There are many aspects to creating a new life. Healing from addiction isn’t just treating the continued use of a particular drug; it’s also restoring your life. It’s easy to think that attending a treatment center for addiction is going to solve most of your problems.
However, addiction for many people is not a stand-alone illness. Often, when the addiction begins to get treated, an underlying illness is uncovered, such as depression or anxiety. Experts are unclear about whether addiction or mental illness tends to come first. However, in the case of depression, DualDiagnosis.Org reports that women tend to develop the mood disorder first, and then the addiction. While men tend to develop an addiction first and then later depression. Both illnesses tend to make the other worse. And for this reason, when mental illness accompanies addiction, both need to be treated. In fact, when mental illness accompanies addiction, there many aspects of recovery that are important to include.
For instance, the following are types of treatment and important components to recovery:
-Alcohol or Drug Detox
-Self Help Programs
-Other Social Services, such as Community Integration
-Well Being Modalities like Meditation or Yoga
First, addiction treatment services will be needed to tend to your addiction. Depending on the type of addiction, you might require medication to assist in the withdrawal process. For instance, benzodiazepines are often given to those struggling with alcohol withdrawal, while methadone is frequently given to those struggling with opiate withdrawal. You may require medical attention if your addiction was harmful to the health of your body.
As you uncover the presence of depression, or another form of mental illness, you may also require psychiatric care. This might mean taking psychotropic drugs to treat a depressed brain or to help stabilize your mood. If you’re taking psychotropic medication, you’re likely going to see your psychiatrist at least once per month in order to ensure your medication is working for you.
In addition to these services, there are other services that are just as important to your mental health. For instance, family therapy focuses on the systems and relationships within a family network. This kind of therapy might be important if there were family dynamics that might have contributed to the development of your addiction. Many studies indicate that the adverse effects of addition plays a significant role in the dysfunction of families. Children of alcoholics as well as children of those with opiate addictions are at risk for developing their own addiction, conduct disorder, anxiety disorder, and/or depression. When a parent is suffering from addiction, research shows that it creates many family problems, such as divorce, spouse abuse, child abuse, neglect, and crime.
For these reasons, family therapy is important in recovery. It aims to change the relationship within families in order to help them better manage the specific problems they might be facing. Because many mental illnesses are made worse by the dysfunctions present in families, repairing relationships are a pivotal part of therapy. Close family members are often the supports that an individual suffering from mental illness has and are therefore extremely important in treatment.
Of course, if your addiction and mental illness affected your ability to work, part of your recovery might also be vocational rehabilitation. You may want to explore whether you can work and if so, what skills you need in order to do so. A vocational rehabilitation specialist can provide this kind of support.
Furthermore, if you have many services that you are tending to, such as all those listed above, you may want to access case management services, often offered through a local social service agency. In fact, some agencies that provide case management can also put you in touch with other services you may require.
Lastly, there are things that you can do for yourself. For instance, you can attend support groups such as 12-step meetings and other activities that put you in touch with a group of people who are struggling with the same illnesses. And, you can engage in behaviors that are self-soothing and nurturing, such as taking a bath, going for long walks, spending time with those you love, and meditation and/or prayer.
In order for recovery to be effective, it needs to be thorough and complete, meeting all your needs. If you want to restore your life, ensure that the components to your recovery addresses all the areas of your life.
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