Anxiety and depression are the two most common disorders that occur with addiction. The high occurrence rate is why it’s so common for rehab centers to offer dual diagnosis programs. Both of these disorders feed addiction, making it even harder for people to get their lives back on track. Below is more information about how these disorders affect addiction and what you can do about them.

Why Does Anxiety and Depression Occur So Often With Addiction?

woman sitting against wall has anxiety and depressionAddiction is a disease. Much like other mental health disorders, it’s the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Since drugs alter this chemical balance, it’s common for these conditions to appear together.

However, depression and anxiety can both occur before alcohol or drug addiction, or without addiction ever being a problem. It’s a natural chemical imbalance that often pushes individuals toward self-medication as a way to cope and feel better. Regardless of which comes first, all of these conditions work together to create the feeling of despair.

Taking Control of Depression

Depression is a fickle beast to deal with. It sometimes seems as if anything can trigger depression at any time. Once it sets in, it’s easy to turn to drugs or alcohol as a crutch. The increase of dopamine that drugs provide is enough to keep depression at bay, but only for a while. Taking drugs never deals with the root cause of addiction.

The best thing that you can do for depression is to seek help. Many rehab centers offer dual diagnosis programs, which deal with both addiction and co-occurring disorders. There are also a few changes that you can make to your lifestyle to reduce the effects of depression. Some of these changes include:

  • Exercise
  • Setting realistic goals for yourself
  • Avoiding giving in to the temptation to sleep during the day
  • Eating healthy

These may seem like basic concepts. However, it’s easy to lose sight of them when you suffer from depression. It’s also crucial to seek expert help so you can get to the root cause of your depression.

The Connection Between Anxiety and Addiction

The root cause of all anxiety is fear. The simple idea of not wanting to feel fear is enough to cause anxiety. As with depression, people who have anxiety often turn to drugs or alcohol to escape the feeling.

There are many elements in your life that can lead to anxiety. Starting a new job or attending a new school is stressful and fills people with dread. However, analyzing the situation that causes anxiety isn’t always the best answer. Instead, you should look at why the situation makes you feel stressed or out of control.

Some people have an excessive need to control situations or achieve approval from others. It’s this focus on control and approval that leads to psychological stress and anxiety. Typically, people just ignore these signs of stress, which makes anxiety worse. More difficult still is the fact that anxiety can pop up at any time, seemingly without any cause.

Thankfully, some of the same things that people do to limit depression also help limit anxiety. For example, research proves that exercise is a way to reduce both anxiety and depression.

Treatment Is Waiting for You at 1st Step Behavioral Health

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we take a proven approach to helping our clients overcome addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders. We pride ourselves on offering long-term care that lasts anywhere from six months to a full year. Some of the addiction programs and services that we offer include:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Family therapy
  • Relapse treatment
  • Art and music therapy
  • Life skills building
  • Holistic therapies

We place a big emphasis on family therapy. Involving family members provides you with a strong support system during your addiction treatment. Additionally, family therapy acts as an educational course that helps your family members better understand addiction.

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we also offer a number of holistic therapies. This includes acupuncture and massage therapy. We have a wellness center with a chiropractor as well. The goal of these services is to reduce stress and make it easier for you to focus on treatment.

Don’t let anxiety and depression make your addiction worse. Fight back against these disorders with the help of dual diagnosis treatment centers, like 1st Step Behavioral Health. Call us today at 866-319-6123 for more information.