Depression and Addiction: Treating a Dual Diagnosis

10 AA Sayings That Will Inspire You in Recovery

10 AA Sayings That Will Inspire You in RecoveryDepression and addiction are common comorbid conditions. According to the National Institute of Mental Health’s Epidemiological Catchment Area study, among individuals with lifetime major depression, 16.5% had an alcohol use disorder and 18% had a drug use disorder. Both problem drinking and drug abuse are more common in depressed individuals than in the general population. Substance abuse can worsen the course of depression, increasing the risks of outcomes such as substance addiction, hospitalization, suicide attempts, and overdose. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that major depressive disorder affects almost 7% of American adults (almost 15 million). Treatment for these co-occurring disorders must target both conditions in order for the individual to achieve lasting recovery.

Recognizing Depression

How can you distinguish between clinical depression and the typical downs we experience on a daily basis? With clinical depression, the severity of these moods is more pronounced and persistent. In order to meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder, an individual must experience at least five symptoms of depression for two or more weeks. These symptoms include:

  • A predominantly low mood the majority of the time
  • Physical exhaustion
  • A lack of interest in favorite activities
  • Unwanted weight loss/weight gain
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Failure to focus on important tasks
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you or a loved one have experienced these symptoms for more than two weeks, you may be suffering from depression. Recognizing that you are depressed is the pivotal first step towards getting better.

Dual Diagnosis

Substance abuse is common among people struggling with a depressive disorder. If you struggle with depression and addiction, you have what is called a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis can be made up of any combination of a mental disorder and addiction. Diagnoses that include a depressive disorder are among the most common forms of dual diagnosis. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one in three adults who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse also suffer from depression. Dual diagnoses can be tricky to treat because each disorder can intensify the symptoms of the other. Fortunately, help is available and recovery from a dual diagnosis is possible.

If you are struggling with a dual diagnosis, it is important to seek help from a program that provides a specialized dual diagnosis track. Seeking treatment from a dual diagnosis program can help you avoid the negative effects of substance abuse and depression, helping you to lead a healthy, happy life you deserve.

Recreate Life Counseling Services

At Recreate, we offer specialized dual diagnosis treatment. Our dual diagnosis program addresses both problems simultaneously because we recognize that these two forms of treatment must be integrated for a healthy recovery. Our experienced counselors provide education on the disorders and emphasize the importance of prioritizing both conditions. Recreate is a licensed provider of intensive outpatient programs in sunny South Florida. We are dedicated to providing individualized treatment plans to help our clients recreate their lives in recovery. 

Trauma Therapy at Recreate Life Counseling Services

At Recreate Life Counseling Services, we believe in the importance of providing trauma therapy for our clients struggling with past trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a condition in which an individual experiences intense stress or anxiety after witnessing or being engaged in a traumatic event. PTSD can cause intense anxiety, intrusive memories, and flashbacks that may interfere with daily life and lead to feelings of hopelessness.

Many who struggle with PTSD turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to numb their pain and ease their symptoms. When substances are used to deal with PTSD symptoms, the symptoms of both the PTSD and substance abuse only become more severe. The symptoms of PTSD can be temporarily “managed” with substance abuse, but these methods of self-medication only work for a short time. It is not long before the individual starts to develop negative consequences due to the concurrent trauma and addiction.

At Recreate Life Counseling Services, our expert trauma therapist is certified in several forms of trauma therapy, including hypnotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Rapid Trauma Resolution. Our trauma therapist has extensive success with treating clients struggling with trauma and substance abuse. She not only instills in our clients a sense of hope, but also the skills necessary to achieve success in their everyday lives.


Many PTSD sufferers find that hypnotherapy is beneficial for their recovery. The goal of hypnotherapy is to unlock stored emotion so that the trauma can be revisited and explored from a different perspective.


EMDR is a comprehensive, integrated treatment approach to addressing PTSD and other trauma-related issues. Recreate is proud to offer this innovative and effective therapy from a certified EMDR therapist. With EMDR, the client focuses on any past traumatic events, current situations that cause distress, and developing coping skills for the future.

Rapid Trauma Resolution

Rapid Trauma Resolution is a therapeutic approach that quickly and painlessly eliminates the effects of trauma using dynamic multilevel communication. It utilizes different tools such as stories and guided symbolic imagery to resolve the root causes of traumatic issues.
We are proud to offer these innovative and effective trauma therapies at Recreate. If you or a loved one are struggling with trauma and substance abuse, reach out to Recreate today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our trauma therapy or our other programs and services.

Dual Diagnosis Programs: Recreate Life Counseling Services

Is An Intervention The Right Choice For Your Loved One


Is An Intervention The Right Choice For Your Loved OneDual diagnosis is the term used to describe individuals with mental illness who have coexisting drug and alcohol problems. A person with a dual diagnosis has two separate illnesses, and each illness requires its own treatment plan. Diagnosing a primary psychiatric illness in a drug abuser can be challenging, as drug use and abuse often causes psychiatric symptoms. Research shows that dual diagnosed individuals have a greater challenge in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Given this, Recreate Life Counseling Services offers dual diagnosis programs for our clients struggling with this issue.

Dually diagnosed individuals face complex obstacles —  the untreated symptoms of a mental illness can cause an individual to struggle with remaining clean and sober, and untreated substance abuse issues makes mental health treatment ineffective. The most common co-occurring mental-health problems include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, mood disorders, and trauma-related issues. A drug and alcohol addiction complicates almost every aspect of treating an individual’s co-occurring mental illnesses. For example, there is a greater difficulty in engaging dually-diagnosed individuals in the treatment process, as well as a more challenging diagnosis process due to the interacting effects of the mental illness and substance abuse.

At Recreate Life Counseling, we believe in an integrated treatment approach for all clients, including our dually-diagnosed ones. Recreate’s dual diagnosis program addresses both the substance abuse and mental illness simultaneously given the understanding that these two modes of treatment must be integrated for a well-rounded recovery. Our addiction specialists teach our clients how addiction and mental health disorders can interact and worsen one another. When necessary, we work with our psychiatric staff to provide medical help for the mental health symptoms.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder and mental illness, we urge you to consider entering a dual diagnosis program. Recreate Life Counseling’s dual diagnosis program can help you experience lasting relief and recovery from your mental disorder and substance abuse. Although recovering from a dual diagnosis is not easy, it is possible with the appropriate treatment and support.