Psychiatrists spend a lot of time parsing the details, which describe various mood disorders. Of course, if you’re dealing with one or more of them, these differentiations mean little. However, did you know that there’s a link between these conditions and substance abuse? Here’s what you need to know.

Recognizing Mood Disorders

There’s more to these psychological disorders than meets the eye. On the one hand, there are depressive disorders such as clinical depression. On the other hand, there are bipolar disorders that combine depression with episodes of mania. Of course, there are also anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or social anxiety disorder.

Within these categories, you find numerous subcategories. These depend on the length of time that you suffered from the condition, or the number, frequency or presence of manic, depressive, or anxious episodes. No matter what diagnosis you might have, the effects can be debilitating.

Linking Addiction to Depression

young woman struggling with mood disordersThere’s evidence that suggests strong connections between substance abuse and mood disorders. However, each person’s experiences may vary. For example, alcohol abuse can lead to the development of major depression. The drug interferes with the brain chemistry, which can result in low serotonin and dopamine levels.

Another contributing factor can be the use of benzodiazepines. A doctor would prescribe these medications for the treatment of anxiety. That said, they decrease certain neurotransmitters that make you feel good. It’s not unusual to replace one psychiatric disorder with another.

The opposite is true as well. There’s plenty of evidence that shows depression fueling drug or alcohol abuse. People struggle with mood disorders and look to substances as forms of self-medication. Stimulants get you out of bed, while nervous system depressants let you zone out for a while.

In the long run, drugs don’t help you. Instead, they create another set of problems. Now, you need help with the depression as well as drug and alcohol rehab. At the San Antonio Recovery Center, we routinely help folks just like you with dual diagnosis treatment.

Getting Help for a Co-Occurring Disorder

Co-occurring disorders include mood disorders and addiction and are referred to as dual diagnosis. In the past, you would first deal with the addiction and then later try to get help for depression. However, treating the conditions as two separate diagnoses results in less effective treatment outcomes. When you self-medicate, you’re still dealing with the reasons for using, which quickly sets you up for a relapse.

That’s why our therapists help you deal with both conditions at the same time. Pharmacological support assists with the depression. Our experts conduct a thorough assessment to ensure that you receive targeted treatment. Next, we integrate interventions with other evidence-based modalities.

Examples of addiction rehab programs include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy that assists with the development of healthy patterns in thoughts, feelings, and actions
  • One-on-one talk therapy for substance abuse counseling as well as mood disorder recovery
  • Nutritional support for returning to health while also regaining your energy
  • 12 Step program participation, which introduces you to peer supports as well as relapse prevention planning
  • Experiential therapies that help you develop and implement coping skills

What Happens if I Don’t Do Anything?

The addiction won’t go away by itself. The depression continues to create problems in your life. Over time, the use of a drug or alcohol might lead to physical consequences. The longer you wait to get help, the more hopeless you feel about being able to overcome the conditions and the greater the likelihood of a tragic, and fatal, outcome.

But you don’t have to let mood disorders and addictions continue to dictate how you’ll live your life. At the San Antonio Recovery Center, caring therapists want to help you heal. We’re available around the clock, seven days a week. Contact us now by calling 866-957-7885.