About Substance Abuse and Mental Health: Admitting you have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders
Are you struggling with drugs or is there any of your loved ones or anybody you know who is struggling with drugs? Drug addiction is not by any standard good for anyone’s health. People who have recovered from this scourge will attest to this. Even though this condition is treatable patients (addicts) are always in denial of what they are going through. This is one of the biggest challenges that must first be dealt with before any meaningful treatment can be administered. For sure without acknowledgement of the problem and willful acceptance, there is very little that any professional will do to help. That is why we put more emphasis about substance abuse and mental health so that addicts can own up and get ready for treatment. With that said and done, doctor says that if there is anything you need to remember then remember that substance abuse problems and mental health issues don’t get better when they’re ignored. As a matter of fact any time wasted will cause even much problem when treatment finally begins, in other words when dealing with matters addiction treatment should be immediate to rid of any possibilities of worsening the situation which is already frustrating. While appreciating that you may not want to be associated with drug addiction hence your reason for denial, surely you don’t have to feel this way. It is important to note that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards conquering your demons and enjoying life again. The following will help you come to terms with the problem at hand:
Consider family history – If people in your family lineage have grappled with either a mental disorder such as depression or alcohol abuse or drug addiction, you have a higher risk of developing these problems yourself. Meaning if this is true then you are not the first it had happen before.
Consider your sensitivity to alcohol or drugs – Are you highly sensitive to the effects of alcohol or drugs? Have you noticed a relationship between your substance use and your mental health? For example, do you get depressed when you drink? Interrogate that further.
Look at symptoms when you’re sober – While some depression or anxiety is normal after you’ve stopped drinking or doing drugs, if the symptoms persist after you’ve achieved sobriety, you may be dealing with a mental health problem.
Review your treatment history – Have you been treated before for either your addiction or your mental health problem? Did the substance abuse treatment fail because of complications from your mental health issue or vice versa? These will be very helpful to you in realizing that the problem you have is just like any other problem and treatment must be sought for immediately. Once you have noticed these then the next step is letting the professionals do their part by administering treatment so that the problem doesn’t escalate to some other complications.
Now that you have accepted that there could be some problems with your health and addiction, you need to move a step further and trace any signs and symptoms of substance abuse in your life. In other words if you’re wondering whether you have a substance abuse problem, then the following questions may help. Depending on how you respond to them will give an indication whether you have drinking problem or your drug use is a problem. In other words, when your response has more yes than no then chances are that you have a problem which needs to be fixed immediately.
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking or drug use?
- Have you tried to cut back, but just couldn’t?
- Do you ever tell lies about how much or how often you drink or use drugs?
- Have members of your family or friends showed concern about your alcohol or drug use?
- Do you ever feel bad, guilty, or ashamed about your drinking or drug use?
- On more than one occasion, have you done or said something while drunk or high that you later regretted and wished you didn’t?
- Have you ever blacked out from drinking or drug use?
- Has your alcohol or drug use caused problems in your relationships, as in marriage, work place?
- Has you alcohol or drug use gotten you into trouble at work or with the law?
The mental health problems that most commonly co-occur with substance abuse are depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder.
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Inability to experience pleasure
- Appetite or weight changes
- Sleep changes
- Loss of energy
- Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Concentration problems
- Anger, physical pain, and reckless behavior (especially in men)
- Feelings of euphoria or extreme irritability
- Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs
- Decreased need for sleep
- Increased energy
- Rapid speech and racing thoughts
- Impaired judgment and impulsivity
- Anger or rage
- Excessive tension and worry
- Feeling restless or jumpy
- Irritability or feeling “on edge”
- Racing heart or shortness of breath
- Nausea, trembling, or dizziness
- Muscle tension, headaches
- Trouble concentrating
Finally it amazes me how we often get the best information and fail to implement them. We all want to live healthy lives free from all manner of addictions and mental health complications but on the other hand we find it difficult to conform to certain standards of life that is deemed healthy and productive. That really amazes me, however knowing that these drugs are very addictive, we have a duty to change things professionally. When you visit us at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, we will evaluate your individual conditions and professionally administer treatment to your individual needs that will live you full of life free from addiction and ready to go places. You can talk to us today by calling doctor Dalal Akoury to schedule for you appointment.