In today’s substance abuse treatment space, many patients suffer from a co-occurring disorder.
Patients use drugs and alcohol to help alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Most patients do not know that they are removing their symptoms of these mental health conditions by abusing drugs and alcohol. They know they “feel” better, however over time, people become addicted to whatever coping mechanism they are using, whether alcohol, heroin, fentanyl, or one of the other widely abused narcotics. The importance of identifying mental health versus substance abuse is vital to treat a patient properly.
Feeling down from time to time is normal, but when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take hold and won’t go away, you may have depression. More than just sadness in response to life’s struggles and setbacks, depression changes how you think, feel, and function in daily activities. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Just trying to get through the day can be overwhelming.
While some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men, in particular, can feel angry and restless. However, you experience the problem, left untreated, it can become a severe health condition. But it’s important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depression—not the reality of your situation.