What Came First: The Addiction or the Mental Health Problem?

Many who develop substance use disorders are also diagnosed with one or more mental disorders such as depression. On the other hand, there are those with some type of mental disorders such as PTSD that suffer from addiction. It is often hard to say which one came first—the mental health issue or the addiction. That is a question in urgent need of answer which is frequently asked by addiction treatment patients diagnosed with common mental health issues such as depression: “Did my drinking or drugging cause the depression?” Although diagnosing which disease came first is complex, a well-trained psychotherapist can often determine which condition occurred first by utilizing psychosocial evaluation along with family, friends, employers, court and police reports and records.

Encountering this “co-morbidity,” “co-occurrence,” or “dual diagnosis” is very common with addiction, which of-course impacts the complexity of the treatment. It is understandable that a care provider needs to know when a mental health condition, like depression, first occurred. As you can guess, the reason is the influence of existing conditions on the types and the length of the treatment. Someone who had depression before they began to abuse drugs or alcohol will most likely need prolonged and comprehensive treatment including medical intervention, compared to a patient whose depression was caused by the cycle of addiction. A patient whose depression was caused by drugs or alcohol generally will not go through the same intense psychological assessment and treatment as a patient whose depression preceded his or her addiction to substances. For that reason, it is very important to carefully choose a comprehensive addiction treatment program that offers specialized clinical and psychiatric care to correctly diagnose and treat both conditions.

Looking for an addiction treatment center? Florida Center for Recovery offers specialized inpatient addiction treatment programs in Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie County.

For more information call us at: 800-851-3291 You may also chat with us through our website page, or fill out the contact form for quick answers to your questions. There’s no obligation and your call is completely confidential.

Reach out to us. Florida Center for Recovery has been providing onsite detox, comprehensive addiction treatment, and aftercare programming since 2002.


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