Depression Therapy San Diego

APEX Rehab


Depression is a common mental illness that comes along with substance abuse; treating the addiction also can bring relief to underlying mental health issues. At APEX, we believe in following an integrative approach – because it works. While treating the addiction may be a patient’s ultimate goal, we know it can only happen when we also treat negative thought patterns and the physiological symptoms that accompany depression. We use a combination of behavioral therapies, nutritional counseling and mind-body exercises to alleviate depressive symptoms and restore balance.

According to a fact sheet by the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability across the world, but only one half of those who suffer from it will ever receive treatment.

Indeed, depression interferes with all aspects of life and it also increases the risks of chronical illnesses and alcohol and substance abuse. It has been statistically proven that alcoholism and drug abuse happen more often in depressives than in the overall population. It has also been found that one third of individuals treated for depression engage in alcohol and drug abuse.

The relationship between these two occurrences – depression and addiction – is very complex. On the one hand, alcohol and drugs serve to relieve the feelings of self-worthlessness, hopelessness and despair, which are prominent in the depressed. On the other hand, there are many overlapping factors that are conducive both to depression and addictive behavior. These are chemical imbalances in the brain, family histories and traumatic experiences. Finally, the effects of intoxication can simultaneously mask and exacerbate depressive episodes, making them more frequent and intensive. Like in a vicious circle, this prompts the sufferer back into self-destructive indulgence.

For these dually diagnosed individuals, rehabilitation and recovery must focus on both issues to be successful and rewarding. If they are treated for depression only, the fact they abuse alcohol and/ or drugs will negatively affect their motivation and can even result in life-threatening interaction with antidepressants. When they are treated for addiction only, the results of the therapy are not likely to last because the negative thought patterns remain.

The treatment has to target both disorders – the addictive behavior, as well as the feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, low motivation and low energy. Research has shown that the most effective directions are depression medication coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, trauma and family therapy. A versatile approach is needed to address these patients’ medical, psychological and psychosocial needs.

In the beginning, inpatient treatment is recommended, especially if the patient shows or has shown inclinations toward suicide. Outpatient treatment could be recommended after a solid network of support has been founded.


Depression Therapy Program