Of the 21 million who struggle with addiction each year, many also struggle with one or more mental health conditions. Statistics show that as many as half of those who seek treatment for addiction also struggle with the symptoms of a mental health disorder. This is known as a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. The frequency with which dual diagnosis conditions occur helps reinforce the belief that addiction and new or worsening mental health symptoms are linked. Those who struggle with an undiagnosed (or even diagnosed) mental health condition often turn to alcohol to reduce the intensity of the symptoms they experience. Unfortunately, this method of self-medication leads to side effects, including new or worsening mental health symptoms. 

What Is Alcoholism?

Today many in the medical and mental health communities refer to alcoholism as an alcohol use disorder. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines an alcohol use disorder as a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. It encompasses the conditions that some people refer to as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction, and the colloquial term, alcoholism.” 

Alcohol use disorders are a disease of the brain which are characterized as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the individual’s specific relationship with alcohol. Chronic and severe drinking can lead to physical and functional changes in the brain, which further the ongoing desire to drink and increase one’s chances for relapse even after completing a comprehensive addiction treatment program. 

What Is Depression? 

Depression is a commonly diagnosed mental health condition. As many as 17% of people will experience depression in their lifetime. When someone struggles with depression, it can have a significant impact on their emotional, psychological, and physical health. Depression leads to many symptoms, which range from mild to severe. Some of the most common include feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, difficulties sleeping, appetite changes, decreased energy, feelings of worthlessness, and cognitive challenges. For your mental health provider to diagnose depression, the symptoms must last at least two weeks and represent a significant change in your previous level of functioning. 

There are different types of depressive disorders your mental health provider may diagnose. Many diagnoses are based on specific sets of symptoms and symptom duration. If you struggle with mental health symptoms and alcohol use disorder symptoms, finding a treatment center skilled in dual diagnosis treatment is important to ensure your best chances of recovery. 

How to Find Alcohol and Depression Treatment Centers Near Me

If you struggle with depression and an alcohol use disorder, dual diagnosis treatment is essential to ensure your best opportunity for recovery. Unfortunately, not all addiction treatment programs are equipped to address mental health conditions and vice versa. Although many programs specialize in helping patients achieve sobriety and recovery from alcohol addiction, their treatment programs are not designed around the unique area of co-occurring disorder treatment. Because the root causes of your depression symptoms and alcohol use disorder are often closely linked, it is vital to choose an addiction treatment program that can address both conditions as part of the same comprehensive treatment program.

If you would like to learn more about how Concise Recovery will work with you to design a treatment program that addresses all of your treatment needs, contact our admissions team today. Here at our Sherman Oaks, CA treatment facility, our treatment team is ready to help you take the first steps on your journey to sobriety and long-term recovery from alcohol addiction and the challenges depression brings to your everyday life.