<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1515645055369305&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

How Depression Symptoms Can Complicate Your Addiction Recovery Journey

Subscribe to blog: click here to subscribe

Subscribe by Email


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.

However, alcohol and drugs create also dopamine. During active addiction, your brain stops creating it naturally. The best substance abuse programs will help your brain 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. During early recovery, trained therapists will help you realize that it’s possible to create dopamine without using addictive substances.

Depression and addiction often go hand-in-hand. This is called dual diagnosis - substance abuse along with a co-occurring mental or emotional health condition. At The Clearing, we've found that virtually all of the people who have been through our addiction recovery program have needed dual diagnosis treatment.

More often than not, people with co-occurring conditions don't attend a rehab equipped to address both sides of the equation. If you feel you have a dual diagnosis, make sure you research your options to ensure you choose a rehab center that can treat both mental health issues 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 can 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 - which were never fully addressed and healed. 

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

At The Clearing, we dive deep and help you discover and address these issues 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 they no longer need medication.

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 in WA 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 time at The Clearing, you’ll receive:

  • Therapist-led sessions and deep dives into discovering the underlying core issues that are causing the depression
  • 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

Download Dual Diagnosis Free EBook


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.

Subscribe by Email

Sign up for weekly updates

Popular Posts

    Subscribe by Email

    Sign up for weekly updates