October 10th was World Mental Health Day which is a day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against the social stigma of mental illness. It was first celebrated in 1992. The existence of such a day indicates that mental health issues are a worldwide problem and concern.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 10% of Americans suffer from a psychiatric disorder. Especially at risk are those individuals who suffer from a substance use disorder. Sadness, despair and depression are prevalent among alcoholics and addicts. Most research suggests that the rate of depressive disorder is 2-4 times higher among addicts and alcoholics than the general population with rates of 30-40% higher among people who seek help for alcohol and drug problems. Additionally, there seems to be an especially high overlap between Bi-Polar Disorder and addiction.
It is hard to know which comes first, the depression or the substance abuse, as many individuals reach for drugs or alcohol as a way to improve their mood or to numb painful feelings and thoughts. As a result, depression and substance abuse can feed into each other and one condition can make the other condition worse. Experts believe that successful recovery typically involves treatment for both the psychiatric disorder and substance use disorder simultaneously. New Bridge Foundation offers specialized assistance for those individuals who suffer from both psychiatric and substance abuse issues. Services include co-occurring disorder groups, assistance with medication management, staff that have been trained in treating dual diagnosis, and groups that focus on stress reduction and stress management.
Signs and symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of appetite/weight loss
- Increased appetite/ weight gain
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Feelings of guilt
- Sense of worthlessness
- Loss of energy
- Aches and pains
- General irritability
For more information for help with addiction please call New Bridge Foundation at 510-526-6200.