Mental health disorders often accompany addiction. In fact, the tie between these two disease groups holds so strong that many people believe addiction leads to mental illness. While this is true for some, most people suffer their mental illness first. About nine million people in the U.S. have these co-occurring conditions.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the majority of people with mental health disorders and addiction don’t get help for either problem. Specifically, only about seven percent of people enter treatment for both conditions. This tragic truth means the remaining 93 percent continue flailing in addiction and mental illness, with the two conditions feeding each other.
How Mental Health Disorders and Addiction Go Together
People with a mental illness experience greater likelihood of abusing drugs or alcohol. Moreover, this truth exists because the two conditions come from the same root issues. Scientists report the same genetic markers set you up for mental illness, as they do for addiction.
The effects of mental health disorders and addiction also exist, because people with mental health problems often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, they may not know they have mental health symptoms, but abuse substances to feel normal. By using drugs or alcohol, they experience less of their anxiety, depression, or neuroses. However, this help only works for a short period of time, before tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
In tolerance, the drugs or alcohol stop helping their symptoms. They use more and more of their go-to substance, seeking the same effects as earlier in their use. Unfortunately, the effects never provide the same positivity. They only go farther into the darkness of dependence and addiction.
Some drugs do cause mental illness, too. Ecstasy, for example, causes depression. This drug imbalances brain chemicals controlling mood and behaviors. For example, you suffer depression and anxiety while abusing this drug and for a long period after gaining sobriety.
Other people without any mental illness symptoms start seeing signs of their co-occurring mental condition as they abuse drugs or alcohol. The substance abuse actually brings these pre-existing conditions to the surface. Or, those at risk for mental illness increase their risk by abusing substances.
Co-Occurring Mental Illness and Addiction
Having both mental health disorders and addiction falls under the category of co-occurring conditions. When looking for rehab, you see this term frequently. In addition, some rehabs treat both conditions at once, in a dual diagnosis treatment program. The conditions must gain treatment at the same time for true recovery to take hold.
Mental illnesses and addiction symptoms look very similar to each other. Even doctors find it difficult to know which condition came first in your life. However, which came first is only the beginning. The important thing is getting the dual diagnosis treatment you need for a real chance of a better life.
Without dual diagnosis treatment, one untreated condition throws the other back into activity. If you treat only your mental illness, your addiction takes you back to poor mental health after treatment. If you treat only the addiction, your mental illness leads you back to self-medication after sobriety begins. This proves why you need treatment for both conditions at once.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Near Scranton, PA
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