Ask someone why people take drugs, and they may say to try and escape or get relief from the emotional pain they’re feeling, or because they’re depressed. That may be two ways of saying the same thing. You may have also heard people question what comes first. Does someone turn to drinking or other drugs because they’re depressed, or does addiction make someone depressed? The Mayo Clinic says that alcohol abuse or use of recreational drugs is one of the factors that seems to “increase the risk of developing or triggering depression.” CBS News has a Q&A on the subject with the Assistant Medical Director of a treatment center associated with McLean Hospital who says “there are a number of drugs that people use and abuse that can directly affect the brain and cause depression. For example, marijuana slows down brain functioning and diminishes cognitive abilities and can cause depression in a significant number of individuals. Alcohol can do the same thing. Cocaine tends to elevate people’s moods, but when they come off it, they often experience a crash into depression.”
Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs
In any event, Richard Tate, the co-author of “Ending Addiction for Good,” says in Psychology Today that depression is probably the most common co-occurring disorder among substance abusers. also points out there are different types of depression, various causes, and several types of medications to treat it. “Depression may require long-term treatment,” the organization notes, “but don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.” Depression is a serious condition and one blog post is not sufficient for thoroughly delving into such an involved disease. However, some people find that besides therapy and medication, apps and podcasts can be helpful. A few are below.
Apps and Podcasts
One woman wrote about her depression on Buzzfeed and mentioned that listening to podcasts on mental health work for her because they let her and others know they’re not alone in feeling sad. They also allow for listening in private, where there is no stigma about mental health conditions. One podcast she mentioned is The Mental Illness Happy Hour, which has interviews with comedians, doctors and others that explore mental illness, trauma, addiction, and negative thinking. Don’t let the slick title turn you off before you try it; the podcaster is a comedian. Another writer has compiled a list of apps designed to make people feel happier, such as Aura, which offers Mindfulness Meditations, short stories, music, sounds of nature, and a gratitude journal, for example.
Regarding mindful meditation, the July issue of Health magazine offers three apps:
Headspace, which teaches the basics of meditating at no cost, followed by for pay meditations from one to 20 minutes. There’s also Meditation Studio, advertised as having meditations for everyone, no matter their situation. Finally, Stop, Breathe, and Think allows you to log your daily meditation to track your practice. Other organizations offer similar apps. Here’s one that looks interesting:
For many, addiction is as much a symptom as it is an illness in and of itself. This makes addressing the core issues that may be fueling the need to escape a central part of recovery. For those with depression and/or anxiety, relief and support can be found through Pacifica. In addition to offering a mood tracker and guided meditations, this app uses principles based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help smooth over distorted thinking patterns and overcome anxiety by breaking it down into bite-sized daily challenges.
For more information on Summit Estate’s alcohol and drug treatment Programs please call (866) 569-9391, help is only a phone call away.