What Is Depression and How Does It Impact Rehab?

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depressionDepression is more than just having a down day or feeling sad on occasion – it’s a debilitating brain disorder that impacts daily living, including your personal, professional and social life. Unfortunately, addiction and depression are pretty intertwined.

Depression can feed a substance use disorder – using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate – or vice versa. Compared with the general population, people with a substance use disorder are roughly twice as likely to suffer from an anxiety or mood disorder, such as depression, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. There’s even a name for it: dual diagnosis or co-occurring conditions.

What Are the Signs of Depression?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, common depression red flags include:

  • Feeling sad or “empty”
  • Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Feeling very tired
  • Not being able to concentrate or remember details
  • Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems

How Can Depression Impact My Recovery?
Depression can prevent you from seeking help for a substance use disorder in the first place. And if you’re already in rehab, it can interfere with your ability to fully recover and/or increase your chance of relapse. Think about it. If you feel hopeless and can’t sleep and aren’t eating right or exercising or enjoying life, you won’t have the mental energy to get and stay sober. What’s more, depression can further heighten feelings of isolation that you may already be experiencing. It’s a dangerous duo – but, luckily, one that can be treated successful with the right dual treatment approach.

How Do I Get Help for Depression and Addiction?
Upon admission to NorthStar Transitions, clients are evaluated for co-occurring disorders that may contribute to dependency. Our staff consists of highly trained addiction professionals, including a board-certified addiction psychiatrist. Call 303-558-6400 today to begin your Colorado recovery adventure or to speak with our team about our dual diagnosis treatment.