As the late actor Robin Williams knew, chemical dependency and depression often go hand in hand. To alleviate the symptoms of depression, many people turn to mood-altering drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, the side effects of chemical dependency can aggravate – and even increase – the symptoms of depression. Thankfully, there are a number of effective treatment solutions to help those suffering from both depression and chemical dependency.
The first step toward getting help is determining if you or a loved one exhibit any or a combination of these symptoms.
Classic signs of depression include a decrease in participation in previously enjoyable activities, or participating in those activities with less enthusiasm. Individuals may become reclusive, or he or she becomes short-tempered and irritable.
Depression and chemical dependency can manifest itself in significant changes in eating and sleeping, such as eating and sleeping too much or too little.
A common behavior of depressed people and those suffering from chemical dependency is to isolate themselves from friends, family and co-workers. They may become increasingly irresponsible – put off paying bills, driving recklessly, missing school or work, or missing appointments.
Chronic illness and physical symptoms of withdrawal – such as shaking, nausea, headaches, weight loss or vomiting – can also indicate a depression and chemical dependency problem.
Many depression and chemical dependency treatment models incorporate a mind, body, spirit and emotional component. Depending on the patient, there are a range of programs available to help understand the causes of emotional and behavioral disorders; group sessions; individualized drug treatment; 12-step meetings; specialty addiction groups; and family programs. Strategies may also include cognitive behavioral therapy, integrative therapies or medication management.
If you or a loved one are experiencing depression combined with chemical dependency, call Bradford Health Services. We can evaluate your situation and create a specialized treatment plan. A multi-disciplinary team will oversee and evaluate treatment to ensure the most appropriate depression and chemical dependency program. There is no need to fight depression or chemical dependency alone. We are here to see you through.