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Mental Illness And Addiction: How The Two Can Be Connected

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 11:37
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It is important to know that there are a lot of people with mental illness that find themselves turning to drugs and alcohol in order to find some sort of peace within themselves.

Of course, peace is not what they end up finding in the end, but it gives them a way to self-medicate for the symptoms of their mental illness.

Sometimes, an addiction forms because the body itself becomes dependent on the substance in order to feel somewhat normal. This is what draws the person to continue to go back to the life of drugs and alcohol. Then there are the cases where someone has a mental illness, which is not going to just disappear on its own, and they continue to be drawn back to the drugs because of that illness. It is not because they have a physical dependence on it. It is because they have a mental dependence on it.


The Importance Of Proper Treatment

You will want to help your loved one find a treatment center that is known for providing the best care for not just the addiction, but all of the issues that are at play here. After all, if you are not getting treatment for the mental illness which was the driving force of the addiction, it does not matter if the detox treatment is completed. As soon as things get rough again, from a mental health standpoint, substance abuse will become a factor again. Therefore, when you are trying to find the best place, such as the treatment centers in Los Angeles, for example, you will want to ask about their dual-diagnosis program.

You should not have a lot of trouble finding a treatment center that will take notice of the mental health crisis your loved one is going through. After all, according to the Nami National Alliance on Mental Illness, about one third of the population of people that have mental illness will have a problem with substance abuse. This means that it is more common than many people realize.

After Treatment

After the initial substance abuse treatment has been completed, you will need to make sure that you are helping your loved one find ways to cope with issues surrounding their mental illness. Find some of the reasons they turned to the substances in the first place. For example, if they had trouble in social settings or simply finding energy to do basic chores around the house, find new ways to help them with this. A good thing to do is to get a counselor involved, as he or she would have expert advice for this.

It would also be a very good idea for the person who is suffering from an addiction to participate in group meetings, as well as finding a sponsor that he or she can talk to. A sponsor is a recovered addict who knows what it is like to struggle with addiction. He or she can give insight and have a better understanding of what another addict is going through – better than anyone else.

As you can see, getting better and treating the mental illness along with the addiction is a multi-step adventure. 


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