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The word “depression” is often used casually in conversations and as a self-diagnosis. However, it is a serious condition that affects millions of people every year. If you are in a substance abuse program for addiction recovery and have depression, it can be hard to find the motivation to stick to treatment. With the right tools and knowledge, you can find the motivation to achieve and sustain lasting recovery from co-occurring disorders.

Can Substance Abuse Cause Depression?

Co-occurring disorders, also known as dual-diagnosis, are the presence of a mental health disorder and substance use disorder (SUD) together. Both mental health disorders and substance abuse share similar underlying risk factors. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these risk factors include: 

  • Biology: The genetic vulnerabilities that you are born with
  • Environment: Including factors such as how you were raised and the type of environment you were raised in
  • Development: How your brain and personality develop 

How a person is treated as a child and how they are raised is integral to who they will become as an adult. These risk factors also influence your emotions and behaviors throughout adulthood.

Unfortunately, untreated substance abuse can influence the development of depression and other mental health disorders. This is because substance use directly affects your brain chemistry. However, the opposite is true, too. Untreated mental health conditions can lead to the development of SUD as a result of self-medicating practices. 

What to Do When You Lack Motivation in a Substance Abuse Program

Sometimes with depression, everything can feel hopeless or unaccomplishable. When you enter a substance abuse program with co-occurring depression, the motivation for recovery can come and go. In some cases, motivation can be lost altogether. When your motivation begins to dwindle, here are five suggestions for continuing your participation in recovery:

#1. Know That People Heal at Different Speeds

With depression, you may feel like your depressed mood has always existed and always will exist. However, symptoms change and evolve over time. With treatment, you can find lasting healing from your symptoms.

Your depression likely developed as a result of the unique circumstances in your life. Moreover, healing your mind and body can feel even more exhausting. Here, it is vital to remember that everyone heals at different speeds. Take the time you need to process your condition and reap the benefits of therapy. That can lead to a more sustainable recovery. 

#2. Continue to Show Up

Even if you feel unmotivated to do so, continue to show up to meetings, sessions, and groups in your substance abuse program. Even if you ask yourself, “What’s the point?” Go anyway. Being in a sober space with other people in recovery can help you stay sober and increase your motivation to achieve recovery. 

Being present in a recovery space can be helpful when you are depressed. With SUD and co-occurring depression, being alone at home can increase your risk of relapse. Therefore, placing yourself in recovery spaces around others who may also be struggling, just like you, can be reassuring that your feeling will pass. 

#3. Engage in Physical Activities

Exercise can provide a plethora of benefits for your mental and physical health. Engaging in physical exercise will get your blood flowing and can improve your mood. Activities such as dancing, boxing, or hiking can only benefit you. Plenty of activities get your heart racing, not just traditional exercise. You just have to find what you enjoy doing and incorporate that into your recovery.

#4. Discuss a Different Treatment Plan With Your Treatment Team

In a quality substance abuse program, you will get to have a say in your treatment plan. This includes what level of care you will be in and what therapeutic modalities you will use. If you are feeling a lack of motivation or treatment is not working, it may be time to talk to your treatment team about changing something up. This may include changing medications, treatment schedules, therapists, or more. 

#5. Take Breaks

As you participate in treatment, know that you deserve breaks. Although you cannot take a break from sobriety, you can take a break from the business of life. Healing your brain and body can get exhausting, especially if this is not your first time in treatment. Allow yourself time for self-care, hobbies, and time with friends and family. These activities can give your brain a rest. Additionally, giving yourself breaks can allow you to show up to treatment the next day feeling rested and, hopefully, ready to engage. 

Substance Abuse Programs for Treating Depression and Addiction

Healing depression and SUD, or any combination of co-occurring disorders, will require different treatments. Through extended care programs, you can address and overcome triggers, memories, or adverse experiences that may have contributed to your disorders. With a scheduled program, you will not only find a structured routine to follow, but you will also be provided with a sober home and community. 

If you are looking for a substance abuse program, you can find comprehensive programs at Lighthouse Recovery Texas. Our programs provide holistic healing to treat co-occurring disorders, allowing you to find peace not only from your substance abuse but also from your co-occurring symptoms as well. 

If managing your depression and substance use disorder feels like a constant struggle, we may be able to help you. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, you will find a program that will complement your individualized needs and recovery goals. We provide a Dallas intensive outpatient program, partial hospitalization program, extended care, sober living, and recovery coaching for ongoing support through every stage of recovery. We believe sobriety is obtained when you participate in evidence-based therapies and holistic care, in addition to utilizing support from peers. Contact us today at (214) 396-0259 to learn more about our treatment program options and resources. We are eager to support you on your journey to recovery.