Treating depression can be a challenge, especially in those who either have a co-occurring substance use disorder or a substance-induced mood disorder. Many people who receive treatment for depression are given antidepressant drugs, which can contribute to substance abuse under certain circumstances. Because of this, it can be risky to treat depression if there’s an underlying or co-occurring substance use disorder. According to a study from Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, most people who take antidepressants will not become addicted. However, people who have a personal or family history of substance abuse can potentially become addicted to antidepressants, making it more challenging to treat both the depression and the substance use disorder.
Depression tends to respond well to cognitive therapy. A study from Cognitive Therapy and Research shows that mood disorders in general can be improved through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In this technique, individuals learn to recognize and understand their symptoms, how symptoms are triggered, and how to actively change behavior patterns.
Mood disorders aren’t the only ones helped through this type of therapy. In fact, many mental health disorders respond well to cognitive therapies, including substance use disorders. This can make it easier to treat co-occurring conditions as well, making recovery possible without using potentially addictive medicines in treatment.