It’s not uncommon for people in substance use disorder recovery to struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. In fact, for many, untreated conditions such as these may have led them to substance misuse in the past as a coping method. Numerous studies link addiction and mental illness, so it’s vital for those in recovery to be aware of any potential dual-diagnosis they may have and treat it as early as possible to ensure long-lasting recovery into the future.
Feelings of uncertainty and anticipation are normal human urges, but clinical anxiety is a much more elevated state. Those who deal with unaddressed anxiety have persistent and often unfounded fears that can prohibit them from functioning normally day-to-day. The condition affects their professional life, relationship, and even basic things like running errands and doing chores.
Feeling down and sad are human emotions that everyone experiences at least once in their lives. However, depression is more than a couple of bad days and can last for prolonged periods that can inhibit a person’s ability to function and take care of themselves. It’s a serious disability that, when left untreated, can lead to dangerous health conditions due to neglect and even suicide.
Anxiety and Depression Together
It’s not uncommon for those suffering from anxiety to also have symptoms of depression. The two are diagnosed together frequently, especially for those with a history of addiction. Because substance use disorder rewires the reward pathway in the brain, those working their way out of addiction will often feel that they will never enjoy simple things in life like they did while they were misusing drugs. That factor can quickly give way to imbalances that manifest as anxiety and depression, even while they continue to attend treatment and focus on their recovery goals.
Treatment of Dual-Diagnosis
When someone in recovery is suffering from anxiety and depression, it can trigger stress-responses that could put them in danger of relapse, making the treatment of these psychiatric disorders essential for long-term success. The most common route that patients in recovery take is medication through an experienced psychiatrist that can lessen the effects of the conditions. Additional psychotherapy is also helpful for those who feel comfortable speaking to a professional and working through their troubles.
Patients who address their mental health while in recovery tend to relapse at a much lower rate because they are less likely to succumb to triggers. Lifting a patient in recovery from the grips of their mental illness can also ensure that they will have the emotional and mental strength to stick to their recovery plan for the long-term without being sabotaged by unaddressed mood disorders.
The compassionate and experienced medical providers and staff at Middlesex Recovery are ready to help anyone who is struggling with substance use disorder to find their way to healthy and long-lasting recovery. For more information, check out our helpful guide, or contact us today about enrollment.