Helping a Loved one who is Suffering from Depression and Addiction

July 17, 2019 , Agape Treatment Center

Helplessly watching a loved one in pain is one of the most difficult things to experience. When addiction and depression are affecting a loved one, the situation can become overwhelming and seemingly impossible to control. Addiction can be difficult to overcome, but when depression is thrown into the mix, it can be even more challenging.

If your loved one is suffering, you may feel hopeless. However, through integrated dual diagnosis treatment, recovery is possible.

Depression and Addiction

Dual diagnosis describes the occurrence of a substance use disorder and a co-existing mental illness. It can be difficult to determine whether addiction or depression occurs first because people who suffer from depression are more likely to begin self-medicating and abuse drugs and alcohol. On the other hand, people who are abusing substances are more likely to develop a co-occurring mental illness.

“Up to 65.5% of people with a substance dependence disorder had at least one mental disorder and 51% of people with a mental disorder had at least one substance abuse disorder.”

In the beginning, drug and alcohol use may seem like an effective way to cope with symptoms of depression, but this can quickly turn into an addiction. Self-medicating is dangerous because it makes the symptoms of depression worse in the long run. However, sometimes addiction comes first. When drugs and alcohol are abused over an extended period of time, extreme changes within the structure and the function of the brain occur. These changes can cause underlying mental illnesses to come to the surface.

When depression and addiction occur simultaneously, symptoms of depression are bound to get increasingly severe and addiction usually progresses, making it important for individuals who are suffering to receive dual diagnosis treatment as soon as possible. Although both addiction and depression don’t have a cure, they are completely treatable in a therapeutic environment.

Helping a Loved one Who is Suffering

Helping a loved one who is suffering from co-occurring depression and addiction can be a long and difficult road. It is common for people to be resistant to treatment, but it is crucial to keep your hopes up. Eventually, when the pain is great enough, your efforts to get your loved one the help they need will pay off. Your loved one will remember everything you have done for them and they will know exactly where to turn when they are ready.

Get Educated

It can be difficult to help somebody else if you don’t know what they are going through, so you should educate yourself on addiction, depression, and the treatment of co-occurring disorders. The better you understand what your loved one is experiencing, the more prepared you will be to help them.

Find Support

Addiction and depression not only affect the person afflicted, but they often take a toll on loved ones as well. There is no shame in seeking out a support group or therapy for yourself. Dealing with a loved one’s mental illness and addiction can be challenging and isolating, so it is crucial for you to gain the emotional support needed to cope. Talking to those you trust, going to family therapy, and joining a support group are great ways to express what you are going through.

Create Boundaries

It can be easy to enable an addicted loved one or feel responsible for their emotions and behaviors, however, it is essential to set and enforce boundaries. Be reasonable regarding the level of care you can provide your loved one without getting angry with them. Also, be sure to not tolerate disruptive or risky behaviors. Doing so will only allow your loved one to continue suffering and take advantage of your care.

Practice Patience

Recovery from addiction and depression is an ongoing venture. It doesn’t happen overnight. For some, it requires a lifetime of learning and growth. If your loved one doesn’t accept help immediately, don’t be discouraged. Continue to offer help and enforce boundaries, and in time, your loved one will be ready to seek treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Oakland Park, FL

Our mental health and addiction specialists at Agape Treatment Center provide all individuals suffering from co-occurring disorders with the opportunity to achieve sobriety. Using evidence-driven addiction therapy and mental health counseling, we help arm individuals with the tools needed to recover from addiction and depression.

“With a comprehensive treatment plan that includes multiple levels of care (partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient) you or your loved one can rest assured that our addiction specialists will get to the underlying root causes of substance abuse for complete inner healing. We offer a full spectrum of mental health services guided by a team of world-class addiction specialists.”

If your loved one is suffering from addiction and depression, look no further. With a small client to therapist ratio and individualized treatment plans, you can rest assured that your loved one will be receiving the best care possible.

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