The impact of addiction on mental health is complex. Addiction has dynamic effects on all aspects of mental health — addiction cause damage to families, jobs, friends, and harms all relationships. Addiction can hurt friends and families because, usually, the persons suffering from addiction do not realize the damage they create.
To get treatment, the person with the mental illness and/or addiction must want help. Patients who do not want treatment often fail in recovery centers. Loved ones need to accept that it is up to the patient to seek out help. The stigma creates roadblocks. Scientists are still studying genetic and environmental factors. Mental illness and addiction are often a dual diagnosis needing specialized treatment.
The Stigma of Mental Health and Addiction
The stigma of mental illness and addiction creates barriers to treatment. About 40 percent of patients go without treatment because they fear stigma — the stigma that people with mental health issues are dangerous or incompetent. The stigma of a label like mentally ill or addict leaves millions untreated.
Conditions like anxiety and depression can lead to addiction through self-medication. Patients often self-medicate with alcohol and do so to avoid dealing with the reality of their illness. People who suffer mental health conditions or addiction feel shame. Shame leads them to reject treatment and restrain from seeking help.
Mental health issues and addiction are illnesses that need treatment. The labels that come with mental health create fear that these labels might prevent them from working. People fear these labels will cause others to perceive them in an inaccurate or negative way.
Ending the stigma will increase the number of people who seek treatment. Addressing this will encourage people to seek treatment sooner, and the sooner people reject stigma and accept treatment the more likely they are to recover.
Genetic and Environmental Risks
The genetics and environmental factors that affect mental health and addiction are well-known. These factors exist in many communities, yet, not everyone falls victim to these factors.
Scientists continue to study what causes addiction and mental health issues. Doctors wonder why only some people fall victim to addiction and mental illness. Others, with the same background, thrive without these illnesses. DNA and genetics are becoming the top area of study for many scientists, and many doctors study addiction and mental illness, as they are related to DNA, in hopes of finding a cure.
Scientists are now studying the genetic and environmental risks. DNA is at the top of genetic research. Genetics play some role in addiction and mental health, and determining the specific genetic components of addiction gives scientists hope. Scientists hope they may someday be able to treat and end addiction through genetics.
Common Dual Diagnosis and Treatment
Addiction and mental health issues are often present together, requiring dual diagnosis and treatment. Many mental health professionals specialize in dual diagnosis. Mental health conditions can create openings that lead to addiction; it is a fact that addiction is more common in patients with mental health conditions.
At United Recovery Project, our team of professionals understands addiction and mental health. United Recovery Project provides options for every stage of recovery. Most patients start with in-patient detox. However, our outpatient treatment team equally helps patients through the transition. The professionals at United Recovery Project know how to serve your needs. Alumni programs support you and celebrate your recovery.