Posted on: 23 October 2018
If you are a person that has schizophrenia, you know that life can be tough and challenging at times. If you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol in addition to your schizophrenia, you may feel completely overwhelmed and unsure of what you can or should do to deal with the situation. When you suffer from both schizophrenia and an addiction, there are some facts you should know about managing the two conditions and getting help and treatment. Learn some of these facts and you will be ready to face the challenges ahead when dealing with your schizophrenia and addiction issues.
Many People with Mental Illnesses Have Addictions
Before you go any further in dealing with your schizophrenia and addiction, you need to know that you are not the only person struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Doctors believe that around 50 percent of people with mental illnesses suffer from an addiction as well.
Know that you are not alone or a failure because you suffer from addiction in addition to your mental illness. It is something that happens quite often to many people.
Both Conditions Are Manageable
Both schizophrenia and addiction are conditions that are manageable. While you cannot cure yourself of mental illness or addiction, you can take steps to get these conditions under control. For example, medications can help to control schizophrenic episodes. There are also medications that can help you detox from drugs or alcohol and even some that can be used for long-term maintenance to prevent relapse.
Therapy can also help you deal with both schizophrenia and addiction. When you go to therapy for schizophrenia, you can develop strategies for knowing when an episode is coming on and steps to take to deal with it. You can also talk about past traumas and other issues that might contribute to your mental health problems.
When you go to therapy or counseling for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you will work on several things. Therapy can involve delving into the issues that caused you to begin abusing substances in the first place. Sometimes, this connects very deeply with your schizophrenia and related symptoms. You can also use counseling to help you identify your drug or alcohol abuse triggers so you can then cope with those triggers in healthy ways.
You Should Treat Both Conditions at the Same Time
Many people believe that they have to get either their schizophrenia or their addiction under control before they can seek treatment for the other condition. This actually will not work. Both mental illness and addiction affect a person's brain chemistry, causing imbalances. If you try to correct one imbalance in the brain without also addressing the other, you will never be able to get your brain completely under control.
Dual diagnosis treatment allows you to seek out simultaneous and coordinated care for your schizophrenia and your addiction. You will be working with expert caregivers that work together to come up with medication regimens, mental health management strategies, and more to simultaneously manage both of your conditions.
Knowing these facts about schizophrenia and addiction means you can seek out the help you need to manage your addiction recovery and journey to a healthier state of mind.Share