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Can Substance Abuse Cause Depression?


February 17 2024

Depression affects millions of Americans. It can occur at any time and can be caused by various reasons, such as heredity or medical conditions like thyroid problems, brain tumors, or vitamin deficiencies. Substance abuse can worsen the symptoms of depression or cause symptoms that are similar to depression. In some cases, substances can also change the brain chemistry to mimic depression. This means that prolonged substance use could potentially cause depression. However, if you are struggling with the symptoms of depression, then depression therapy with Avedis Recovery can potentially help ease those symptoms.

Substance Abuse and Depression

The depression and substance abuse connection may not seem immediately obvious. However, the two can be connected. Depression is a mood disorder that can cause a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities that formerly brought joy. There are many different types of depression, and that is why it can look different for each individual.

Types of Depression and Their Connection to Substance Misuse Disorders

Some Depression Diagnoses

Major Depression: Major depression, also known as clinical depression or unipolar depression, involves persistent sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed. It can interfere with daily functioning and may lead to substance misuse as a coping mechanism to alleviate emotional pain or numb feelings.

Persistent Depressive Disorder: Persistent depressive disorder, formerly known as dysthymia, is a chronic form of depression characterized by a depressed mood lasting at least two years. Individuals with this disorder may use substances to escape their constant low mood, increasing the risk of developing a substance misuse disorder.

Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic-depressive illness, is characterized by episodes of mania (extreme elevated mood) and depression (extremely low mood). Individuals with bipolar disorder may self-medicate with substances during depressive episodes to elevate their mood or during manic episodes to intensify their euphoria, leading to substance misuse disorders.

More Depression Diagnoses

Seasonal Affective Disorder: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during specific seasons, typically winter. Individuals with SAD may turn to substances to cope with feelings of sadness, lethargy, and social withdrawal, increasing their risk of developing a substance misuse disorder.

Postpartum Depression: Postpartum depression is a form of depression that affects some women after childbirth. The hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and lifestyle adjustments can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and guilt. Some mothers may misuse substances to cope with these emotions, increasing their risk of developing a substance misuse disorder.

Psychotic Depression: Psychotic depression is a severe form of depression accompanied by psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions. People with psychotic depression may use substances to escape their frightening thoughts or as a form of self-medication, potentially leading to a substance misuse disorder.

There are a variety of substances that can mimic these types of depression. Substance abuse disorder can lead to the cycle of addiction. Addiction occurs when your substance abuse, usually drugs or alcohol, has caused your body and brain chemistry to change. You need that substance to function normally or suffer uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. However, substance use disorder can also lead to unwanted symptoms that develop over time. Some of these symptoms may mimic the symptoms of depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Unfortunately, substance abuse can cause specific important changes in brain chemistry. These changes can lead to depression symptoms, and clinical depression can develop over time. Some of the symptoms of depression may include the following:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Inability to complete tasks
  • Not able to practice basic self-care
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lowered self-worth
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Slowed speech patterns
  • Pacing or handwringing
  • Thoughts of death or dying
  • Delusions or paranoia
  • Self-harm activities

If substance abuse is not treated by counselors early on, that depression could last for the rest of your life. That’s why it is important to recognize the signs of depression and get the help you need.

How Depression Therapy Supports Recovery from Substance Misuse Disorders

Depression therapy helps individuals understand and manage their symptoms, enabling them to develop healthier coping mechanisms. By addressing the root causes of depression, therapy reduces the need for substances as a means of escape or self-medication. As individuals learn to navigate their emotions and thoughts effectively, they can build a happy, healthy life free from substance use.

Effective Treatment Therapies for Depression

Individual Therapies

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely-used therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to depression. By recognizing and altering these patterns, clients can improve their mood and reduce their reliance on substances.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is a form of CBT that emphasizes mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. It helps individuals develop skills to manage intense emotions, which may have driven them to substance misuse.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): IPT addresses interpersonal issues contributing to depression, such as unresolved grief, role transitions, and relationship problems. By improving communication and coping skills, clients can foster healthier relationships and reduce their reliance on substances for emotional support.

Psychodynamic Therapy: Psychodynamic therapy explores unconscious thoughts and feelings contributing to depression. Understanding and resolving these underlying issues, clients can develop healthier coping mechanisms and reduce their dependence on substances.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT): MBCT combines CBT with mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and breathing exercises, to help clients become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. This increased self-awareness can help clients manage depressive symptoms and reduce their need for substances.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Medication-assisted treatment involves using medications, such as antidepressants, alongside therapy to alleviate depression symptoms. Properly managed medications can help stabilize mood, reduce cravings, and support clients in maintaining sobriety throughout the recovery process.

Multi-person Therapies

Group Therapy: Group therapy allows individuals to share their experiences and learn from others facing similar challenges. This supportive environment can help clients develop new coping strategies, reduce feelings of isolation, and maintain motivation during their recovery from depression and substance misuse.

Family Therapy: Family therapy helps clients and their families work together to understand and address the effects of depression and substance misuse on their relationships. By improving communication and fostering a supportive environment, clients can better manage their recovery and maintain long-term sobriety.

Alternative Therapies

Expressive Therapies: Expressive therapies, such as art and music therapy, provide alternative ways for clients to explore and express their emotions. These creative outlets can help individuals process their feelings, gain insight into their depression, and develop healthier coping mechanisms, reducing their reliance on substances.

Holistic Therapies: Holistic therapies, such as yoga, acupuncture, and massage, can complement traditional depression treatments by addressing the mind-body connection. These therapies promote relaxation, stress relief, and overall well-being, supporting clients in their recovery from depression and substance misuse.

Understanding High-Functioning Depression

Recognizing the Signs of High-Functioning Depression

High-functioning depression, also known as dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder, is a type of depression that may not be as severe as major depression but can still significantly impact one’s life. People with high-functioning depression can maintain daily responsibilities, hold down a job, and maintain relationships but still experience chronic feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, or hopelessness. Signs of high-functioning depression: persistent low mood or irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, reduced interest in activities, social withdrawal, or isolation.

The Connection Between High-Functioning Depression and Substance Misuse Individuals with high-functioning depression may use substances like drugs or alcohol to cope with emotional pain. This self-medicating behavior can lead to substance misuse disorders, further exacerbating their depressive symptoms. Over time, high-functioning depression and substance misuse can result in a downward spiral, making it more challenging to recognize and treat the underlying issues.

Effective high-functioning depression treatment usually involves psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle adjustments. Options include Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) to alleviate negative thoughts and improve communication skills. Antidepressants may help regulate brain chemistry. Lifestyle tweaks, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can improve overall well-being.

Avedis Detox and Recovery’s Comprehensive Approach Avedis Detox and Recovery understands the unique challenges of individuals struggling with high-functioning depression and substance misuse. By offering personalized dual diagnosis treatment plans we address both issues simultaneously. Avedis Detox and Recovery help clients break the cycle of addiction, manage their depression, and achieve lasting recovery.

Depression Therapy Provides Positive Outcomes

Avedis Detox and Recovery employs evidence-based treatment approaches, ensuring clients receive the most effective therapies for their depression and substance misuse disorders. By offering a comprehensive range of treatment options, Avedis Detox and Recovery can tailor programs to each client’s unique needs, increasing the likelihood of positive outcomes. Additionally, the accredited and professional staff at Avedis Detox and Recovery create a supportive, state-of-the-art environment where clients can focus on their recovery and develop the skills necessary for long-term sobriety and mental health.

Depression Therapy In Los Angeles

When you seek treatment for depression, your physical symptoms will be diminished. This offers you the clarity to learn new coping mechanisms other than substance use. Whether you have major depression or depression symptoms caused by addiction, contacting a qualified depression treatment center in Los Angeles could help improve your life. Avedis Recovery is a choice that offers plenty of services and therapies, some of which include the following:

  • Programs to help with specific addictions
  • Individual therapy
  • Family Counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Cognitive-behavioral program
  • A dialectical behavior therapy program
  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Detox programs
  • Outpatient or residential programs
  • Personalized programs
  • Robust aftercare programs
  • 12-step Approach
  • Nutritional counseling
  • An accredited and professional staff
  • Evidence-based treatment
  • A clean, state-of-the-art facility

Avedis Recovery is a depression treatment center in Los Angeles that can help you if you are struggling with addiction and depression.

Seek Treatment For Addiction And Depression Today With Avedis Recovery

Finding the right treatment for addiction and depression might be difficult. But with Avedis Recovery, it doesn’t have to be. Avedis Recovery’s experienced and professional therapists understand the complexity of the depression and substance abuse connection and can help you. Call us at 833.514.0579 to learn more about our depression treatment programs. We are here to help you get through your addiction to fight the symptoms of depression.

#addiction and depression

#Addiction Therapy

#Co-Occurring Disorders

#Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

#Depression Therapy

#depression treatment center los angeles

#Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

#Dual Diagnosis

#Family Therapy

#Group Therapy

#Holistic Therapy

#inpatient addiction treatment

#Inpatient Detox

#Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

#Outpatient Addiction Treatment

#Outpatient Rehab

#Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

#Relapse Prevention

#substance abuse and depression


February 17 2024

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