Being dependent upon drugs or alcohol is hard. Being addicted and being depressed is so, so much harder. We understand.

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a disease, just like addiction is a disease. At Elan Recovery + Wellness, we are well-equipped to treat both the disease of addiction as well as co-existing mental illnesses.

Dual diagnosis cases – in which someone is addicted and also diagnosed with a mental health condition – are extremely common. Straight talk? It’s rare not to see some form of mental illness in addicts, simply because of the trauma that substance abuse inflicts on the brain.

A Diagnosis of Depression

Research tells us that fully one-third of people in active addiction can also be diagnosed as clinically depressed. The primary diagnostic manual, the DSM-V Handbook of Differential Diagnosis, lists a number of different forms of the disease. They include:

  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder
  • Depressive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition
  • Other Specified Depressive Disorder
  • Unspecified Depressive Disorder

Common Symptoms of Depression

Each diagnosis has its own very specific set of criteria, but many forms of the depression have in common the following:

  • Consistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Loss in the ability to function
  • Irritability
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • General loss of interest
  • Change in eating habits and appetite

Addiction and Depression

People can begin to use and abuse substances as a response to chronic depression, as a means to cope with their own pain and suffering. Other individuals develop symptoms of depression as a result of their drug or alcohol dependency.

On their own, many drugs are depressants. Those include alcohol and benzodiazepines, which are prescribed for short-term anxiety or sleep disorders and as muscle relaxants. Becoming dependent on substances like these compounds symptoms of depression. You might drink or take relaxing drugs to escape your feelings of guilt, shame, or sadness, but in the long term (or as the drinks/drugs wear off), it’s likely to lead to a downward spiral.

Other drugs, such as opioids, assault the pleasure centers of the brain. Use of these kinds of drugs produces the highest of highs through the release of “feel-good” hormones such as dopamine. Eventually, the brain becomes unable to feel pleasure on its own.

Treatment for Co-Existing Mental Illness

Elan Recovery + Wellness employs a medical director/staff psychiatrist and a full-time psychiatric nurse practitioner, who complete psychiatric and physical evaluations, prescribe medication, and do weekly monitoring and medication checks.

It’s essential to find the proper medical regimen to manage mental illness, and so our medical staff works closely with every guest for their own comfort, safety, and well-being. Through the use of our cutting-edge adaptive testing software, we are able to quickly assess each guest’s mental and emotional status, and make instant adjustments to treatment and medication, if necessary, for the best possible outcomes.

In addition, Elan Recovery + Wellness offers the following treatment protocols for our dual-diagnosis guests:

  • Individual and group therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Skills groups
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT)
  • Shame resiliency and vulnerability training
  • Biofeedback therapy
  • Experiential therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Nutrition education
  • Case management

We Treat Addiction and Mental Illness

Please, do not consider any treatment facility that is not capable of treating both addiction and mental illness. Contact us today to find out more about Elan’s compassionate, professional care.

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