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The Relationship Between Depression and Addiction

The link between depression and addiction is strong. Together, they create a vicious cycle that’s extremely difficult to break free from. Understanding the relationship between them shows us why co-occurring disorder treatment is so important in drug rehab programs. At Red Oak Recovery®, we’re committed to helping young adult men overcome their depression and addiction. The best possible way to do this is to provide dual diagnosis treatment. This treatment option provides comprehensive treatment for both conditions concurrently. To learn more about the benefits of dual diagnosis treatment for depression and addiction, please contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.

Depression and Addiction Are Both Mental Disorders

The first and most important link between depression and addiction is that they’re both mental conditions. Why is this so important? Once the brain develops any kind of mental disorder, it becomes easier to develop another.

However, no one knows for sure why having one mental disorder opens the door for more. Although, most experts agree that it has to do with a cognitive chemical imbalance. Most mental disorders are the result of a chemical imbalance.


Addiction often starts with self-medication. It’s normal for people to feel depression or anxiety every now and then. When they feel it too often, however, they start looking for ways to numb themselves. Unfortunately, this usually involves self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

Generally, they’ll begin using drugs in ways they shouldn’t. Taking drugs or drinking alcohol only provides temporary relief. Thus, they have to continue to self-medicate to keep their feelings at bay. The continual use of drugs typically results in addiction development.

How Do People Know They Have Depression?

Usually, it’s pretty easy to tell when people have substance use problems. However, many people don’t know how to recognize depression. After all, it’s common for people to feel sadness from time to time. So, when does feeling sad turn into depression?

The DSM-5 is a manual that doctors use to diagnose mental disorders such as depression. According to the manual, people have to exhibit five or more depression symptoms over the course of a two-week span. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness throughout most of the day
  • Feeling tired or having no energy for most of the day
  • Thinking about suicide or death often
  • Having a hard time focusing or making decisions
  • Feeling guilty or worthless every day
  • Lacking interest in hobbies or activities

If you’re suffering from several of these symptoms and you’re using drugs or alcohol to cope, then it’s time to seek treatment. Contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590 to learn more.

What Will Treatment Include?

Red Oak Recovery® tailors each person’s treatment to their unique needs. Therefore, we will use a wide array of holistic and evidence-based treatment options to help you heal from depression and addiction. For example, our men’s rehab center offers treatments such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Experiential therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Wilderness therapy

To determine what your treatment will include, please contact Red Oak Recovery® today.

Let Red Oak Recovery® Show You the Way

At Red Oak Recovery®, we understand the link between addiction and other mental disorders. We aim to treat not only addiction but underlying mental disorders as well. Overall, learning to cope with these harrowing symptoms helps prevent relapse later on. The addiction treatment programs that we offer include:

  • Dual diagnosis
  • Residential rehab for young adults
  • Gender-specific rehab
  • Family counseling
  • 12-step rehab

Don’t let addiction ruin your life at an early age. Find out what it takes to conquer addiction once and for all. Reach out to us today at 866.457.7590 to begin your transformation to a better, sober you.