It’s not uncommon for people who are living with a mental illness to also need treatment for an addiction. They need to seek co-occurring disorders treatment to properly treat both concerns concurrently.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, mental illness increases the likelihood that a person will turn to addictive substances in comparison to the general population. People with mental health issues are 20 percent more likely to drink alcohol, 27 percent more likely to use cocaine and 86 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes.
Common Co-Occurring Disorders
At The Dunes, we treat clients who are living with the following mental health disorders and who need treatment for drug or alcohol addiction:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Signs Of Mental Illness And Addiction
It can be difficult to determine whether the mental illness or the addiction existed first. Some people start using drugs or alcohol as way to self-medicate when they start noticing symptoms of a mental illness instead of seeking appropriate treatment. In other instances, the addiction is present first and drug or alcohol use triggers anxiety, depression or other symptoms of mental illness.
Personality Changes: If your loved one was once cheerful and enjoyed spending time with others and has started to become withdrawn and secretive, it could point to an issue with mental illness and addiction.
Sleep Difficulties: Someone who doesn’t sleep much or sleeps too much may be suffering from a mental illness and self-medicating to try to treat the symptoms. Take note if you see your loved one not sleeping for a period of time and then “crashing” and sleeping for a day or more.
Complaining of Aches and Pains: Anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses can cause physical pain in various parts of the body. Also, someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol who has not been able to use their substance of choice for a time can experience withdrawal symptoms which can include body and headaches.
What Do I Do If My Loved One Is Suffering From A Mental Illness And An Addiction?
If you know or suspect that your loved one is suffering from a mental illness and an addiction, you need to know that neither condition is your fault. You did not cause your loved one to become mentally ill or an addict, but there are some things you can do to help.
- Encourage your loved one to seek professional help from a doctor.
- Don’t do things for your loved one that they can do for themselves, such as calling in sick if they are too hung over to go to work; this is an example of enabling.
- Seek out co-occurring disorders treatment at The Dunes East Hampton.
Call Us Now To Get Help For Your Loved One Who Is Struggling –
We Will Be With Them Every Step Of The Way