Many people who abuse alcohol have co-occurring mental health concerns, such as depression. If you deal with both alcohol abuse and depression, seeking an integrative approach to treatment that addresses both the substance abuse and mental illness will give you the best chance at a positive outcome.

Tackling All Aspects Simultaneously

When you have co-occurring problems, it is nearly impossible to effectively address one concern at a time, especially with depression. You may have started drinking, in an effort to cope with depressive feelings, and the sheer thought of going without self-medicating might send you into a deeper depression. Integrative therapy includes detoxing from alcohol in a safe environment and also having a safety net in place to effectively deal with new feelings that may arise once the alcohol is gone. Although dealing with both concerns at the same time can feel overwhelming, having a support system in place can make the challenge seem less daunting.

Giving Medications A Try

If you are in a treatment facility, this is the ideal opportunity to try different medications that might help with your depression, without any concerns you might stop taking them or mix them with alcohol. Since you cannot drink with antidepressants, some people choose to stop their medications, in favor of continuing to drink, or they risk potentially deadly consequences of mixing medications with alcohol. Fortunately, the controlled environment of a treatment facility will prevent this from occurring. This is your opportunity to give antidepressants a try without the temptation to drink and to see if they make any difference. It can be difficult to stay with treatment, since it may take weeks for a medication to begin working or to see if you need to try a different medication. Although medication cannot solve all your problems, it can make your problems a little easier to deal with without resorting to substance abuse.

Utilizing Talk Therapy

Talk therapy can be critical for addressing different issues. A neutral, third-party can also give you insight into yourself and the people around you. Therapy might make you realize certain aspects of your life need improving, so you have a better chance at long-term sobriety and a better life. For example, you might realize you are a "people pleaser" or have enabled those around you. Although it can be hurtful or make you angry to realize this, knowing this information can make it easier to change how you interact with others and reduce the stress of making everyone happy.

When you have depression and abuse alcohol, reaching a better place in your life often requires tackling both issues head-on, simultaneously. Individual addiction counseling, along with an integrative approach, can help you find the correct treatment plan for you.