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What to Do When You Feel Like You Have Two Brains

What to Do When You Feel Like You Have Two Brains

If someone is struggling with an opium problem, they are probably also fighting depression, anxiety, mood swings and even compulsive behaviors

If someone you know is struggling with an opium problem, then she is probably also fighting depression, anxiety, mood swings and even compulsive behaviors. In other words, it is extremely common for people with mental health disorders to abuse drugs so they can cope with their moods and control their fears. This corollary is so common that a study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that nearly 9 million men and women who abuse drugs and/or alcohol also have a mental health issue. This condition is also referred to as a Dual Diagnosis, and people with it require specialized help to get and stay well.

Living with co-occurring disorders can make it more difficult to keep a job, develop and maintain both professional and personal relationships, get an education, raise children and build financial stability. Adults who suffer from a mental health condition such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder along with substance abuse often end up leading minuscule lives. However, with a reliable support system and professional treatment, people with a Dual Diagnosis can get and stay clean from drugs.

How to Manage Co-Occurring Disorders

Alarming statistics show that, out of all the adults who seek addiction treatment, only about 7 percent of them receive treatment for a co-occurring disorder—this fact means that thousands of individuals are not getting the proper treatment for all of their problems. Although recovery may be more intense for those who suffer from both an addiction and mental health condition, it can greatly increase one’s quality of life. The following examples illustrate how someone can manage her co-occurring disorders:

  • Seek treatment
  • Know triggers
  • Understand limits
  • Make health a priority

Not all treatment facilities, inpatient nor outpatient, are equipped with the staff, knowledge and resources to treat co-occurring diagnoses. For someone who is diagnosed with both a mental health condition and addiction, then Dual Diagnosis treatment in one facility is vital to his success. Many facilities can treat one issue, either the addiction or mental illness, and it will then refer a patient to another facility upon completion to address the other problem. Unfortunately, this procedure can be troubling, because both conditions need equal levels of care, as both of them contribute to the mental health of the patient. Ergo, prior to committing to a treatment program, it is important to make sure it treats both the addiction and mental health condition at the same time. If it does not, then ask if its staff can refer you to one such treatment center.

Outside influences are beyond an individual’s control, and one’s inability to handle this fact could spark a craving or place her in an unhealthy mindset for relapse. Some of these uncontrollable uncontrollable influences include an individual’s heredity, her brain development, the stress and/or trauma she experiences and neurological factors. Because people cannot control external factors, individuals should be aware of any issues that could spark cravings, cause them to relapse or even place them in situations wherein they may revert to old habits. Furthermore, although an individual may have a family history of co-occurring mental health conditions and addiction, it does not mean that she will deal with these issues. Being aware and conscious of one’s environment, attending a social group and monitoring personal behaviors can help someone maintain her recovery without risking relapse.

Setting limits both individually and for others is extremely important for one’s recovery. If an individual starts to commit to numerous activities and/or obligations, then he can become overwhelmed, which will increase his stress and anxiety. In turn, stress and obligations could spark him to abuse opium to cope with his problems. However, recovering addicts who learn to say no have taken an important step to remain on course for sobriety. Although leaving one’s comfort zone can be a rewarding process, continuously doing so without any regard to its effects places one at a high risk of relapse.

A recovering addict must prioritize her health, both mental and physical, which means seeking help for medical conditions while attending therapy for depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue she experiences. By achieving balance in health, an individual can feel more confident with her recovery, and she can also prepare herself to handle unexpected events without risking sobriety. Some people even find it beneficial to include loved ones in the activities they do, such as the family taking a walk or addressing any concerns without feeling judged. Even taking simple steps, such as packing one’s lunch the night before, can lessen stress while creating more time to celebrate with loved ones. In other words, learn to manage your stress and to enjoy relationships to get and stay clean from drugs.

Drug Addiction and Mental Illness Treatment

If you or someone you love struggles with opium addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find the best treatment available. You are not alone, because we are to help; call now for instant support.