Everyone has their own mental health. But people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or any other substance abuse are more prone to develop mental illness. While on the other hand, individuals who have mental illnesses are also more prone to developing drug, alcohol, or substance addiction.
People struggling with addiction and mental health problems have complained about the co-occurring disorder. However, it can be tough to identify which one is the primary. A mental health diagnosis, such as clinical depression, can undoubtedly worsen an individual’s problems with addiction. Similarly, a person experiencing addiction may find that their mental health declines as their use grows.
If these conditions are left untreated, then co-occurring disorders can lead to a nasty cycle of repeated addiction and worsens mental health symptoms. To overcome addiction and mental health issues, professional care is necessary at a rehab center like Florida Addiction Treatment.
But before that, it is vital to understand the relationship between addiction and mental health when looking for help for yourself or a loved one. Because both addiction and mental health diagnoses are chronic medical conditions, they can be treated and managed with the right and approachable treatment while they cannot be cured.
Understanding the Link Between Mental Health and Addiction:
You might wonder if mental illness can cause addiction or if addiction creates the perfect storm leading to mental health problems. However, in most cases, it is rarely clear which one manifested first.
Addiction to drugs and alcohol or any other substance can occur due to people self medicating if they suffer from any mental health disorder. Self-medicating with addiction in times of crisis may provide temporary relief at first. But it may help you feel more comfortable connecting with your peers or boost your confidence. However, this is part of the danger of the link between mental health and addiction.
Continued use is hazardous and develops the risk of addiction. What you look at as a remedy to your problem can quickly put you on a brutal cycle of misuse and abuse.
Long-term use of addiction often produces side-effects such as anxiety and depression. Taking addictive substances alters your brain chemistry, and extended use of it only increases your chances of developing mental illness.
People coping with these specific mental health conditions are more likely to get addicted to drugs or alcohol (but not in every case)-
Major depressive disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Potential Causes of Co-Occurring Disorders:
Addiction and mental health issues can occur because of many factors; however, some potential causes may involve genetics, age, and environmental factors.
Genetics or family history-
Genetics can play a critical part in the evolution of both addiction disorder and mental condition. It has been studied that genes contribute to many health issues.
As genes are passed down from generation to generation, the family history of a disorder is also a strong indicator. Autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depression are all examples of conditions that can be spread through your genes.
However, you don’t have to have the genes for a particular disease, which does not mean that you will develop the condition. The environment plays a key role in how their genes are expressed.
High-stress environments, trauma, physical or sexual abuse can also contribute towards a co-occurring disorder. Looking at your friends and family engage in dangerous behavior like addiction can also play a key factor. People likely to follow the examples of those they are close with. When your close ones behave poorly, you may be more likely to as well.
Exposure to certain things during teen years can also be an element. Being offered drugs or alcohol at an early age can also contribute to addiction and possibly mental illness. Since at an early age, the brain is still in the developing stage. Developing a mental health illness at an early age may also make you more susceptible to addiction.
Treatment for Mental Illness and Addiction:
The best treatment for both disorders is an integrated approach, where both the substance abuse problem and the mental illness are treated together. Whether your mental health or addiction problem came first, long-term recovery depends on getting treatment for both the disorders by the same treatment provider.
Treatment for mental health may include medication, individual or group counselling, self-care measures, lifestyle change, and peer support.
Addiction treatment may include detoxification, managing withdrawal symptoms, behavioral therapy, and support groups to help maintain sobriety.
It’s unfortunate that even in 2021, there is still a stigma around admitting you need help. There’s a lot of lip service paid to the fact that mental health is important and should be destigmatised in society, but some people react by being a little detached when someone goes through an episode.
That said, there are some norms we can all benefit from discussing and hopefully setting as standard. For one, admitting for help, or simply asking for it, should not be considered something you do when you’re at rock bottom only. It should be a question we can all ask, or an admission we can all make, without feeling like less of a person for it.
Of course, it’s not always easy to do this, because it means giving up the ghost and becoming more honest with yourself, which can sometimes be a painful and quite dizzying process. What does this mean in practice? Let’s discuss that, below:
Consider The Scope Of The Issue
It’s good to consider the scope of the problems you face and to define them. Sometimes, you may need psychologists to help you untangle that issue. However, sometimes it’s best to consider what issues are having the most effect on your life. This might involve a bad habit, or toxic relationships, or just feeling unwell. When you can define the issue, you can begin to find a recovery path or a necessary step forward.
Speak To Someone You Trust
Speaking to someone you trust can be the most effective method of measuring yourself, and of feeling that support when you need it. Sometimes, you might want this person to come with you to seek professional help, or perhaps you just need to get something off your chest. No matter if it’s a family member, a friend, a boss, or even an impartial volunteer listening at the other side of an appropriate charity phone line, being able to articulate the problem in itself can be very freeing.
Find Professional Help
It’s all very well and good to use positive thinking and to recognise that you may need some assistance, but unless you take that step, it’s hard to make progress. From considering talking therapy to speaking to a Doctor, or simply letting your boss know that you’ve been struggling and you may need some extra support at this time, finding the help you need is as important as admitting you need it.
Don’t be afraid to contact a number of professionals to see if they’re suitably assisted to help you. This gives you the highest chance of recovery and to be aided in our struggles, which is something we all deserve from time to time.
With this advice, we hope you can feel more empowered to say you need help when you really do need it. This article was written by a freelance writer.
And so we are coming to the end of another month. This month has been amazing but also so busy. I can’t wait until Rob and I get to go away on holiday somewhere in the UK- we need to book somewhere (hopefully with my Body Shop commission!). My friend suggested Cornwall but who knows! Just somewhere nice to relax, maybe the Cotswolds, Broadstairs, Devon…love the beach and having lazy days in the sun.
Something really exciting has been happening- we exchanged on our first home (!) last week and we will be completing and moving very soon! Everything is really hectic and I need to find time to declutter, sell or gift my excess of books and throw away/give to charity extra items. I have lived at my Mums for the past 8 years and I have a lot of stuff here! We are moving to a flat so I have many things I can’t bring.
Thats the great thing too about my work, is that it is flexible and I can take time out when needed to move and sort everything out and my team are so understanding. But thanks to my amazing customers, its also busy. Sometimes I feel I should escape to a spa and last night I did a home spa with my favourite Coconut products. Ahh bliss, I felt like I was in Barbados!
I find that this type of self care really improves my mental health and relaxation, trying to get enough sleep..
Moving is said to be one of the most stressful life events and I think we will do it gradually. Our families have been storing things for us in Buckinghamshire, Essex and here in North London, so we need to go and collect it all!
I have found that my anxiety is still a bit high at times, but that I am getting there slowly. Its about making sure I don’t overdo it and I reach for support or a therapy session when its needed. Rob is great at supporting me with things too.
Once we have moved in, I will write another update! Until then I am going to try and stay sane and not drown under a mountain of boxes! All so exciting and I cant wait to unpack our engagement and wedding gifts and use them after nearly 2 years!
With the weather starting to warm and the Covid-19 vaccination rollout in full effect, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright. After a long and difficult year, things are starting to look up but if you’re finding it difficult to put the past behind you, you’re not alone. A year of social distancing and mask mandates has taken its toll, but the good news is with a little intentionality you can turn your attitude around to take full advantage of what the new year has to offer.
Here are six simple tips to help you stay positive this year.
1. Be grateful for what you have.
Even when it seems like everything is going wrong, there’s always something to be grateful for – you just have to learn how to see it. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a simple first step to take toward a more positive outlook. Start by jotting down a few things in a blank notebook or journal that you are thankful for each day. Over time, it will become second nature to recognize the good things in your life and you’ll find yourself spending less time focused on the negatives.
2. Maintain positive connections with others.
Spending the last year social distancing and self-isolating has been hard on all of us, but there are still ways you can stay connected with others. Cultivating positive relationships and distancing yourself from toxic people can go a long way in helping you stay positive. Look for opportunities each day to make someone else smile, especially when you’re feeling down yourself. It’s the simple things like making someone’s day that can turn your attitude around the quickest.
3. Set goals to keep yourself moving forward.
Over the past year, we’ve all been stuck in a state of suspension waiting for Covid numbers to decline so we can get on with our lives. If feeling stuck is getting you down, set a few goals for yourself to create the feeling of moving forward. It doesn’t have to be anything major, either. Make an effort to include exercise in your weekly routine or make a commitment to connect with a friend or loved one at least once a week. Each time you accomplish a goal, the self-satisfaction will motivate you to reach the next.
4. Acknowledge and adjust negative self-talk.
While you’re working on cultivating an attitude of positivity, the biggest obstacle you’ll have to overcome is in your own mind. We all have a running dialogue of self-talk going through our heads on a day-to-day basis and that inner voice is incredibly influential on your attitude and outlook on life. If your inner voice is constantly negative, your attitude will be too. Consider taking a mental health day to relax and refresh so you have the energy to start acknowledging negative self-talk and, more importantly, to start working on turning it around.
5. Start each day with a positive affirmation.
The biggest challenge you’ll have to overcome in creating a more positive outlook is defeating your own negative thoughts. You’ve probably heard the saying “fake it until you make it,” and sometimes that’s exactly what you will have to do. Begin each day with a positive affirmation and you may just find it becomes easier each day to keep the positivity train rolling.
6. Seek support and help when you need it.
We could all use a little support now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. If you’re trying to improve your outlook and take on an attitude of positivity, a lot of the work will be internal. That being said, however, having someone to help guide you through the process or to simply act as a sounding board can be invaluable. Whether you’re struggling to overcome anxiety, dealing with depression, or just looking for advice, a counselor or therapist could provide the help you need.
Though you may not be able to control every detail of your life, you can control your attitude. How you respond to challenges shapes your outlook on life and choosing positivity can make all the difference. Take what you’ve learned here to make this year the best one yet.
Feeling trapped is a common sensation that many people experience as they go through life. Their reality is one particular way, but they would like to be another.
People can feel trapped for all sorts of reasons. It could be a mental health issue or substance abuse problem. But it could also be a job, relationship, debt or some other life circumstance.
In this post, we take a look at some of the things you can do to feel less trapped in your mind. .
Focus On What You Can Do
When considering changing their lives, most people focus on doing the most challenging tasks first. They want radical change immediately. But then they worry that they won’t be able to follow through with it. And that means that nothing changes.
Here’s some wise advice: focus on the things that you can do, not the ultimate goal. Start with something small and manageable and then build from there.
Focusing on what you can do actually empowers you. We can all do something to make our lives different. So beginning something small can help a great deal.
Look For The Positives
Sometimes you can feel trapped because all you can see are the negatives. The recent pandemic is a good example of this. People haven’t been able to move around in the usual way, and many have cabin fever.
But the various lockdowns have also been an opportunity. At no other time in history has a government told people to stay at home. So, for many, it’s been a unique opportunity to rethink their lives and how they see themselves.
There are always silver linings in every situation, especially the most challenging. The task is to use this energy to grow!
Get Professional Help
Today, there are all kinds of professionals who can help you feel less trapped. Doing hypnotherapy online,for instance, can help take away panic and fear that many people experience when living lives they don’t want.
Getting professional help can also introduce you to positive relationships in your life. Many people, for instance, report that the relationship they have with the therapist is the first healthy one they ever have in their lives. On one level, that’s sad. But on the other hand, it can also be liberating.
Focus On Making Yourself Better
Self-improvement isn’t just a buzz word – it’s something that you can achieve, especially when you feel trapped in a situation. Many people evolve towards the belief that there’s not much they can do to remedy their problems. But that’s not true. That’s just an example of negative thoughts dominating their approach to life.
You can actually turn things around for yourself by starting with your emotions. Guided meditations, for instance, can help you reconnect with your fundamental sense of being and reduce feelings of anxiety.
Feeling trapped is a common experience. But, fortunately, there are multiple ways that you can break out of it and get the life you want.
When our friends and family are struggling with their mental health, it can be lovely to cheer them up with a self care gift.. Sending a gift through the mail can truly brighten someones day. Thankfully, online services and postal offices are generally very helpful when it comes to sending something. The gift could be treats for them to spoil themselves with such as bath bombs, sheet masks, hand and body creams, some inspirational quotes or books or even something soft to cuddle!
Remember that there will be delays during festive seasons
If you’re trying to send a gift during a festive season such as Christmas then remember that the postal system is probably overloaded with packages and there will be delays. Don’t expect things to arrive on time and always plan ahead.
Think about the delivery date
If its for a birthday or you want to get them their self care package quickly, its always possible it may not arrive on time. Always plan for the worst and make sure you ship the item/s early so that it at least arrives to them. Think of lovely ideas to cheer your friend or family member up!
Buy it online and send it directly
If you have any concerns or problems with sending a self care gift yourself then the easiest way to handle this is to buy the item online and send it directly to someone. For example, you could send flowers through a store instead of buying them at a florist, attempting to keep them safe in a box, and then sending it. A self care idea is to send bright flowers like sunflowers- which are happy and hopeful or others such as roses!
Do: Always package it properly
If your item is fragile then you’re going to need some serious packaging if you want it to arrive in one piece. For ultimate protection, use a very sturdy box with plenty of protective materials inside. To add an extra layer of protection, consider putting the item into a box within another box, if you are packaging it yourself! If online, you wont need to worry.
Make sure its from a reputable company, with good packaging
Make sure any self care gift is packaged correctly and with good, strong materials. It’s great that you’re thinking of reusing some old cardboard boxes for your packaging and padding, but you need to make sure that it’s going to withstand some damage during the shipping process and protects the items within. If from a good trusted company, their packaging should be sturdy enough.
Put a Smile on their face!
Be thoughtful and think of things they will love. I always find that inspirational quote cards, some beautiful flowers or chocolates, bubble bath or something humourous will always cheer people up who are going through a hard time!
I have written here before but I am so excited to say that the Book of Hope, which features my essay ‘Of Hope and Sunflowers’ and put together by my friends Jonny Benjamin MBE and Britt Pfluger is out now! Happy Publication Day!
It is such an honour to be in a book with so many incredible people in their own fields talking about overcoming their own adversity and mental health issues.
As I write, the book is currently 16th in the bestsellers chart for all books on Amazon.
Hugely thankful to Jonny and Britt for including me in such a great project.
Life is filled with many extraordinary moments that can fill your heart with joy and warmth – there is so much to look forward to and hope for. Throughout life, you will experience many of these life changing events; such as falling in love, landing the job you’ve worked tirelessly for, getting that breakthrough you needed in order to make a success of something – but, sometimes something will happen that is less joyous and more painful; these are challenging times and are a real pain to experience in one’s life.
It is a sad but inevitable part of life. Like a rollercoaster going up and down, making loops and causing your heart to soar with glee, every once in a while, the rollercoaster will tip over the highest point on its way to rush down and, for a brief moment, you’ll maybe feel as if you’re going to die. This is what grief and loss feel like – a pain that is so all-encompassing and overwhelming, you feel as if your body can literally not stand it. But, every single time the rollercoaster has flung you from one side to the other, it stops at the drop off point and lets you off to continue with your life.
The key, therefore, is being able to hold on until the rollercoaster, which is your challenging life event, lets you off the hook. That said, here are four challenging life events that may occur somewhere in your life, as well as tips on how to cope with them and not let it get the better of you.
Losing a job
Something almost every single person in the world will experience somewhere in their life. Losing a job can feel like the end of the world. Before you’ve even left the office, you already start picturing yourself living out of a cardboard box; this is you, being dramatic (and rightfully so) because your mind is trying to process what’s happening and exploring all avenues of options. The mind is a pretty theatrical thing, and with his best friend (your heart), the two of them together are what create the doomsday feeling inside you. Granted, losing a job sucks. But, before you start waddling in a puddle of self-pity, try and ask yourself a few quick questions;
How many times a week did you complain about your job? Was it the job you worked your butt off for, or was it only a means to keep your finances going while you worked on what you really wanted to do for a living? Did you even like your job? Asking these questions may help to shed some light on the situation and the actual severity of it. Yes, you don’t have a job now – can you try and get a new one? How about tackling that thing you’ve always wanted to do but were too scared to or didn’t have the time to do because you had your job that is now gone? Instead of seeing the loss of your job as the end, try imagining it as the start of a whole new chapter in your life. You can do pretty much anything you want – to go out there and do it! In the end, you’ll surprise yourself and not look back for a single second at the job you once had.
Moving to a new location
They say that moving somewhere new has the same traumatic effect on one’s mind as it does when you lose a loved one. This may be true – seeing as by moving to a new location, you’re leaving everything you once knew behind in pursuit of the unknown, which is what most people are scared of. One can start to miss the minor things that you may not even have noticed while living there, like the cup of coffee you used to get at that cafe near your home. Your brain makes the grass on the other side look much greener, which is something we all do from time to time when reliving memories. Whatever reason you’re moving to a new location, whether it be a new job, or going to college, try thinking about all the new places you’ll see, all the new people you’ll meet, as well as the new things you’ll get attached to just as you did the last time.
Losing a loved one
One of the worst things that could ever happen to you is when you lose a loved one – that’s the “I think I might die from this pain” type of feeling, and you start to deal with grief. Grief is an intense emotion accompanied by a few others, like shock, disbelief, anger, and nostalgia. Losing someone may sometimes feel like the end of the world; after all, you’re never going to see that person is again, and that’s the one thing that makes it so hard to move on. When losing someone, the important thing to do first is to allow yourself to feel every emotion that your body needs to feel – your mind needs to go through all the steps of Coping with grief and loss in order for you to really deal with it in a healthy way. Yes, burying it deep down and hustling through it may feel like the way to go at first, but ultimately, you’re just delaying the inevitable, which is facing the events that took place head-on. Surround yourself with your closest family and friends in this time, they are there for all the good and bad things that happen in your life, and you will definitely appreciate the support even if, at first, it may feel like you want to be left alone.
Going through a divorce or breakup
One of the hardest things to accept in life is when you were wrong about someone. Never let anyone tell you your divorce or break up isn’t that bad or that things could be worse – you are allowed to feel whatever you need to feel in order to come to terms with your relationship with someone ending. It’s hard to put into words the amount of time, energy, and love you invest throughout the course of a relationship and watching it end may feel like it was all for nothing. You may even start to feel like if things didn’t work out with that specific person, then it won’t work with anyone, but it’s not the truth. Even when it’s over now, your relationship was not all for nothing – it taught you many lessons, made you the person you are today, and made you the strong, independent individual you are today.
Remember that time spent loving someone is never time wasted. Odds are, there is someone out there right now, hoping to cross paths with someone just like you. And, if you could love the wrong person that much, just imagine the kind of love that will be shared between you and the right one. Take some time alone, enjoy living life on your own, get happy by yourself, and then when you’re ready, be open to meeting a person that will love you no matter what.
One key trait is crucial to deal with and get through all of these challenging life events: resilience. Your resilience is what will get you through in the end – that, and the unshaken belief that you deserve nothing less than the best.
As we move deeper into April, your new year’s resolutions may feel like a distant dream. This is because we often set ourselves large-scale goals that are hard to maintain for long periods instead of introducing small changes that will have a significant impact further down the line.
As a result, you must understand that sometimes the smallest alterations can have the biggest impact on your life and are often the most effective when it comes to making changes. You also don’t need to wait for the start of a new year to enact them – you can get started whenever you feel ready to do so.
With that in mind, here are some easy ways in which you can put your best foot forward for the rest of 2021 – bringing around positive change in the process.
Nobody likes dealing with issues. We often try to push them aside in the hopes that they will come to a natural resolution on their own. However, this is often not the case – and many problems will intensify the longer we chose to ignore them. Therefore, by tackling them head-on – or at least starting to address them, you can continue to put your best foot forward.
For example, if you spend a lot of time worrying about events that will happen far in the future – think of everything that will happen in your life between now and then. This can help put your anxiety into perspective and teach you that you have nothing to worry about. However, it can also help you plan for the future and ease your mind.
Make your mental health a priority and get support if needed too from a trusted GP or therapist.