What comes to mind when you hear international aid? Vaccines, food packages, and drugs, right? Clearly, these are essentials for a healthy society.
Yet, there is another essential issue that is often ignored: mental health.
Mental health is an overlooked health problem, and it is still a no go subject in some countries. Why is it often ignored?
Many people still see mental disorders as a character flaw. But it is not! And you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you suffer from mental illness.
Mental health issues have a variety of causes such as traumatic events, physical abuse, rape, social isolation, financial stress, grief, and so much more.
For some, there is a complex combination of factors. But different individuals may be more affected by specific factors than others.
Many people don’t know that they are mentally unstable, or even if they do, they turn to addictive substances for relief. This might not be the best approach to tackle mental illness, ever heard of co-occurring disorder?
Maybe you have, perhaps you haven’t. Regardless, we will discuss what it means. First, let’s discuss mental illness and how it is connected to addiction.
Stay with me, okay!
Drug Addiction and Mental Illness
Mental illness is simply an abnormality in cognition, emotion, mood, or social function, which is severe in level or duration.
Simply put, mental illness affects how a person feels, thinks, and interacts with others. Although everyone experiences some form of anxiety or sadness, it becomes a mental illness when it becomes impossible and difficult to manage.
An addiction, however, is a compulsive or physiological dependence on something which becomes a habit. This disorder can induce long-term adverse results, including physical health problems as well as mental disorders like anxiety and depression. Now you’re probably asking yourself if addictions are a mental disorder; they aren’t.
How Mental Health Affects Addiction
If you suffer from mental health and drug addiction, it is described as a co-occurring disease or dual diagnosis. Substance abuse disorder and mental health are closely connected, even though addictions aren’t a mental disorder. While the latter can cause extended psychotic reactions, one does not directly cause the other.
Nonetheless, sufferers use drugs and alcohol frequently to self-medicate the signs of mental health issues. Some people often abuse medications or alcohol to alleviate the symptoms, to lift their mood temporarily, or to deal with painful experiences.
According to research by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), mental illness raises the use of addictive substances by 86% for cigarettes, 20% for alcohol,, and 27% for cocaine.
Sadly, alcohol and drug abuse may set off new symptoms or worsens the symptoms you’re initially trying to relieve.
How to Treat Drug Addiction and Mental Illness
The ideal treatment for both conditions is an integrated method, where drug addiction and mental illness are treated simultaneously.
Whether alcohol addiction or mental health illness came first, lasting recovery depends on receiving treatment for both diseases by the same treatment center or provider.
The treatment for both mental illness and addiction is termed as dual-diagnosis treatment. The first step to solving any problem is to recognize the problem, admit you have a problem, and watch out for these signs:
- Withdrawal from friends and social activities
- Major alterations in eating habits
- Extreme mood swings
- Excessive intake of alcohol and drugs… and more
If you or your loved one have any of these above-listed signs, there is hope. The best approach is not self-medication or denial. You need to see experts and get help as soon as possible. There are many programs that could help, but our dual-diagnosis program in Ventura County can offer specialized care.
Enlight Treatment Center’s drug rehab in Ventura County is a substance abuse and dual-diagnosis facility that offers clients an escape from the chaos of active addiction and mental illness. Our program is hand-crafted to offer the best care at an affordable rate. What’s more, our staff is hand-picked to provide clients a treatment experience that leads to lasting recovery.
What are you waiting for? Contact us today, and we will guide you through your journey to complete recovery!