When you are going through hard times, the use of drugs and alcohol can be tempting as one of the ways to help you cope with your situation. Most of these drugs are addictive substances and you may not realize when addiction is knocking, especially when you have underlying mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. This makes the recovery even harder as they make the existing conditions worse. When you have both mental health issues and substance abuse, it is called dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.
In normal circumstances, dealing with alcoholism or substance abuse is not an easy process, and it makes it more difficult when you are struggling with mental health problems. In dual diagnosis both the substance or alcohol addiction and mental health issue symptoms may get in the way directly affecting your inability to function normally;
- maintaining stable relations with friends and family
- maintaining a stable home and work-life
- handle general life challenges
- ability to function in school
If the condition goes untreated, the co-occurring disorders may affect each other making your situation worse; the mental health problem gets worse and the substance abuse increases. If you are already in it, you are not alone, co-occurring disorders are more than people realize, however it is good when you avoid the situation when you can. Below are reasons why substance use does not answer to your mental health;
1. Running away from your problem does not solve. Using alcohol and other addictive drugs to avoid your fears and problems is not the answer. Moreover you cannot keep on a run forever, circumstances will eventually force you to come back and clean your ‘house’. Do some justice and save yourself the heartaches and time by confronting your fears now rather than later. Avoid postponing what can be done today.
2. Co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. This is a mental health disorder that results when one is diagnosed with both alcohol or substance addiction and mental health issues at the same time. Dual diagnosis mostly affects individuals with anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, and depressions. However, it can occur in people with other mental disorders too. Alcohol and substance abuse makes mental health situations hard to treat and manage since both conditions affect each other.
3. Alcohol and substance abuse are bad for your health. People die every day from drugs and alcohol addictions; some are directly affected due to cases such as overdose while others are due to prolonged impacts on their health. Regardless of what you may have in your mind, drugs and substance abuse will only add more problems to your current mental situation.
4. You are only likely to make things worse and more difficult than they are. Drugs and alcohol abuse makes the situation more complicated. Stand out and learn how to cope with your mental health situation right away and with the right process.
5. You may not learn how to manage your mental issues or problems. When you deal with your mental stresses and fears while sober, there is a likelihood of improvement in every step you make. You are in a position to discovering your fears and answers to your anxiety while a sober person making sober decisions to help you manage in case the situation occurs in the future.
6. Talk to a former addict. If you are still convinced that drugs and substance abuse is the answer to your current mental condition, then it is good if you get to talk to someone who has been down the same lane and recovered. A sober addict may be the best option to give you a clear picture of their mental health and drug and substance or alcohol addiction.
7. Seeking professional help is the best option. It is good to have in mind that there are lots of professionals attending the same issues that you are facing at the moment, a lot of people in the same situation that you are in and there is nothing wrong in seeking assistance whenever in need. Seeking professional health when you are battling mental health conditions the most courageous and generous thing you can ever do to yourself and your loved ones as well. Talk to a counselor or a psychiatrist who will increase your chances of getting better.