Cocaine and Depression
Mental Illness and Addiction
Dual diagnosis is the term that is most often used to describe addicts who may have a underlying mental illness. Drugs and alcohol are often used as a form of self-medication, and as such it can lead those affected into a rabbit hole, as substance abuse only makes the mental illness worse. This can happen during both acute intoxication and during the withdrawal process when an addict removes the addictive substance (even if only briefly) from their life. The act of medicating oneself with drugs, like cocaine, allows the addict to escape from reality – if only briefly – and experience a sort of euphoria that they don’t often find in their depressive state. However, the abuse of cocaine doesn’t have any long-lasting effects on the actual disease – in this case depression – and will generally make it worse as the effects of the drug wear off.
Drugs, like cocaine, can often lead a person without any signs of mental illness to experience the onset of symptoms for the first time. While these signs are often written off as a bad experience with the drug, the causes are well chronicled, and it often leads cocaine users into more depressive behavior, substance-induced psychosis, or even thoughts or attempts at taking his or her own life.
Abuse of cocaine in depressed individuals often lengthens the treatment and recovery process as the person using is less likely to follow through with treatment plans developed by those assisting in their recovery. Treatment for one condition without any focus on the other is almost never successful for these types of addicts. Working with professionals who have dealt with dual diagnosis in the past is often the best course of action.
Addicts and Depression: What to Look For
Those who use cocaine are often very social and outgoing in group settings, which is a stark contrast to depression. Depression often finds those affected unable to leave the confines of their own home, and rarely do they find comfort in the company of others. Depressed individuals often have trouble sleeping, changes in eating habits, show tendency to be shy and withdrawn, and may completely cut off contact with friends and loved ones. Those suffering from depression aren’t necessarily “sad”, but they will experience changes in mood and personality.
The stark contrast between the two personalities is the simplest way to spot those suffering from a dual diagnosis-type condition. While there are other common diagnoses – most notably bipolar disorder – the happy-go-lucky friend who turns quiet and withdrawn when not using is typically one that is suffering from addiction and depression.
Those suffering from cocaine addiction and depression must find a specialist who caters to both ailments. Treating just the drug addiction, or just the mental health side of the spectrum is often futile, as the other side of the dual diagnosis will lead the user back to drugs, or into depressive behavior. Treatments that focus on both symptoms are the most effective in these sorts of cases.
Common treatment methods involve use of therapy and prescription drugs to combat the depression, as well as group sessions and substance abuse counseling to treat the cocaine addiction.
How Prescott House Can Help
Finding treatment experts who specialize in dual diagnosis greatly increases your chance for a successful recovery plan. Our experienced experts have dealt with countless dual diagnosis cases, and we can help to custom tailor a treatment plan for each individuals specific case. With combination therapy, we’ve seen great success when it comes to leading men with cocaine and mental illness symptoms into healthy, happy and well-adjusted individuals. The change won’t happen overnight, but through hard work and steady progress, we’re confident that we can bring about great change in your – or your loved one’s – life. Contact us with any questions about addiction, mental illness, dual diagnosis, or therapy options.