In the midst of every psychiatric disorders that exist, depression has become a common problem across most households and in the lives of the people in the United States. As one of the most common mental disorders afflicting the American citizens, almost everybody knows about someone who is coping with or suffering from depression at one or the other point of their life.
The 2015 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveals that more than 16.1 million adults (6.7 percent of the population) aged 18 or above were known to suffer from at least one major depressive episode in the previous year. Due to the stigma attached to mental illnesses, it is quite alarming to note that individuals who suspect depressive symptoms at play often dissuade themselves from seeking professional assistance or advice.
And in many cases, patients tend to engage in some or the other form of substance abuse for self-medication purposes. Addiction to any form of substance, such as drugs, alcohol, etc., can worsen the depressive symptoms afflicting the individual.
Destructive synergy of vices and woes
People may start using substances to uplift their spirits, numb their thoughts or to escape reality. The frequent use of substances has the ability to affect the level of neurotransmitters, also known as chemical messengers in the brain. The effect of substance use is known to particularly affect the reward centers in the brain, which is associated with the regulation and excess production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Since dopamine plays a notable role in regulating the key cognitive and behavioral functions, such as movement, memory, sleep, mood, learning, etc.
When the body gets familiar to the periodic drug intake, the brain naturally lowers the production of dopamine to account for the excess volumes of dopamine. This triggers the feeling of numbness, fatigue and dissociation with things once found enjoyable. Such feelings are accompanied by a range of negative symptoms, such as irritability, paranoia, drug-seeking behavior and buildup of tolerance.
The comorbidity of substance use disorder (SUD) and depression can aggravate the symptoms of both the conditions. The onset of one disorder can lead to the onset of the other problem. Some drugs on being abused manifest depressive symptoms by triggering the underlying propensities for developing a mental disorder. Oftentimes, the treatment must be customized according to each person’s severity and uniqueness of co-occurring disease as there is no one-size-fits-all approach in this domain.
Help is at hand
When a loved one is suffering from depression, negative thoughts of self-harm and suicide, low self-esteem, etc. start clouding a person’s mind. However, one should rather than becoming disappointed and embarrassed about his or her problem should remain positive about recovering from such co-occurring disorders.
Rather than looking at the bottom, one should look at the sky as the limit. When addiction comes into play, the loved ones can play a significant role in helping the patient in recovering from his or her comorbid disorders.
People close to the patient can lend support by hearing them out and creating an enabling environment. Rather than setting rules, loved ones can focus on interacting with the patients to understand their less-understood challenges.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has highlighted that roughly 20 percent of the Americans suffer from psychiatric disorders, such as depression. Additionally, 20 percent of the population with SUD also suffer from anxiety or mood disorder. The treatment of dual diagnosis requires individualized treatment plans and the understanding of how two disorders correlate with one another.
Co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis are complicated in nature; however, it is possible to treat such difficult cases using proper medical assistance and care. The California Dual Diagnosis Helpline can connect you to the state-of-the-art dual diagnosis treatment in California that specializes in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1736 or chat online with our medical advisers to know more about the dual diagnosis treatment centers in California.