Addressing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Together

Willow Place on February 7, 2017
Addressing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Together

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals who struggle with a mood disorder are twice as likely as other individuals to have a concurring substance abuse issue. Additionally, those with a substance abuse issue are more than twice as likely to have a concurring mood disorder. Substance abuse and mental health disorders are both issues that affect the brain. To effectively treat one brain disorder, the other must also be addressed simultaneously to get the best results and provide the patient with the best chance for recovery success.

What are Mood Disorders?

Mood disorders are mental health issues that affect an individual’s moods. Moods are usually affected for a lengthy amount of time to be classified as a mood disorder. The diseases are also characterized by other symptoms such as abnormal sleep schedules, high levels of stress, and isolation. It’s extremely challenging to try to make lifestyle changes like commit to a life of sobriety when an individual struggles with a mood disorder because they are likely to not be able to experience emotion other than negativity. It’s important for individuals going through drug or alcohol addiction treatment to be able to experience emotion, good and bad so that they can discover who they are without their addiction and learn to embrace it. Mood disorders can inhibit an individual’s growth and learning during drug or alcohol addiction treatment. The most common mood disorders seen diagnosed by patients in addiction treatment are depression and bipolar disorder.

Depression: This mood disorder is accompanied by symptoms of loneliness, despair, hopelessness, low self-esteem, sadness, and overall apathy for life and the future. Depression can be diagnosed after weeks or even years of being in a depressive state. Those diagnosed are affected by the disorder on a daily basis as it accompanies them everywhere they go, causing them to be apathetic about responsibilities and even be unable to perform necessary tasks like maintain proper hygiene.

Bipolar: Bipolar disorders type I and II are both characterized by two alternating mood states. Those diagnosed with this disorder will experience a period of depression follows by a period of mania. The depressive state is synonymous to the symptoms of classic depression, but the manic state is classified by high energy. During a manic state, individuals will experience feelings of elation, creativity, anxiety, irritability, and anger.  

Substance Abuse and Mental Health: Dual Diagnosis

Which came first; the addiction or the mental health issue? For many, addiction is a result of self-medicating an already present mood disorder. For others, a mood disorder develops over time as addiction takes over the brain. Both addiction and mood disorders have shown evidence of the fact that they can be passed down genetically. So, there are many different ways and causes that can lead to an individual struggling with both substance abuse and mental health issues. No matter the cause or which came first. What is important is the simultaneous treatment of both: dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment accounts for any mental issue, including mood disorders, as it affects an individual’s addiction. These issues must be addressed together because more often than not, they play off each other. For example, a person with depression and an addiction to alcohol may refrain from taking their drug of choice during treatment, but without being treated for depression, relapse is likely to occur when symptoms of depression occur post treatment. To provide individuals with the best chance for success in early recovery, both ailments should be addressed together. Dual diagnosis treatment includes discovering the underlying causes of both substance abuse and mental health issues, which may even be the same thing. Treatment may also include appropriate medications for mood disorders so that progress can be made during treatment.

Ready for Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Do you have concurring substance abuse and mental health issues? Ready to take control of your emotions and actions by enrolling into a dual diagnosis program? The Willow Place for Women helps women who have addictions, mental health ailments, and eating disorders. To find out more about our programs and services, please visit our website to learn more or call us today at 1-888-651-4212. Help is available to you; all you have to do it take it!

Request a Call Back

If you or someone you love is battling substance use, mental health, or eating disorders, please feel free to contact one of our trained admission specialists today. All calls are free and completely confidential. While we know that suffering from a severe and life-threatening substance use disorder or a mental health issue can, at times, seem insurmountable, we sincerely believe that every woman is capable and deserving of the opportunity to recover. Reaching out is the first step – give us a call today and we will gladly walk you through the process of beginning your beautiful, fulfilling journey of recovery.

Note: Your details are kept strictly confidential.