Contact Us P: 949-371-4198

Dealing with Dual Diagnosis and the Holidays

Holiday letter evergreen snowflake“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” according to the lyrics of a song we often hear this time of year. For some people, those sentiments are true. For others, it isn’t. In fact, for these people, it might the worst time of the year.

Such songs and television programs and movies stress the busyness of the holidays, the sense of good cheer, and the gatherings and social activities. But that isn’t a reality for everyone.

Not everyone has strong connections with friends and the family members, and the holiday’s emphasis on loved ones could remind them of this state. If people are already depressed and lonely, this emphasis could make them even more depressed and lonely.

Depressed people sometimes turn to alcohol and drugs as ways to combat these conditions, but since alcohol is a depressant, it can ultimately make people more depressed, not less. Depressed people who drink and use drugs might have a condition known as a dual diagnosis, or a medical diagnosis of a substance abuse problem and a mental illness.

Dual diagnoses are so common, in fact, that most rehab centers offer therapy that addresses their clients’ mental illnesses and their alcohol and drug problems. Clients who may worry about being considered crazy or a little sad should know that dual diagnoses can be serious medical problems that can be helped with medical and therapeutic assistance.

This medical and therapeutic help connects clients to treatment. If the clients’ depression is related to loneliness, such help can connect people to others. Such connections can include finding clients sobriety meetings they can attend after rehab.

Such aftercare and social connection can be vital to helping people stay sober. These meetings include other people who are also trying to remain sober, so newly sober people can learn from these veterans.

Holidays can be challenging even under the best of circumstances. If the circumstances are less-than-ideal, however, help (and hope) still exists.