There are numerous reasons why people become addicted to alcohol. Approximately 50% of all addicts were genetically predisposed to the disease, but there’s another reason people become addicted as well. Mental health is one of the leading risk factors for addiction. Whether a person is genetically predisposed to not, the chances of addiction are far greater if mental illness is involved because it’s often difficult to deal with and sometimes it hasn’t been diagnosed.
Substance Abuse and Dual Diagnosis
When signs of mental illness first arise, it’s hard to understand what’s happening to you. Symptoms of anxiety and depression happen to everyone, but not everyone can deal with them in the same way. The brain is designed to experience feelings like pain, sadness and fear. It’s part of our basic survival functions. The issue happens when the brain is incapable of returning to its normal state. People with mental illness sometimes have these feelings when they aren’t even triggered, and substance abuse can seem like the best answer.
Substance abuse offers people a temporary escape from their feelings. Dealing with mental illness can make you feel afraid, alone and embarrassed. People may question why you can’t just be happy or handle your problems in a better way, so substance abuse may help you do this. The problem with substance abuse is that it only temporarily gets rid of your problems. Once you’ve fallen victim to addiction, you then have what’s classified as having co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. However, recovery is possible.
Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders
Co-occurring disorders must be treated carefully when someone is trying to begin a life of recovery from addiction. If you’re dealing with co-occurring disorders, you need to find a rehab center that specializes in treating mental illness. Recovery is much different for people with a dual diagnosis because normal therapy isn’t going to completely solve the problem.
Living a life free of drugs and alcohol is meant to allow you to be happy, joyous and free, but it’s difficult when your brain constantly brings up feelings of sadness or fear. Through dual diagnosis treatment, you’ll learn how to manage your mental illness without turning to mind-altering substances. Dual diagnosis therapy teaches you how to recognize your symptoms of mental illness so you can deal with them in a healthy way. Sometimes, you may need non-narcotic medications to help with your dual diagnosis.
Although it is difficult to live with a dual diagnosis, it’s not impossible. You’ll be given the tools you need to recover from your situation by going to a qualified treatment center, such as Safe Harbour Recovery, that’s dedicated to helping you find a new way of life. We can help. Call us today.