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Treating Depression and Anxiety in Recovery

Recovery is a time when we should focus on treating all mental, physical, and spiritual aspect of our addiction. Depression and anxiety are common among men and women with addiction, and often exacerbated drug and alcohol use. Attempting to move forward in sobriety without addressing mental health concerns can make for a more difficult journey of recovery.

Treatment should focus on all contributing factors of addiction. Many individuals suffering from addiction also have co-occurring mental health problems. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Because drug abuse and addiction—both of which are mental disorders—often co-occur with other mental illnesses, patients presenting with one condition should be assessed for the other(s). And when these problems co-occur, treatment should address both (or all), including the use of medications as appropriate.” When all other influencing factors of addiction are treated, we are less likely to feel overwhelmed by mental health problems and seek relief in drugs and alcohol.

If left untreated, depression and anxiety can put our sobriety at risk. Iva Gutowski, in a 2017 Livestrong article entitled Long-Term Effects of Untreated Depression, explains, “Many people with depression feel that the disease does not need to be treated by a physician. In the United States, there is a social stigma concerning depression. It is seen as a personal weakness and not a viable medical condition. For this reason, many people turn to substance abuse to relieve their symptoms. Substance abuse can lead to alcoholism, drug addiction and misuse of prescription medication such as narcotic pain relievers. These behaviors can lead to liver damage, kidney failure and death by accidental overdose.” Our depression can increase the feelings of restlessness, irritability, and discontentment that caused us to seek relief in drugs and alcohol. If left untreated, we run the risk of allowing these feelings to put our dedication to recovery at risk.

Untreated depression and anxiety can also lead to a host of negative health consequences. According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated depression can cause excessive weight gain or loss, physical pain or illness, social anxiety, conflicts with family or personal relationships, problems at work or school, social isolation, suicidal feelings, self-destructive behaviors, and premature death from other medical conditions. If we wish to avoid these complications, we should use treatment as a time to address our mental health concerns, making for an easier journey toward recovery from addiction and alcoholism.

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers gender-specific programs that offer individual and group therapy as well as a host of additional treatment modalities to prepare clients for a life that is rich and full without the chains of addiction to hold them back. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431