High-Functioning Depression and Addiction


High-functioning depression is a term used to describe a condition where an individual experiences depression (or major depressive disorder) while still being able to maintain their routine and fulfill their responsibilities. Often, people with high-functioning depression are successful in their careers, have strong relationships, and appear to be functioning well on the surface. However, this can be a dangerous misconception, as the individual is still struggling with the effects of depression internally.


This type of depression is often referred to as “smiling depression” because those who suffer from it often put on a happy face and hide their struggles from those around them. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult for people with high-functioning depression to seek help, as they believe they don’t need it or fear the stigma associated with mental health issues. In addition to the difficulties of high-functioning depression, those who suffer from it may also be at a higher risk of developing drug or alcohol addiction. This is because substance use can temporarily alleviate the symptoms of depression, leading to a cycle of self-medication that can quickly spiral out of control.


High-Functioning Depression and Addiction

Someone with high-functioning depression is more likely to develop a drug or alcohol addiction because they may turn to substance use to self-medicate and temporarily alleviate their symptoms of depression. Individuals with high-functioning depression often appear to be functioning well on the surface, but they may be experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and low motivation internally. This can lead to a desire for relief, and substance use can temporarily escape these feelings.


In addition, those with high-functioning depression may be less likely to seek help for their mental health issues, either due to a lack of awareness or a fear of the stigma associated with mental health disorders. This can lead to a lack of effective treatment for depression, making substance use even more tempting as a coping mechanism. Substance use can quickly become a vicious cycle, as it can exacerbate symptoms of depression over time, leading to a decline in overall mental and physical health.


This can further perpetuate substance use, as individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the harmful effects of depression and addiction. Dual diagnosis is a complex and challenging condition that requires specialized treatment. When an individual is diagnosed with a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, they are said to have a dual diagnosis. This is common, as substance use and mental health disorders often go hand in hand. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 8.2 million adults in the United States experience co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.


Dual Diagnosis Substance Misuse Disorders

A mental health disorder can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing a substance use disorder and vice versa. For example, someone with depression may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and alleviate their symptoms. Conversely, substance use can lead to or worsen symptoms of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.


When someone has a dual diagnosis, treat both disorders simultaneously,

as they are often intertwined and can exacerbate each other.


This requires a comprehensive and integrated approach to treatment that addresses both the mental health disorder and the substance use disorder. Treatment for dual diagnosis can include a combination of medication, therapy, and behavioral interventions to help individuals manage their symptoms and address the underlying causes of their conditions.

Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment by Avedis Recovery in Los Angeles, CAThe treatment process for dual diagnosis can be complex and challenging, as each individual’s experience with mental health and substance use disorders is unique. However, specialized treatment programs like those offered at Avedis Recovery can provide comprehensive care that addresses each patient’s needs. This can include medication-assisted treatment, individual and group therapy, and behavioral interventions to help patients build the skills and strategies they need to manage their conditions and achieve long-term recovery.

The co-occurrence of high-functioning depression and addiction can cause different problems for a person. For example, an individual may become reliant on substances to cope with their depression, leading to increased substance abuse and the potential for developing a substance use disorder. This can lead to a decline in overall mental and physical health and issues with relationships, work, and finances.


Treatment for High-Functioning Depression & Substance Misuse Disorders

Fortunately, solutions are available for those struggling with dual diagnosis, high-functioning depression, and addiction. Addiction treatment programs like detox, inpatient addiction recovery, and outpatient programs like partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) can provide comprehensive care that addresses mental health and substance abuse issues.


Medical detox is often the first step in treating addiction, as it helps individuals safely withdraw from substances while under medical supervision. Residential rehab provides 24/7 care, support, and a structured environment that helps individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms and build a foundation for long-term recovery.


PHP and IOP outpatient recovery center programs provide a more flexible approach to addiction treatment, allowing individuals to receive care while maintaining their work or home life. These programs typically involve group and individual therapy, education on coping mechanisms, and relapse prevention.

Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, California

High-Functioning Depression Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment Group Therapy by Avedis Recovery in LA, California.

If you or someone you know struggles with dual diagnosis, high-functioning depression, and addiction, seek help as soon as possible. Avedis Recovery offers comprehensive detox and addiction treatment programs to help individuals achieve long-term recovery and improve their overall quality of life. Contact Avedis Recovery today to learn more about our services and how we can help you or a loved one on the road to recovery.


To check your insurance coverage and determine if space is available at Avedis Recovery, the best way to contact them would be to call their admissions department directly. You can call their admissions team at (818) 334-5589, and they will be able to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the admissions process. You can also visit their website and fill out a form to request a call back from their admissions team. They will be able to provide you with all the information you need to get started with treatment at Avedis Recovery.






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