Depression is a mood disorder that can lead to ongoing sadness, feelings of loss, or even anger. Instead of seeking professional help for depression, some people may self-medicate by turning to drugs or alcohol. However, self-medicating depression during the holidays often makes the symptoms worse.
For instance, daily alcohol consumption can compound the issue by altering a person’s mood and make them more depressed. Furthermore, using a substance to deal with a mood disorder may result in dependency, as the user feels as though they can’t function without the substance. Eventually, addiction causes additional problems such as anxiety, changes in behavior, or health issues.
Substance Abuse: A Coping Mechanism for Depression
When a person becomes depressed, they may gravitate toward a substance that seems to alleviate their symptoms the fastest. Consequently, self-medicating depression during the holidays becomes a coping mechanism. As long as the substance pulls them out of their depression, they are likely to use it.
However, self-medication hurts mental disorders. It may initially produce a high or feeling of euphoria that pulls a person out of their depression. Once the individual comes off the high, they may ‘crash’ and go into a worse mental state. Substance users often experience anxiety in addition to their current condition. Utah substance abuse treatment programs help you manage drug and alcohol use and encourage healthy treatment of depression during the holidays.
Examples of Self-Medicating Depression During the Holidays
People who suffer from depression often turn to a ‘vice’ to deal with or escape their mental disorder. Some of the most common forms of self-medicating depression during the holidays include:
- Binging on food or ‘comfort eating’
- Beer, wine, or liquor
- Cocaine or amphetamines
- Coffee or energy drinks
- Codeine, heroin, or methadone
In nearly every case, the user starts out using the substance casually. They may have a glass of wine now and then to take the edge off of their depression. As time goes by, the person may increase their dosage and frequency of use. Eventually, they become dependent on the substance to help them get through every episode of depression. The user may decide that the substance is the only way to manage their depression. They may even refuse professional help from an addiction treatment center in Utah.
Co-Occurring Disorders and Dual Diagnosis
People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often have a mental disorder, such as depression, that may turn into self-medicating depression over time. The two conditions feed into one another and intensify the symptoms. Once a user seeks help at a treatment center, they can get proper care for these co-occurring disorders.
A therapist will assess a client’s condition to identify the root cause of the addiction. In this case, the underlying problem may be depression. By treating the depression, the client has a higher chance of recovering from the addiction. The dual diagnosis treatment center in Utah treats both mental illness and addiction disorders.
Treatment is Available for Addiction and Depression
Do you currently suffer from depression and addiction? If you are self-medicating depression during the holidays, contact Acqua Recovery. We offer comprehensive care for all types of addictions and mental health issues. To find out more about your treatment options, call us today at 866.830.4628. We are here to help you get on the path to recovery.