Mental Illness and Substance Abuse: How to Cope and Recover


Mental Illness and Substance Abuse: How to Cope and Recover

Depression and alcohol abuse are two of the toughest things to manage and recover from. These conditions can prevent you from living a normal life. If you are handling a dual diagnosis (a mental illness and an addiction), you will have to understand first how they are connected.

Most people get into alcohol or drug abuse in an attempt to “treat” undiagnosed mental illnesses, such as depression. You would feel as if you are resolving things at the moment. When you turn to these substances, however, the truth is that you will only worsen your symptoms in the long term. They can only lessen the effects of antidepressants and medications, which will not help manage your symptoms at all.

Seeking Proper Treatment

Instead of separating one condition from the other, it is best to tackle both at the same time. Proper treatment differs in each case. Regarding mental health concerns, for instance, healthy clinical trials observing depression around Miami, Florida may be done alongside counseling, peer support, and medication. Regarding substance abuse, support groups, behavioral therapy, and detoxification all play parts in your recovery.

Bouncing Back

After recovery, however, it can still be tempting to grab a drink or two. The problem is that a relapse undoes what you have just undergone in treatment. More than that, it leaves you feeling ashamed and guilty for getting back into what you were running away from in the first place.

But, relapses are fairly common and happen to about 40 to 60% of patients going through treatment. When you feel like you are on the verge of relapsing, keep in mind the following things.

  • Do not let the relapse weaken your resolve in your full recovery. Instead, use it as an inspiration to go back on track instead of losing yourself again.
  • Establish contact once again with your recovery counselor or coach. Let them know that you are struggling.
  • Do not hesitate to seek support from your family and friends. This will come a long way in your recovery.
  • Be ready to return to treatment and avoid being stuck in a revolving door (treatment-relapse-treatment cycle). Do note that the more times you go through this cycle, the more difficult it becomes to recover fully.

Your Road to Recovery

therapist talking to an older coupleFacing a dual diagnosis of mental illness and addiction is an uphill battle that requires discipline, bravery, time, and commitment. Do not lose hope, as people with these conditions do bounce back, recover, and continue with their lives. Keep in mind that when being prescribed medication, taking drugs or alcohol will only leave undesirable effects. This is an example of how the dual diagnosis is connected and how they make the other condition worse.

Do not be too hard on yourself when you have a relapse, though. Just remember to bounce back with the help of your loved ones, as well as your peers who have experienced the same things as you. Lastly, find the right treatment program and recovery plan for your specific needs.

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