The challenges of dealing with the day-to-day turmoil of addiction can be overwhelming. For some people, just getting from one day to the next is near impossible without injecting/swallowing/snorting a drug or drinking alcohol. Now imagine for a moment that there are many addiction sufferers out there also trying to deal with emotional issues like seasonal depression.
It doesn’t take a scholar to understand how devastating that must to the people trying to live under those circumstances. Where does someone go if they need help recovering from their addiction while also needing treatment for emotional issues like seasonal depression? In many cases, treatment for both disorders can be received in a top drug and alcohol addiction treatment center like ours. Within the addiction treatment community, they actually have a term that describes an individual who has a substance abuse disorder and emotional/mental health disorder like seasonal depression. The person is said to have co-occurring disorders. With that said, there are significant criteria that need to be met if a person indeed has co-occurring disorders.
There has to be a direct connection between the two disorders. The direct connection can flow either way. If the individual’s seasonal depression was the cause of the addiction problem, co-occurring disorders do exist. In other words, a person who uses drugs or alcohol to deal with their depression has co-occurring disorders. Going the other way, it is always possible that someone’s addiction has thrown them into a state of seasonal depression.
As long as the causation is plausible, co-occurring disorders exist. For people who need treatment for this issue, there is good news. A lot of the country’s top rehab centers, ours included do have a special program for co-occurring disorders. The terminology the addiction treatment community uses for this particular treatment process is dual-diagnosis therapy. In the sections below, our discussion will focus on the nuances of dual diagnosis therapy.
How Dual Diagnosis Therapy Works
For a moment, we want to address the titled question. Most rehab centers will pass on treating seasonal depression unless there is a connection between the depression and the addiction problem. If someone is expecting treatment for the depression, they should only expect to get it if the connection is there. As the term indicates, dual diagnosis therapy revolves around the treatment of both disorders at the same.
That is a very important distinction at the end of that sentence. For dual diagnosis therapy to be effective, it has to involve treatment for both disorders at the same time. Here is why. There is a very high risk that the untreated disorder will end up interfering with the overall treatment process. To better explain that, we offer the following explanation by way of example. Example: Client A enters rehab with drug addiction and seasonal depression.
They get treatment for the addiction but the depression gets missed in the process. If the client was using drugs as a way to cope with the depression, the likelihood is they will revert to that same behavior outside of rehab when the feelings of depression befall them. As any reasonable person can see, treatment for both disorders must take place simultaneously. For most rehabs, that process is handled in one of three ways:
- One inhouse therapist handling both disorders
- Two inhouse therapists sharing the treatment responsibilities
- One inhouse therapist handling the addiction treatment while outsourcing the seasonal depression treatment
One Inhouse Therapist
The benefits derived from a client getting treatment from one in-house therapist who is licensed to treat both disorders are tremendous. It starts with continuity of treatment and the ability to address both issues in the same therapy sessions.
Two Inhouse Therapists
In this scenario, everything stays in-house, which still provides some level of treatment continuity. However, the client is put under extra strain because of having to attend more counseling sessions.
One Inhouse Therapist and Outsourcing
As the least preferred of the three options, this option requires that the client leave the rehab facility for treatment of their depression. It is possible that a third-party therapist might come to the rehab center, but that is not always an option. If you reading this because you suspect you are dealing with co-occurring disorders, we feel for you. We would also like to help you. If you would like treatment from our top treatment facility, you can contact us by calling 844-639-8371.