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Connecting The Dots: The Links Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

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    Connecting The Dots: The Links Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

    Mental illness and substance abuse are two conditions that are suffered by millions of people. For most of these people, the suffering of these two conditions goes hand-in-hand. When one sparks up, it begins to worsen the other. If you or a loved one suffer from both mental illness and substance abuse, it is essential to understand how they are linked in order to receive proper care. Keep reading to learn more about the links between mental illness and substance abuse, as well as how to receive appropriate care for both at mental health treatment facilities.

    How Are Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Linked?

    Many people who suffer from a mental illness condition will develop substance abuse and vice versa. There are many reasons for this, including:

    • Self-medicating. Whether the mental illness is diagnosed or undiagnosed, individuals may seek relief from their mental health symptoms by self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. While they provide very temporary relief, they do more harm than good in the long run.
    • Abusing prescription medication. Some mental illnesses, such as anxiety, can be managed through prescription medications. However, these medications are highly addictive, and misuse can quickly develop.
    • Using as a teen. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug use typically starts in adolescence, a period when the first signs of mental illness commonly appear.
      Forming poor coping skills. During the transition to young adulthood (age 18 to 25 years), people with comorbid disorders need coordinated support to help them navigate potentially stressful changes in education, work, and relationships.
    • Mental illness as a symptom of addiction. One of the many dangerous side effects of addiction is mental illness. Anxiety, depression, paranoia, and more can form due to heavy drug and alcohol use. As such, mental illness can develop in individuals who didn’t previously have one. In addition, existing mental conditions compound and worsen due to heavy drug and alcohol use.

    Statistics Surrounding Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

    According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

    • Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.
    • 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.
    • Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse alcohol or drugs.

    How Are Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Treated?

    Mental illness and substance abuse need to be treated together at substance abuse and mental health rehab centers. Treating both conditions simultaneously is essential for long-term, successful sobriety and relief from mental health conditions. Treating both at the same time at mental health treatment facilities is called dual diagnosis treatment.

    Getting physically sober can be achieved at one of the many rehab centers that offer dual diagnosis treatment, such as Seasons in Malibu. However, staying sober requires individualized treatment to address the underlying issues, such as a mental health condition. If the mental health condition is never addressed, relapse is sure to follow soon.

    Examples of co-occurring mental health conditions that can develop or worsen due to addiction include:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety Disorders (OCD, PTSD, GAD)
    • Complex Trauma
    • Bipolar Disorders
    • Grief and Loss
    • Career and Family Stressors
    • Co-Dependency
    • Substance Abuse
    • Sex Addiction
    • Borderline Personality Disorder

    Finding the Root Cause

    Trauma plays a distinct and relevant component in how we experience the world. At the core of most mental health and substance abuse sufferers, the need to address trauma is essential. Learning how to uncover that trauma in mental health treatment facilities, process it in a healthy way, and learn new coping skills to deal with triggers is at the center of addiction and mental health recovery.

    At the Beach Cottage, we engage our clients to ensure a collaborative and thorough process for working through disruptive thoughts, emotions, and physical expressions of trauma. To help ensure emotional success, we utilize cutting-edge interventions such as EMDR, Brainspotting, and Somatic Experience.

    Treatment with Seasons in Malibu

    The Beach Cottage at Seasons in Malibu is a stand-alone facility that offers life-changing treatment for individuals suffering from mental health disorders. Licensed by the State of California and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, the Beach Cottage offers doctorate level, one-on-one therapy in an intimate, luxurious, residential setting, steps away from a private beach. It’s one of the top rehab centers for mental health.

    Once admitted, clients are safely ensconced in a warm, beachy ambiance, with close-up ocean views, a private path to the beach, sumptuous meals prepared by our chefs, and 24-hour compassionate care from our staff. A typical day might begin with a beach walk followed by yoga and breakfast and end around the fire pit with other clients, processing what you have learned and experienced that day.

    The Seven Steps to Your Success that are weaved into each and every clients’ individualized treatment protocol include:

    • Comprehensive Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Medication Management and Alternative Medicine.
    • Emphasis on Individual Treatment
    • Treating the Whole System
    • Evidence-Based and Cutting Edge Interventions
    • Systemic Family Treatment
    • Support and Aftercare

    Treatment at Seasons in Malibu is systemic, integrative, and client-centered. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive, and committed. Our counselors are invested in your well-being and are ready around the clock to guide you or a trusted friend or family member through the initial steps of overcoming drug or alcohol addiction.

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