When your loved one has an addiction to drugs or alcohol and an underlying mental health illness such as depression, anxiety, PTSD or ADHD he or she needs to get treatment for both conditions simultaneously. One cannot be treated effectively without treating the other. Addiction and mental health should be treated as a dual diagnosis.
Sometimes people suffering from a mental health condition will self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Using these substances can intensify the symptoms of mental illness. Coping with a loved one’s addiction is very overwhelming and stressful for family and friends. When your loved one has an addiction and a mental health problem, things get even more complicated.
There are ways you can help if your loved one has a dual diagnosis. Listen and learn about addiction and mental disorders to educate yourself. This helps you understand your loved one’s addiction and mental health. Set boundaries and follow through with consequences when needed.
Plan an intervention when your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Include family and friends who are affected by his or her behavior. Loved ones should write down how the addictive behavior makes him or her feel. When a person is addicted, he or she might not realize the serious consequences of their actions. Talk about boundaries in intervention and use positive and encouraging words to let your loved one know how much you care. Negative, belittling, or shameful language reinforces guilt, depression, and shame.
Many people with anxiety or depression turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their condition. Anxiety is a persistent, dreadful fear that a person cannot control. Depression can linger for years and puts a person in a constant, overwhelming sadness that interferes with sleep, work, family, friends, self-worth and self-esteem. Drugs and alcohol heighten the psychological symptoms of mental illnesses.
Understanding the relationship between addiction and depression can help your loved one in his or her recovery process. Being there for your loved one will help him or her see that you are there for them in their time of need. Compassion, understanding, and encouragement will help your loved one on the journey to recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, do not wait. Get help today. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in addiction treatment for mental health issues and addiction. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety. We offer a free and confidential consultation. Call us to get started:888-855-6877