Young man in drug rehab doesn't realize that co-occurring disorders must also be addressed.Co-occurring disorders are an extremely important aspect of addiction recovery, which is why Beaches Recovery has a program dedicated to these mental health issues. Many people who have an addiction to alcohol or drugs suffer from a mental illness as well. When you come to Beaches for addiction treatment, both of these issues must be addressed properly so you can recover. Without taking a look at your mental health, recovery can be difficult or sometimes impossible.

Education About Co-Occurring Disorders

You may be one of the thousands of people who had a mental illness develop at a young age. Many people never knew they had an underlying mental illness and turned to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Unfortunately, there’s a stigma surrounding mental illness, so we don’t talk about it enough or teach our children about it. You most likely have gone through a health class in school, but did you learn about any of the following:

Without discussing and educating young people about mental illness, they don’t know what to look out for. Not only that, but parents are often not educated about the symptoms of mental illness. You may have experienced the symptoms of mental illness, but you didn’t know what to do. This can make you feel very isolated and scared, looking for a way to cope. Enter substances used for self-medication.

How Co-Occurring Disorders Develop

Whether your symptoms of mental illness began at a young age or later in life, self-medicating is an issue. Without knowing what mental illness looks like, our natural human response is to avert pain. Many times, this comes in the form of turning to alcohol or drugs as a way of feeling “normal”. Using alcohol or drugs may have helped to calm down the symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Humans have a context-dependent memory like most other living organisms. This means that every time you receive a reward that helps you avert pain, the habit grows. Eventually, there comes a point where your mind immediately turns to drugs or alcohol whenever symptoms arise. When you get sober, mental illness doesn’t go away, so it’s important to learn how to deal with the symptoms in a healthier way.

Diagnosing Co-Occurring Disorders

You may be someone who enters Beaches Recovery and has symptoms of mental illness. We must conduct a thorough evaluation during your stay because substances can induce symptoms. For example, long-term abuse of alcohol or opiates can create symptoms of depression. It’s also extremely common with any substance to experience symptoms of anxiety when you first get sober.

Through our different therapies, we’ll be able to see if your mental illness symptoms lessen during treatment. If the symptoms are still there, we have the opportunity to treat them in different and better ways. Long-term abuse of substances alters the chemistry of the brain, so you may see your symptoms dissipate after a week or two of sobriety. Some symptoms may linger longer, which is why we’ll set you up with a discharge plan to follow up on your symptoms.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol showcases a very strong addictive personality within you. Even when drugs or alcohol are gone, your natural instinct will be to get rid of these symptoms. Beaches Recovery is the best place for you to be so we can help your mind begin healing. We’ll give you new tools and suggestions that will not only treat your mental illness, but they will help you live a much happier, sober life. We will also educate you about coping skills for recovery that will take you through the rest of your life.

Beaches Recovery is here to help you with your co-occurring disorders. To find out more about the programs here in Jacksonville, FL, call us today at 866-605-0532.