Living with the “Double Whammy”–addiction and depression recovery, I have had to learn relapse prevention for both. Luckily for me, I decided in 1976 that I would go all in with addiction recovery. I elected at 3 months sober to go to a very modest home for alcoholic women. At the time, it was the fashion to go to country-club style treatment in North Carolina. But I knew that I needed to be in that modest home. While there, we worked the first 3 steps and I found the God of my understanding. I have never had anything happen to me that was more important to me than staying sober.
The 12 steps taught me the way out of addiction. But they didn’t help me with depression. Luckily, for me, I have dysthymia which is milder than other depression types and it comes and goes. I have had to learn everything about my depression by myself. I am sure that is true for most of us with co-occurring or dual diagnosis. The mental health field can provide labels, medication, and sometimes, if you are very, very lucky, good counseling. But we have to become our own mental health expert. It is an individual journey.
Some posts about depression: