Rehab & Recovery

Dual Disorders: Overcoming Alcoholism and Depression

On the face of things, alcoholism and depression aren’t necessarily two things that go hand in hand for all people, but there is no doubting that there is certainly a correlation between the two afflictions. A person descending into alcohol dependence might find that the spiral they cannot seem to halt sends them into a depressive pit, whilst on the other side of the coin a person’s preexisting depressive state might encourage them to attempt to numb such feelings with the use of alcohol. It is a really tough combination to try to crack in terms of recovering and getting better, but there are definitely some things that you can do and facts that you can learn which might help you to navigate your problems in a more productive and self-aware way.

With that in mind, here is some of the most vital and enlightening information about how you can begin a journey of trying to overcome the dreaded double punch of alcoholism and depression.

The Combination Stats

Did you know that studies have revealed that almost 2 out of every 3 people who have a drinking problem also suffer from some kind of mental health issue, namely depression? As you might imagine, a dual diagnosis like this in which a person suffers from both kinds of disorders, makes the road to recovery from either of them much more complicated and tough.

Thorough Evaluation

If you are revealed to be suffering from both alcoholism and depression at the same time, the first port of call should be to get a thorough evaluation and case history recorded, both of your addiction and your mental health. Separating the two in your mind can often be a tricky exercise, but in order to set up a plan for recovery, it can be really important to try to pinpoint certain situations and moments in your life when both disorders started to come into play.


Going ‘cold turkey’ is an exercise that isn’t going to yield good results for a person who has the combination of alcoholism and depression. In order to handle the withdrawal process with as much care and attention as possible, it is absolutely essential that you get yourself into a counselling program where your mental and physical health can be monitored in a professional manner. There are so many more complications when dealing with addiction and depression at the same time.

Group Therapy

Along with counselling, group therapy sessions have been proven to be a positive activity to partake in for double disorder sufferers. It has been suggested that the tone of group therapy can be helpful in guiding people to see that they aren’t the only person in the world who is experiencing these feelings and going through this delicate balance of opposing forces. 

Hearing the stories of fellow addicts and being able to build a network of support that isn’t just people who cannot understand or truly empathize with your situation can make a significant difference. It stops your problems from being something that you have to constantly explain to loved ones and turns them into a shared experience where a lot of your feelings are already implicitly understood.

Process Your Trauma

In an overwhelming amount of double disorder cases, there is often a moment, or extended period of trauma that can be pinpointed as a starting point for one of both of your problems. Trying to reach back into the past to unwrap and identify this trauma isn’t something that is easy and isn’t something that a lot of people would do if given the choice, but it can be completely invaluable to the recovery process. It isn’t until you recover lost memories, confront the past and identify those triggers, that you can start to unwrap the complex knots and identify and pave a way to recovery. 

Long Term Support

Recovering from alcoholism and depression isn’t like recovering from a cold; it is a process that never truly ends. Because of this, it is vital that you surround yourself with people who are going to be able to provide you with the long term support that you need. Even the strongest, more committed people in the world can slip back into addiction or depression without help.

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