Clinical depression is one of the most common mental health conditions that people seek treatment for. It’s also closely linked to substance abuse. Research scientists believe that both genetics and the environment play a role in the onset of depression and addiction. To successfully recover from both disorders, each one needs to be addressed and treated.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with addiction and depression, it’s important to manage your symptoms for both conditions. Let’s focus on the strategies that help individuals with clinical depression.
1. Get Educated
Learn about clinical depression and its symptoms. There is a lot of information online or in books, but be careful to choose those from reputable sources. Your doctor is also a good source for information. He or she may request that you take the Burns Depression Checklist or the Depression Anxiety Quiz to better understand your status.
2. Incorporate Medication
Medication is not right for everyone, but it can be helpful for those with severe depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most common medications prescribed. Unfortunately, these drugs can also cause dependency. If you’re already at risk for addiction, talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.
3. Attend Talk Therapy
Talk therapy is one of the most effective non-medicine treatments for clinical depression. The goal of psychotherapy is to help you be more in control of your emotions. You will also learn how to respond to negative situations in a more positive manner.
4. Discover Stress-Relieving Activities
Stress is a major contributor to depression. By managing your stress levels, you can reduce symptoms of depression. Stress-busting activities come in many forms: yoga, deep breathing, running, reading, writing or bubble baths.
5. Maintain a Social Network
As you go through periods of depression, it’s normal to push people away. Unfortunately, this only brings you down further. Spending time with others prevents you from isolating yourself. Even if you don’t feel like being with others, their presence can offer comfort.
6. Ask for Support
When you have a healthy social circle, you have people to lean on. Let your loved ones know that you need them, even though this may be difficult. Friends and family will remind you that you are not alone.
7. Exercise Daily
Daily activity is good for your mental and physical health. In fact, some research shows that exercise can be just as effective for relieving symptoms as medicine. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain that contribute to being happy. This helps with confidence and stress reduction.
8. Eat Healthy Foods
Nutritious foods release serotonin in the brain. A good diet also regulates sleep patterns and stabilizes the mood. Choose healthy foods that will provide you with essential nutrients and stay away from trans fats, high preservative foods, alcohol and caffeine.
9. Get Rest
Getting adequate sleep each night allows your mind and body to recover. It also improves your mood and energy so that you can deal with stress the next day. Stick to a routine each night so that you give yourself time to unwind and clear your mind before bed.
10. Boost Self-Esteem
Having high self-esteem boosts your serotonin levels. When you’re feeling down, self-esteem is a great way to lift yourself back up. The best ways to increase self-esteem is by practicing things you are good at each day, helping others and showing gratitude.
Are you ready to start your journey to sobriety? Call The River Source and have both depression and substance abuse treated with our successful integrative rehabilitation options.