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Depression And Anxiety And Other Co-occurring Disorders/ Ketamine Infusions Specialist

Daniel Smeester, MD -  - Addiction Treatment Center

Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services

Daniel Smeester, MD

Addiction Treatment Center located in San Ramon, CA

Nearly 45% of people struggling with depression also show signs of anxiety, and vice versa, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Sadly, with the stigma on mental health disorders, many turn to alcohol, prescription medication, or illegal drugs to cope with the pain and stress of anxiety and depression. At Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services in San Ramon, California, Daniel Smeester, MD, and his compassionate staff have the training and experience to fight depression and anxiety without addictive medications. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Depression and Anxiety and other co-occurring disorders/ Ketamine Infusions Q & A

What are depression and anxiety?

Depression and anxiety are mental health disorders that impact your ability to function well at home, school, and work. While commonly grouped together, depression and anxiety are two separate disorders with their own sets of treatments and coping mechanisms:


Everybody feels depressed at some point, especially during major life changes. You may feel especially low during times of grief, a job loss, a breakup, or a big move. If you’re diagnosed with clinical depression, however, these depressive emotions are often amplified and persistent.

Studies show that women suffer from depression more often than men. Men also display their signs of depression differently than women—it can manifest in anger, irritability, or fatigue—so they might not realize they’re suffering from depression. In women, depression tends to appear as guilt, feelings of worthlessness, and general sadness.

Without a proper diagnosis or treatment plan, those suffering from depression often turn toward coping mechanisms like alcohol, prescription medication, or illegal drugs.


Like depression, most people feel anxious during times of stress and change. However, chronic anxiety—a debilitating condition for many—can lead to irrational thinking, even fear, that impacts your daily life.

With a general anxiety disorder, it’s difficult to relax and push out negative thoughts. That’s why many struggling with anxiety turn to substances like opioids, alcohol, marijuana, and more to relax or calm their thoughts.

What are the symptoms of depression and anxiety?

Depression and anxiety affect everyone differently, which is why it’s hard for others to tell when you’re struggling. While many people with depression and anxiety share many symptoms, there are subtle differences in the way these two disorders manifest.

The most common depression symptoms to look out for are:

  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Feelings of disconnect
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Hunger or loss of appetite
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty concentrating

Some of the most common anxiety symptoms include:

  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Panic
  • Irrational fear

It’s important to note that there are many different types of depression and anxiety, so your symptoms may not fit with the lists above. If you’re feeling generally “off” or unlike yourself, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

How can Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services help my depression or anxiety?

If you’re struggling with substance abuse or dependence that stems from depression or anxiety, Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services can help you find healthier ways to cope:

Ketamine Infusions

Proven in multiple studies to help obtain relief from depression and/or anxiety in a significant amount of people suffering from this disease. 


Therapy—particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)—can help you recognize intrusive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness, so you can control the way you react to them before they impact your behavior. Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services works with licensed therapists to provide you with the best, individualized care possible.

Family counseling

The pain and persistence of substance abuse and dependence is often felt by your whole family. Your depression or anxiety may also stem from unhealthy or dysfunctional family dynamics. Working with a licensed counselor at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services helps you and your family facilitate better communication skills, so you feel happier and healthier as a family unit. 

Dr. Smeester and his team are happy to create an individualized treatment plan that works for you. Call Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services or book an appointment online to learn more.