Our experienced staff at Free by the Sea, located in the State of Washington, addresses the conditions of both depression and addiction, understanding the methods required to effectively treat those suffering from them. We provide solutions for sufferers of these conditions using state-of-the-art testing, therapy, medications, and a relationship built upon trust and constant communication between the patient and staff.
The connection between depression and alcoholism has been suspected for a long time, especially among those who suffer from both conditions. Recent studies, though, have confirmed that a causal connection exists between alcoholism and depression.
A Harvard School of Public Health study confirmed the long-standing belief of many health care professionals that there is a link between depression and alcoholism. The study tracked 15,000 people nationally who had never had a prior diagnosis of clinical depression or alcohol dependency. The subjects underwent extensive interviews to discuss their symptoms in both categories.
The study involved two interviews with each participant separated by a one-year interval. The goal of the study was to learn which of the subjects displayed signs of either depression or alcohol dependency.
Common Depression Symptoms
Depression is defined as either situational or chronic. The common condition is typified by feelings of emotions such as hopelessness, fatigue, sadness, and a lack of enthusiasm in activities that the sufferer formerly enjoyed. Since depression can affect your whole life, it is regarded as a very serious mental health disorder that can be helped by treatment that offers sufferers the opportunity to enjoy a healthier, happier life that is more stable and productive.
Major or clinical depression is recognized by the appearance of certain symptoms:
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Lacking interest in activities that were once enjoyable
- Dietary changes — eating less than or more than usual
- Feeling “stuck in a rut”
- Loss of energy — listlessness or extreme fatigue
- Problems concentrating or mental confusion
- Feeling worthless
- Suicidal impulses
Some difference of opinion does exist regarding what constitutes alcohol dependency, but there are some general rules that indicate there is a problem.
The following behaviors are considered to be symptoms of alcohol dependency:
- Consuming alcohol to the point that it causes difficulties in personal, professional, or social life
- Continuing to drink in spite of safety or health issues — driving under the influence, not heeding the advice of a healthcare professional to stop drinking
- Developing a tolerance for alcohol that requires increasing amounts of alcohol to get the same effect as earlier, smaller amounts
- When the drinker stops drinking, they develop withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, increased heart rate, hallucinations, or seizures
- Mood changes such as rage, panic, or sadness
- Cannot perform regular activities such as work and school tasks
- Blackouts that causes the drinker to fail to recall what they were doing for short or long periods of time
Link Between Alcohol Abuse and Depression
Most people who have experienced an alcohol dependency realize that alcohol use is often engaged in to self-medicate and block feelings of pain. They also are aware that self-medicating with alcohol is a temporary, destructive “fix” that only feeds into a cycle of destruction. Since alcohol is a depressant, any relief that comes through drinking is quickly reversed and likely to fuel the depression.
The Harvard study not only found a linkage between depression and alcohol abuse, but it showed that subjects displaying some depression symptoms during their first interview were more likely to display alcohol dependency symptoms during their second interview one year later. Also, those displaying alcohol dependency symptoms during their first interview had higher chances of displaying depression symptoms at their second interview. The study suggests that the two conditions feed upon each other. Those who had more severe depression symptoms also had a higher risk of alcohol abuse. Conversely, those with alcohol dependency symptoms had greater chances of suffering from major or clinical depression.
Two other facts have emerged from the Harvard Study regarding the relationship between gender and binge drinking. The study found that women are at a higher risk than men at suffering from both conditions. Binge drinking — defined as ingesting large amounts of alcohol in a short time span — often leads to the development of depression. Young people with pre-existing depression are more likely than others to suffer from alcohol abuse.
Other studies have reached similar conclusions, including the increased risks for women. They have also concluded that binge drinking often leads to the development of depression. In other words, someone drinking a lot over a short period is much more likely to develop signs of depression than someone who drinks normally or not at all. Other studies have shown that young people suffering from depression are more likely to begin drinking than others.
More and more evidence shows that when underlying depression symptoms are left untreated, the depression sufferer often turns to alcohol, and obviously, someone with alcohol dependency is a strong candidate for depression. The cycle is quite common, and professionals are skilled at breaking this type of cycle.
What Kind of Treatment is Available at Free by the Sea?
When it comes to treatment options available for your addiction, Free by the Sea has you covered. There are many treatment options available to fit your individualized recovery needs. Some of these treatment options include the following:
Otherwise known as residential treatment, inpatient care lasts anywhere between 28 days to six months, and is meant for those who suffer from severe cases of addiction. Those who participate are given 24-hour access to our professionally trained medical staff, as well as weekly (sometimes daily) access to professional therapists and psychiatrists.
Outpatient treatment is meant for those who have either completed residential treatment and are not ready for the world outside of treatment, or for those who only suffer from mild addiction. This method of care usually lasts anywhere from 3 months to over a year and provides patients with somewhere between 10-12 hours of weekly access to professional therapists and psychiatrists. For those who want to seek treatment that provides minimal disruption to their daily lives, outpatient rehab is the best choice for their individual care needs.
One of the most difficult parts about coming off of drugs is having to deal with the symptoms of withdrawal. Vomiting, headaches, and depression just don’t seem worth it in the midst of the journey. But there are ways to curb those symptoms, and that is with medically assisted treatment. Medically assisted treatment (MAT) is designed to treat withdrawal symptoms while weaning patients off of drug or alcohol dependency. This way, patients can come off of drugs more comfortably.
There are many different kinds of therapy, some of which are listed below:
- Individual Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
The end all be all to any sort of mental health therapy is to help patients move past emotional trauma or baggage with the goal of living life without compromising the well-being of others. Though there are many different kinds of therapy, the principle is the same: a comfortable environment for the patient in which they are fine with sharing details that pertain to their emotional baggage with certain therapy exercises.
Let Free by the Sea Help You Today!
There have been many studies that have connected the dots between depression and substance abuse. The findings of these studies suggest that individualized care for someone’s mental health is imperative to their overall well-being. Although these diseases are not always dependent on one another, they can occur at the same time (which is referred to as dual diagnosis), in which case treatment should become the first priority.
Our philosophy here is that no one person is exactly the same as another individual, and treatment should reflect that. At Free by the Sea, our professionally trained medical staff are more than equipped to meet the unique needs of those who are suffering from a dual diagnosis. This has the potential to lead someone to a happier, more stable state of being. So, if you’re ready to overcome addiction and depression in your life, please contact us today!