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How Depression Symptoms Can Complicate Your Addiction Recovery Journey

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Woman Suffering from Depression Symptoms

For individuals in the early stages of addiction treatment, depression symptoms are common due to a lack of dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that the brain creates in order for you to repeat certain actions and be happy...

The problem is that alcohol and drugs create dopamine, and eventually, your brain stops creating it naturally. Once you go through substance abuse programs, your brain will begin healing and creating dopamine, but it can take time.

Depression symptoms can include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Not finding pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Persistent negative thinking
  • Excessive weight loss or weight gain
  • Loss of purpose
  • Low energy
  • Apathy

When you go to a quality addiction and depression treatment program, you’ll go undergo various traditional and experiential therapies that will help you feel better. Early recovery helps your brain begin to see that it’s possible to create dopamine without substances.

Depression and addiction often go hand-in-hand. This is called dual diagnosis - substance abuse along with a co-occuring mental or emotional health condition. In our experience, virtually all of the people who have been through our addiction recovery program have had a dual diagnosis.

More often than not, people with dual diagnosis conditions do not attend a rehab that is specifically set up to address both sides of the equation. If you feel you have a dual diagnosis, make sure you research your options to ensure the addiction recovery program you select can treat both mental health - like depression - and addiction concurrently.

Treating Symptoms and Underlying Core Issues 

Some people may need to take certain medications as a way to jumpstart their neurotransmitters. Although you may want to get clean naturally, these medications are meant to aid in your long-term recovery. They’re designed to make your neurotransmitters more active. Eventually, when your brain heals, you may no longer need to take some of these medications. You'll need to stay in consultation with specialized psychiatrist.

We firmly believe that you also need to treat the underlying core issues that are causing depression and addiction, not just the symptoms. Underlying core issues are typically one or more events - often early childhood trauma - that shocked us emotionally and which were never fully addressed and healed. 

These underlying core issues are then buried deep inside of us, and when they arise, they trigger substance abuse to numb out or even chronic or episodic depression.

We dive deep and help you discover these underlying core issues, and address and heal them with evidence-based counseling approaches and a lot of love. ❤️ 

Learn more about underlying core issues from Clearing co-founder Betsy Koelzer.

 

 

Note: A common pitfall for individuals who complete addiction treatment is that they begin feeling better and believe their depression no longer needs to be treated with medication. This may or may not be the case - but educate yourself here.

Learn more about mental illness medications.

 

Getting Help at The Clearing

Located on San Juan Island in Washington State, The Clearing offers a unique approach to treating both addiction and depression symptoms. We offer a unique 28-day residential rehab program where you’ll receive 120 hours of one-on-one therapy. This level of care guarantees that you’ll get the attention you deserve.

We use dual diagnosis treatment as part of our substance abuse programs. During your residential rehab experience, you’ll receive:

  • Therapist-led sessions and deep dives into discovering the underlying core issues that are causing the depression. Many times, but not always, this involves some form of childhood trauma.
  • Working those underlying core issues with love to resolve them for good
  • One-on-one therapy that provides you with in-depth opportunities to get the help you need
  • Group therapy that limits numbers of participants to about ten, which gives everyone an opportunity to benefit
  • Whole-person approach that incorporates healthy living, counseling, and spiritual care
  • Relapse prevention technique training and self-counseling

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For more information about what we treat, call The Clearing today at 425-275-8600.

 

Gregg Makuch

This post was written by Gregg Makuch

Gregg helps get the word out about The Clearing. When he’s not riding his bike and enjoying the beauty of the San Juan Islands, Gregg loves to cook and spend time with his family.

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