When your loved one has an addiction to drugs or alcohol and a mental illness such as depression, he or she has a dual diagnosis, which is more difficult to treat. Coping with a loved one’s addiction is very overwhelming and stressful for family and friends. When your loved one has an addiction and depression, things get even more complicated.
When a loved one has a dual diagnosis, there are ways you can help. Listen and learn about addiction and mental disorders to educate yourself. This allows you to better understand your loved one’s dual diagnosis. Setting boundaries is important. If you live with your loved one and are not comfortable with drugs or alcohol being around, set boundaries and stick to them.
Plan an intervention when your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Include family and friends who are impacted by the individual’s behavior. Everyone involved should write down how the loved one’s addictive behavior makes them feel. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she might not realize the serious consequences of their actions. Talking about it in intervention can help. Use positive and encouraging words to let your loved one know how much you care. When people use negative, belittling, or shameful language, that only reinforces any guilt, depression, or shame the person already feels.
Many people with anxiety or depression turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their condition. Anxiety is a persistent, dreadful fear that a person cannot control. Depression can linger for years and puts a person in a constant, overwhelming sadness that interferes with sleep, work, family, friends, and his or her self-worth and self-esteem. When a person has anxiety or depression, he or she might turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. The problem with that is drugs or alcohol can heighten the psychological symptoms of mental illnesses.
When you understand the relationship between addiction and depression, you can help your loved one in his or her recovery process. Being there for your loved one will help him or her see that you are there for them in their time of need. Compassion, understanding, and encouragement will help your loved one on his or her journey to recovery.
Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.