CONDITIONS A-Z

  

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For people dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues, life can feel overwhelming.

All too often those overwhelming feelings seem to fuel the battle and make the struggles even harder.

The good news is that these issues don’t have to overtake you. There are people who can help and things you can do to keep your life balanced and productive.

Recognizing Symptoms

In some cases, symptoms of mental health issues may not be so obvious. Gaining a little more insight into some of the indicators of why life seems so unmanageable can help you discern what’s going on and what you may need to do about it.

WebMD.com states, “Just as physical health is important, so is good mental health. Still, millions of Americans suffer with various types of mental illness...Mental illness and psychological disorders have good treatment options with medication, psychotherapy, or other treatments.”

Some signs:

  • Panic disorders: when anxiety regularly escalates into attacks.
  • Bipolar: extreme mood swings from depression to mania.
  • Depression: intense feelings of sadness, disinterest in things you enjoy, feelings may last longer.
  • Schizophrenia: distorted thoughts and hallucinations.

Abuse, Addiction, Self-Medicating

Substance abuse may be a little more difficult to understand. In some case substance abuse is due directly to an addiction to a particular substance like alcohol or drugs. In other cases it may be because someone who has an underlying mental illness is unaware of the issue and is self-medicating or seeking an escape. A professional can help you sort it all out so you can have the best possible success, but helpguide.org defines the difference between the signs of substance abuse versus substance addiction.

Signs of abuse:

  • Neglecting responsibilities.
  • Using substances under dangerous circumstances, or taking risks while intoxicated.
  • Your abuse is causing legal, or relationship issues.

Sings of addiction:

  • You have built up a tolerance.
  • Use substances to avoid or relieve withdraw symptoms.
  • You’re not in control.
  • Your life revolves around the substance.
  • You no longer do things you used to love.
  • Continuing use even when you know it’s destructive.

Help From Others

Mental illness and substance abuse used to carry negative social stigmas, but thanks to education society is learning that the brain is complicated and these issues aren’t something to be ashamed of. Because it often involves deeper physiological complications it is imperative to get help from certified professionals.

No matter where you are in life there is help to fit your needs. You can get private counseling and outpatient care. Or in more extreme situations, you can even find residential care where you can receive support around the clock.

Secret Weapons

Once you take the initial steps to get the counseling and begin a road to recovery, you can do little things to help
cope with the stress you will face in day-to-day life afterward. Some coping techniques:

  • Meditation.
  • Journaling.
  • Reframing.
  • Cognitive distortions.
  • Positive thinking.
  • Exercise.
  • Yoga.
  • Deep breathing.
  • Calming activities.

Life isn’t perfect and we don’t always know how to fix the difficult things. But connecting with people that can help us is the first step to a healthy and happy life.

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