The disease of addiction is not a simple matter; it doesn’t merely affect the addict or alcoholic, the condition impacts the entire family. Healing is possible for anyone who is willing to take proactive steps and seek assistance. However, it is a troubling reality that some individuals are unable to manage a program of recovery; this is especially true for the more than half of all people living with the disease who also struggle with a co-occurring mental illness.
It’s paramount for persons living with alcohol and substance use disorders to receive simultaneous treatment for their use disorder and dual diagnosis to achieve lasting progress. Depression often goes hand-in-hand with the disease of addiction complicating people’s ability to affect change in their own lives. Failing to manage depressive symptoms properly, or lacking the necessary coping skills, significantly increases the likelihood of alcohol and substance use relapse.
Dual diagnosis cases are veritable snake-eating-its-tail scenarios. One may learn how to manage their addiction with the aid of a recovery program only to have their hard work compromised by a co-occurring mental health disorder. Conversely, those using drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms of depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for instance, end up exacerbating their psychological manifestations. Self-medication is never a viable method for managing mental illness.
Raising Awareness About Mental Health, Addiction, and Suicide
On May 18, 2017, the frontman of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, took his life after battling addiction and depression for years. A couple of months later on July 20, 2017, Linkin Park singer and songwriter Chester Bennington committed suicide, as well. As with Cornell, depression, and addiction were mitigating factors in Bennington’s death. Now, roughly a year later, actions are underway to prevent other people from suffering similar fates.
Chris’ widow, Vicky Cornell, is doing her part to help people living with mental illness by launching the Addiction Resource Center (ARC), Yahoo News reports. ARC is an online resource for anyone living with the disease of addiction and their families; the campaign provides the Addiction Resource Line (ARL), which connects those struggling with mental illness with mental health clinicians and peer recovery support advocates.
“Addiction is a preventable and treatable disease,” Mrs. Cornell said in a statement. “While it’s too late to bring Chris back, it’s not too late for millions of other people who are struggling with addiction.”
Talinda Bennington, Chester’s widow, is also using her husband’s passing as an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health disorders and suicide via social media, according to the article. “If my husband’s death saves one life, then it’s not in vain,” says Talinda Bennington. We can all play a role in helping others find recovery.
When we have conversations about mental illness, we break down the stigma that accompanies such conditions, in turn, encouraging people to break their silence and seek help.
Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment
The Haven at Pismo can help you or your loved one break the cycle of addiction and assist you in learning how to manage the symptoms of a co-occurring mental health disorder without resorting to self-medicating. Please contact us today to find out more information about our program.