term substance abuse can bring out these symptoms. It is nearly impossible to determine how anxiety or depression factors in if a person is abusing drugs and alcohol. Therefore, often the first step in treating anxiety and depression is ensuring the person has a period of continuous sobriety.
Dual Treatment Programs
Specialized programs exist to help with substance while providing structured support for coping with symptoms of anxiety or depression. Working with a treatment team that can help you with both issues is a wonderful way to get guidance. It is also incredibly helpful to reach out to 12 Step groups that focus on dually diagnosed persons. Having a community of people who can provide experience and hope as you move through the journey of recovery is of immeasurable value. You never have to do this alone! There are others who have successfully gotten sober, facing anxiety and depression, and can share their hope with you. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or substance abuse, D’Amore Healthcare can help.
D’Amore Healthcare is a dual diagnosis and substance abuse addiction treatment center in Orange County, CA.
We provide information and treatment for people dealing with the life-shattering cycle of mental illness, substance abuse, and addiction.
If someone needs immediate help, call 24 hours a day at 714.375.1110 or contact us online.