Depression and addiction share many of the same symptoms, including anxiety and stress. When you’re depressed, it can be hard to keep yourself out of trouble or manage your emotions in a healthy way. You might start drinking or using drugs because you don’t feel like dealing with life’s stresses—and then feel worse when your depression gets worse. But there are ways to manage both depression and addiction at the same time! Here’s how:
Depression and addiction share common symptoms, including:
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Diminished appetite or overeating.
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.
- Irritability and anger toward family members, friends, or strangers.
You can treat both depression and addiction simultaneously
Talk to your doctor. Depression in native American culture can be treated with medication and therapy, but it’s important to know that you may also need treatment for addiction. In addition to being depressed, many people suffering from substance use disorders also develop other mental health issues like anxiety or psychosis (loss of touch with reality).
You can use self-care to cope with your depression (and prevent it from spiralling into addiction)
Self-care is a key part of managing depression while dealing with addiction. It can help you get through the days and nights when your brain is telling you that life isn’t worth living or that there is nothing left to live for.
Self-care is not just about taking time for yourself; it also means finding ways to care for others as well. You might be able to give back by volunteering at an organization that helps people struggling with substance abuse issues or by helping them find treatment options like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Your environment can have a huge impact on your mood
- Avoid people who are negative.
- Avoid places that trigger memories of past trauma.
- Exercise regularly to keep your stress levels down and burn off any extra energy from depression that might be lurking inside you.
Depression and addiction are both serious mental health conditions, and they can be tricky to treat. While there’s no magic pill or treatment that will solve your depression, you can use self-care to prevent it from spiralling into addiction. It may seem like there’s no way around the fact that you have a disease, but with the right tools in place and some patience, you’re sure to get better!