Why Mood Disorders Co-Occur With Addiction

Why Mood Disorders Co-Occur With Addiction

It is not uncommon that mood disorders co-occur with addiction. Avalon Malibu knows addiction is a complex diagnosis for multiple reasons. Mood disorders can be just as complex. One of the reasons these diagnoses can be complex is that they can stem from a wide variety of places. We want to assure you, though, that we can help. If you struggle with addiction and mood disorders are also part of the equation, we can cater to those needs. There are different ways we can approach mood disorder treatment. There are also a number of different types of mood disorders and a variety of ways we can help treat them. We treat our clients as whole individuals, and we believe we can help you heal from both addiction and co-occurring mood disorders.

An Explanation of Mood Disorders

If you struggle with addiction, understanding where the addiction stemmed from can be vital to your recovery. When you struggle with mood disorders, it can also be vital to understand why they developed. If you have co-occurring mood disorders with addiction, it could be incredibly helpful to approach your treatment in a way that is specific to you. It could be beneficial to understand your co-occurring mood disorders and how they impact your addiction, too. When you have a better understanding of all of these aspects of your life, it can give you a better chance for long-term recovery. 

First, you may be wondering what is considered a mood disorder. According to Mood Disorder by Sandeep Sekhon and Vikas Gupta, “Mood disorders or affective disorders are described by marked disruptions in emotions (severe lows called depression or highs called hypomania or mania).”

Essentially, mood disorders like depression or bipolar disorder can affect not only your mood but also your behavior. The reasoning for this can include factors such as medical conditions, genetics, hormones, or extreme life changes. All of these factors can cause the development of a mood disorder. Many individuals who struggle with addiction are also diagnosed with mood disorders, but why? 

Why Some Mood Disorders Co-Occur With Addiction

According to Science and Practice Perspectives, a significant percentage of individuals with a mood disorder also have substance use disorder (SUD). There are multiple theories for why mood disorders co-occur with addiction. One of these theories is when someone struggles with a mood disorder, substances are used as a way to cope. If this is the case for you, treatment at Avalon Malibu could be an option. 

Some mood disorders co-occur with addiction for other reasons. For example, if you have certain genetic factors, you may be at higher risk. Again, developing both addiction and a mood disorder is not uncommon. Science and Practice Perspectives also include a theory that the co-occurrence of mood disorders with addiction is overlapping neurobiological pathways. They say the following:

“Another proposed explanation for the high comorbidity rate of mood disorders with SUDs involves ‘kindling.’ The term, usually associated with epilepsy, refers to the concept that repeated disruptions, such as occur during seizures, sensitize brain cells. The more sensitized the neurons become, the less it takes to disrupt them, which is why in untreated epilepsy, seizures tend to become more frequent and severe over time. Both alcohol and cocaine sensitize neurons, and this increased sensitivity may contribute to the typical progression from occasional to increasingly frequent and intense use of these substances.”

This paragraph goes on to say that mood disorders can have a similar course, which means the “kindling” explanation supports the idea that some individuals with the need for sensitization can cause both addiction and mood disorders.  

How Mood Disorders Can Be Treated

At Avalon Malibu, we are able to treat your addiction alongside a variety of co-occurring mood disorders. We understand the importance of treating the entire person struggling with addiction. This means treatment for co-occurring disorders can be a crucial piece to your recovery. We utilize a wide variety of therapies and can cater to any specific needs you have when in our care. Our methods include evidence-based treatments. 

Within our capacity to treat addiction and co-occurring mood disorders, we utilize therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or individual counseling as a few examples of treatment. CBT and DBT are great examples of how we can individualize your treatment. Although they sound similar, DBT and CBT have very different approaches to treatment.

It is important that you know treating mood disorders that co-occur with addiction can be individualized. This is important because not every person who has an addiction and a mood disorder can be treated the same way. In order to have a successful outcome, we need to cater to specific needs. We can help do so with a treatment plan made specific to you. This can give you the tools needed to recover. 

Avalon Malibu knows mood disorders can co-occur with addiction. There are different theories on why mood disorders can be present with addiction. In order to fully heal the root of addiction, mood disorders must also be treated. At Avalon Malibu, we can treat both addiction and mood disorders. We want to treat our clients as whole individuals. With this in mind, it is important that your treatment approach is catered specifically to you and your needs. We know addiction can be complicated; treating your mood disorders could be a crucial part of your recovery. Call (844) 857-5992 today for more information on how Avalon Malibu can assist in treating your addiction and co-occurring mood disorders.

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