Addressing Depression During Addiction Treatment


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The unfortunate truth is that conditions like anxiety, depression, and mental trauma go hand-in-hand with addiction. As a result, many people who struggle with addiction unknowingly struggle with mental health disorders as well.

There are instances where people will turn to substance use in order to numb the pain and suffering. In other cases, people may develop mental health problems after struggling with addiction for several years. 

Given the close connection between mental health conditions and addiction, it is important to address both of these conditions at the same time during addiction treatment.

The Impact of Addiction on Your Brain

Addiction is often referred to as a disease of the brain. When people consume depressants, stimulants, and other substances, they completely rewire the messaging and reward systems of the brain by disrupting the equilibrium. As a result, a person struggling with addiction will begin to feel like the only way that they can feel happy or satisfied is by consuming a substance. When the person is not utilizing drugs or alcohol, they may feel anxious or depressed.

As a person begins to detox from their drug or alcohol addiction in an addiction treatment center, they are essentially ridding their body of a substance that their brain has grown to depend on. The brain and the body go through a market period of recalibration the longer a person remains substance free.

As a result, they may experience significant cases of emptiness or depression. This natural part of the process should be expected. There are some steps that you can take to help address depression during addiction treatment.

Overcoming Depression While in Addiction Recovery

Whether depression has always been a part of your life where it was brought about due to detox, it is important that you are able to successfully manage the impact that it has on your life early on. 

Surrounding yourself with friends and family can be incredibly helpful when it comes to remaining positive during this very difficult time.

Attending community groups can also provide you with additional support. These types of groups can allow you to hold yourself accountable and meet new people on the same path as you. Finding other people that understand what you are going through after addiction treatment and how to overcome the struggles can help you remain positive on your journey.

Finally, it is important that you seek professional help whenever possible. There are various treatment centers that offer care and counseling for depression. These centers have extensive resources available to help you both in therapy and in your daily life. By connecting with other local groups in implementing healthy activities into your daily lifestyle, you are more likely to be successful on your path to recovery.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression

Recognizing the symptoms of depression is important. This is especially true if you are considering seeking guidance or counseling for your depression condition. Some of the most common signs that you may be experiencing some type of depression include:

  • Feeling socially isolated
  • Experiencing disturbances in your appetite
  • Having problems concentrating
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling shame
  • Experiencing chronic fatigue
  • Feeling helpless or worthless
  • Have a low mood
  • Experience intrusive thoughts

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you seek help for your depression. If you are overcoming addiction, you may want to consider a dual-diagnosis addiction treatment program.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment?

When a person suffers from addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression, they have the ability to undergo dual diagnosis treatment. These programs are designed to simultaneously address addiction and depression together.

This comprehensive approach incorporates the various types of therapy that are designed to help people cope with their addiction. This type of addiction treatment is also designed to help them learn healthier habits and incorporate positive activities into their lives.

These programs tend to focus on mental health treatment and substance use treatment. In most cases, people will begin a dual diagnosis treatment program by undergoing detox. Detox is a medically monitored process that allows a person to safely and effectively read their body of any substances.

After detox, the patient will go through several types of therapy. This can include individual therapy, group therapy, and even family therapy. Individuals in dual-diagnosis treatment programs for depression and addiction can also benefit greatly from holistic therapies. These therapies can include art therapy, music therapy, and even exercise programs.

In many cases, inpatient rehabilitation is recommended that people who suffer from co-occurring conditions. These facilities are designed to completely remove individuals struggling with addiction from all of their outside triggers. They are educated on ways to build skills that help them throughout the recovery process.


Essentially, people who undergo dual-diagnosis treatment programs for depression and addiction will learn how to cope with their triggers. Making the connection between the depression that a person suffers from and their addiction is important. After making the connection, individuals will then develop healthy ways to deal with the triggers so that they can live a happier and healthier life after addiction treatment.

Healthy Habits for Battling Depression During Addiction Treatment

There are several things that you can do to help battle depression symptoms after addiction treatment. These include:

  • Rely on your network for support whenever necessary
  • Practice self-care and implement healthy habits into your life
  • Establish a daily routine that is easy to follow
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Implement regular exercise into your schedule
  • Spend time enjoying the outdoors
  • Volunteer for other people and give back to your community
  • Practice various stress management techniques
  • Engage in new hobbies that are healthy and fun

Implementing safe activities into your daily life will not only help you overcome your addiction, but it will also help you deal with the depression symptoms that you may experience. It is important to understand that you are not in this battle alone.

Recovery Begins at Our Tennessee Rehab Center

At Magnolia Ranch Recovery, we understand how difficult it can be to deal with depression during and after addiction treatment. For this reason, we are committed to helping each person we work with develop the coping skills that they need to remain sober.

To see how our team can offer you support while battling depression and addiction, reach out today. Our compassion administration team is available to answer any questions that you may have.

Choose a Sober Life with Magnolia Ranch Recovery

Available 24/7, we're committed to guiding you towards a life free from the shackles of drugs and alcohol. Connect with our recovery experts to discover our holistic treatment pathways.

Picture of Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP
Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP

Experienced Clinical Director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Anger Management, Healthcare, Medicine, EMDR, and Life Transitions. Strong healthcare services professional with a Masters Degree focused in Psychology from The University of Memphis.

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