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Topical information about addiction and recovery brought to you by Whiteside Manor in Riverside, California…


In light of it being Mental Health Month, we thought it necessary to discuss depression, the leading cause of poor health globally. Working in the field of addiction medicine, Whiteside Manor regularly treats clients living with addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder(s). Depression accompanies alcohol and substance use disorders quite often, and it’s vital both conditions receive simultaneous treatment. Ignoring the dual diagnosis while in treatment is likely to result in relapse and a return to active addiction.

The origins of any mental illness are somewhat unclear; however, most experts tend to agree that a combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and environment are the primary causes. In some cases, addiction precipitates the co-occurring mental health disorder. Whereas others use drugs and alcohol in order to cope with the symptoms of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. The latter scenario frequently occurs, owing partly to the fact that many people are unwilling to seek help for their mental illness because of stigma. When one is left to their own devices, self-medication can seem logical.

The World Health Organization estimates that roughly 300 million people suffer from depression around the world. If you consider that the overwhelming majority of people with the affliction never receive any form of therapy, you can bet that many of those same people also struggle with an alcohol or substance use disorder. In the United States, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects more than 16.1 million American adults and is the leading cause of disability, according to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH). And, to make matters more concerning, MDD in America is on the rise.

Depression in America

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association conducted an analysis of the available data on commercially insured Americans. Naturally, the pool is smaller, so the figures are less than the NIMH findings; however, the BCBS findings highlight just how prevalent depression is in the U.S. among those with insurance. Below you will find some of the reports key findings:

It is vital that anyone exhibiting signs of depression take steps to address the issue, especially if a use disorder is present. Drugs and alcohol only serve to exacerbate depressive symptoms, increasing the likelihood that a person will entertain ideas of self-harm. The good news is that there are evidence-based treatments available. Recovery is possible with the right help!


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and depression, please contact Whiteside Manor. Our experienced staff can help you adopt a new way of living and give you tools for working a program of long-term recovery.

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