The Complexities of These Comorbidities

As we mentioned in one of our blogs on bipolar disorder, mood disorders are the most common co-occurring conditions among patients with substance use disorders. In addition to bipolar, mood disorders refer to depressive disorders like major depression and dysthymia. Furthermore, they also include substance-induced mood disorders, or symptoms of depression due to the effects of outside agents ranging from prescribed medicine and environmental toxins to drug and alcohol abuse. With depressive and substance use disorders occurring together so often – sometimes bleeding into one another, sometimes springing from the same source – there is a clear need for mental health professionals who understand the complexities of these comorbidities. 

Some Concerning Statistics

A 2005 Canadian study revealed that major depressive disorder was prevalent in 6.9% of patients who used alcohol harmfully, 8.8% of those with an alcohol dependence, and 16.1% of folks with a drug dependence. A more recent meta-analysis focusing on alcohol use disorders showed an even higher co-occurrence. Using data from the National Comorbidity Survey, it estimated the lifetime prevalence of major depressive to be 24.3 % among men with an alcohol dependence. For alcohol dependent women, it was 48.5%. Compare these numbers to the prevalence of major depressive disorder in the general population. For women, it’s 7.2%. Comparatively, men are at 4.3%. Furthermore, the effects of these disorders are deadly. A study by Tadros, Sharon, et al reported that, of 427 patient visits to an emergency department for suicidality, 92% had a psychiatric disorder – most commonly depression, at 67% – and 58% disclosed substance abuse.

A Holistic, Dual Diagnosis Approach

Scientists believe that both depression and substance use disorders are the result of a number of factors. For example, genetics and biochemistry, individual personality traits, and environmental history and upbringing all play a role in the development of these conditions. That these disorders commonly co-occur and feed into one another presents an additional challenge. It underscores the need for a holistic, dual diagnosis approach like that pioneered by Creative Care back in 1989. Our biopsychosocial method ensures a proper and complete diagnostic picture for each client. Once this is established, we can unmask the trauma at the core of our clients’ depressive and substance use disorders. 

Innovative, Creative Care

The expert team at Creative Care designs individualized recovery plans in order to treat the whole person, as a person. Our clients can expect to have three 50 minute individual sessions with their primary therapist per week. They will also attend one with their secondary counselor during the same time period. Dependent upon their treatment plan, clients also meet with our psychiatrist up to three times per week.

Additional services may include:

  • Medications
  • Family or couples therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Nutrition group
  • Equine group
  • Yoga and other relaxation therapy

With over 30 years of experience treating co-occurring depressive and substance use disorders, Creative Care has become an oasis for individuals who need cutting-edge, innovative care with the extra support, accountability, and direction to heal. If you or someone you love is struggling with co-occurring mental health conditions, please consider giving Creative Care a call and begin your journey to recovery today.