Mental Health

Mental health encompasses our psychological, emotional and social well-being. Poor mental health can negatively affect how we think, feel, and act which has an impact on how we handle stress, relate to others, and navigate life.

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the U.S.–one in five Americans (52 million people) will experience a mental illness in a given year. While there is no single cause, many factors can put someone at greater risk for mental illness:

  • Trauma or abuse in early life
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Feelings of isolation or loneliness
  • Use of alcohol or drugs

Mental illness affects people from all backgrounds. It is not a moral failing. If you are experiencing mental, behavioral, or emotional problems that are severely interfering with how you show up for work, school, or at home, you may have a treatable mental disorder.

Oftentimes someone suffering from a mental illness can also suffer from a substance use disorder (SUD), or vice versa, which is referred to as a co-occurring disorder (aka dual diagnosis).

Common Co-Occurring Disorders with Substance Use Disorders

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder (BPD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Personality and mood disorders
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders

Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities. Almost half of all people who suffer from a mental illness will develop a substance use disorder in their life. It is sometimes hard to tell which came first, and the combination of them can make each condition worse. Some possibilities as to why they occur are common risk factors, like genetics, stress, and trauma. Co-occurring disorders are more common than people think.

  • 9.2 million people have both a substance use disorder and a mental illness.
  • People with severe mental illnesses are 4x more likely to be heavy alcohol users.
  • People addicted to drugs are twice as likely to have a mood or anxiety disorder.

One of the most common effects of having a co-occurring disorder is self-medication, which many do in an attempt to regulate emotions. However, self-medication can make an underlying condition even worse, or even make an addict develop one. Some examples of self-medication are:

  • Drinking alcohol to feel less anxious in social situations
  • Taking excessive amounts of Benzodiazepines (like Xanax or Valium) to ebb an oncoming panic attack
  • Using marijuana to numb the emotional pain from trauma or grief
  • Smoking or injecting stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine to increase energy and motivation to complete daily tasks

Integrated Treatment at Profound

Integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders has been found to be superior to separate treatment of each diagnosis. Integrated treatment leads to better outcomes and improved quality of life, including:

  • Reduced or discontinued substance use
  • Improvement in psychiatric symptoms and functioning
  • Increased chance for recovery from both disorders
  • Decreased hospitalization
  • Reduced medication interactions

If you or someone you know is suffering from a co-occurring disorder, integrated treatment can be the best option. From Profound’s detox program, to our inpatient rehab program, to our intensive outpatient program and sober living, we can help guide you through each stage of your recovery.

Having a dual diagnosis requires that both disorders be treated, not one or the other, and while many treatment facilities can only offer one or the other, Profound can provide integrated treatment for both. Our expert clinical team will craft a treatment plan specifically suited to your needs, as no two cases are the same. We offer a safe, inclusive, and non judgemental environment that will allow you the space to heal at your own pace and return to balance.

Sources:

https://www.samhsa.gov/co-occurring-disorders
https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/common-comorbidities-substance-use-disorders/what-are-treatments-comorbid-substance-use-disorder-mental-health-conditions
https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm#:~:text=What%20is%20mental%20health%3F,1

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