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Ways to Overcome Addiction While Battling Depression

Depression and addiction can be co-occurring disorders, and many people struggle with both of them at the same time. These conditions can impact and influence each other in a significant way. For example, people who have certain mood disorders, such as depression, may turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to cope with their intense feelings.

It may seem impossible to overcome addiction when you are simultaneously struggling with depression. However, this article reveals several strategies to help you improve your mood and combat your cravings.

Rely on Support Groups and Therapy

There are various options for support when it comes to overcoming addiction while you are battling depression. Some people find that implementing a combination of different strategies works for them, while others focus their efforts on one type of treatment. 

One option that people find helpful is support groups. These groups are full of people who are experiencing similar situations. Hearing different stories and listening to others share what they’re going through may help you understand that you are not alone. 

You can also look into individual and group therapy options. Group therapy is similar to a support group but with a licensed professional who facilitates discussion and provides therapeutic techniques rather than just guidance. Individual therapy is a more personalized approach where you speak to a professional without anyone else around.

Depending on your needs, you can receive inpatient or outpatient therapy. Support groups are typically for people who still experience challenges and desire community but don’t require intensive care. Some people attend both therapy and support groups to help them battle their addiction and depression.

Jackson House offers four levels of treatment:

Proactively Avoid Triggering Situations

While combating both addiction and depression, proactively avoiding triggering situations can be paramount to your recovery.

First, you must self-reflect to understand your triggers and potential triggers and what events would foster the environments you should avoid. If you are concerned or hesitant about an event, it’s best for your recovery to stay away for the time being.

For example, if you are recovering from alcohol addiction and your friend is throwing a party, it may not be wise to attend. It can be tough to say no to friends for fear of hurting their feelings or missing out, but for the sake of your health, you might need to choose the events you attend carefully.

It’s important to note that you do not have to avoid all social situations, nor do you have to abstain from attending events where there might be alcohol or substance use forever. However, when trying to prevent relapse, the beginning is always the hardest. 

Pursue Things That Bring You Joy

One of the most frustrating symptoms of depression is that your enjoyment of fun or relaxing activities can plummet to the point where it is non-existent. 

If you are experiencing depression, conjuring up genuine interest in things that you used to love can be a challenge, but if you are determined to get better, it’s worth a shot to try.

It’s important to fill your time so you are not sitting on the sofa or in bed doing nothing. Excessive idleness gives your brain more time to fixate on negative thoughts and can push you back toward substance abuse. 

Addiction is hard to overcome, but if you occupy your life and mind with other things, then you won’t be so focused on what you are missing. Finding healthy alternatives to substance abuse is the key to living a more joyful life in the long term. 

Some people take up a sport to release their pent-up energy and tire themselves out. Others prefer to adopt more creative or restful hobbies, allowing them to release their feelings in a healthy and safe way. Finding an activity that brings you joy again might take time, but if you keep looking, something will eventually catch your eye.

These healthier alternatives will make you feel better both physically and mentally, lessening depression’s grim hold.

Reward Yourself When You Make Progress

Incentivizing yourself can be helpful when pursuing sobriety. Any step toward recovery is a huge achievement, and your progress should be thoroughly celebrated, even if your depression makes you feel like you’re not in the mood.

If you act as though your progress doesn’t matter, you are not seeing your achievements for what they really are. Any progress is good, even if it feels like you have only taken a baby step in the right direction. It’s better than the position that you were in before, and you deserve to acknowledge that.

Setting realistic goals for yourself can help you monitor your progress. For example, you might decide that your first week without any kind of substance abuse is worth a small treat that you have wanted to purchase for yourself. 

It’s easier to walk a difficult path when we can see the end goal and a reward awaits us there. It’s not realistic to work toward the final step of your journey from the very beginning, but it is realistic to set small progressive goals so the outcome doesn’t feel like it’s a million miles away.

Contact Jackson House

If you struggle with depression and addiction, get in touch with Jackson House today. Our friendly, empathetic staff is available to answer any questions you may have about our programs and treatment options.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.