October Is Depression Awareness Month

October Is Depression Awareness Month
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Approximately 17.3 million Americans 18 and older in the United States suffer from a major depressive disorder.¹ It is an illness that affects people of all backgrounds and can greatly impact their quality of life and physical health. In many instances, people who suffer from depression also turn to substances like alcohol, pain medication, or illicit drugs to cope with symptoms. People with mental illness are twice as likely to develop a substance use disorder.² This October, during Depression Awareness Month, learn more about depression and addiction and how a dual diagnosis rehab in California can help.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes lasting and overwhelming feelings of sadness. It can also cause a loss of interest in daily activities, leading to many emotional and physical issues that affect your everyday life.

The symptoms of depression can include:

  • Feeling sad, tearful, hopeless
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Slowed moving, speaking, and thinking
  • Feelings of shame or guilt
  • Trouble concentrating and thinking
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplained physical pain

People who have depression usually experience symptoms to a severe enough degree that it affects their lives. To get a diagnosis of depression, you must experience symptoms for at least two weeks.

Link Between Depression and Addiction

It is common for people who struggle with depression to turn to a substance to help manage symptoms. Self-medication with alcohol or other substances can appear to offer relief, but they can actually make the symptoms of depression worse.

One of the theories as to why the rate of substance use disorders is so high among people with depression is that depression can cause changes in the brain, potentially increasing the rewarding effects of alcohol and illicit drugs.

There are also common risk factors that may contribute to the development of both depression and addiction. Stress, trauma, and genetics can affect the brain and how it functions and can lead to the development of depression and a substance use disorder.

Treating a Dual Diagnosis

Centers that offer dual diagnosis rehab in California understand it is important to simultaneously offer treatment for both conditions. The use of medications can be helpful together with behavioral therapy.

Cognitivebehavioral therapy can teach people to identify negative thought patterns that lead to negative actions. It provides the tools necessary to change how people think and react to those thoughts.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another excellent treatment option that focuses on teaching people how to cope with stress, live in the moment, and manage their emotions. DBT is a good choice for people who have difficulties regulating their emotions.

Group therapy can be another good choice for people struggling with addiction and depression, and many centers that provide dual diagnosis rehab in California offer it along with individual therapy. Both conditions can isolate the person, making symptoms worse. Hearing other people who are struggling with similar challenges can help diminish feelings of isolation.

This Depression Awareness Month: Turn to Dual Diagnosis Rehab in California for Help with Addiction and Depression

If you or someone you love struggles with depression and addiction, turning to a dual diagnosis rehab in California can be a vital step. Clear Life Recovery offers dual diagnosis treatments that include detox, group therapy, individual therapy, and much more. Request an appointment today to learn more. Don’t let another Depression Awareness Month pass without getting help from the professionals at Clear Life Recovery.



[1] https://www.dbsalliance.org/education/depression/statistics/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851027/