Mental Health and Addiction
Mental health and substance use disorders often go hand-in-hand. It is normal for people with substance use disorders to also be affected by mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, mood disorders, trauma, and other conditions. It is also common for people with unaddressed mental health conditions to self-medicate with substances in an attempt to reduce symptoms. Self-medicating can sometimes lead to addiction. The Recovery Ways clinical team has the skills and resources to address a full range of dual-diagnosis conditions.
According to NAMI, almost 44 million people in the United States experience a mental health issue in a given year. More than 80 percent of Americans will experience a mental health condition during their lifetime. These conditions affect people from every walk of life. They also affect people differently and present with varying degrees of severity. Ensuring access to high-quality mental healthcare is an increasingly high priority as more people are seeking care. The fact that more people of all ages are asking for and finding help is a promising sign. There is no reason to keep mental health conditions a secret. Treatment is highly effective and people receiving appropriate treatment can successfully manage their conditions and restore their quality of life.
Recovery Ways offers three levels of mental healthcare. Residential, or inpatient, partial-hospitalization (PHP), and outpatient (OP). The Recovery Ways care team can recommend the best level of care for patients after a thorough evaluation. It is also typical for patients to move between levels of care as needed. Patients who start out at a higher level of care often step down to a lower level of care — fewer hours of therapy per day and per week — as they progress clinically. Mental health conditions are chronic issues that require regular management. Ongoing care through a private therapist is often recommended following higher levels of care at Recovery Ways.
Each level of mental healthcare at Recovery Ways offers individual and group psychotherapy, experiential therapies, and sensory modulation. Our therapists are versed in the use of multiple modes of therapy including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma-specific therapies, and more to offer personalized approaches that increase the comfort and effectiveness of care.
This is a listing of some of the mental health conditions treated at Recovery Ways. A thorough clinical assessment is needed to determine if Recovery Ways is able to meet each person’s treatment needs. We maintain relationships with high-quality providers throughout the country so that we may refer patients to a more appropriate care provider when needed.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD affects almost 8 million adults or about 3.5 percent of the US population. Rape is the most likely trigger of PTSD: many adults who are raped will develop the disorder. Childhood sexual abuse is a strong predictor of lifetime likelihood for developing PTSD.
Some addiction professionals believe that almost all addicted people have experienced severe trauma. Trauma caused by physical and sexual abuse occurs at alarmingly high rates in the United States. If undiagnosed and untreated, trauma can lead to substance misuse by the affected individual in an attempt to self-medicate the emotional pain caused by the traumatic experience. Our team utilizes eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and Mind-Body Bridging in trauma therapy.
Depression is a serious mood disorder that often co-occurs with drug and alcohol addiction. Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the US for ages 15 to 44, affecting more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of people over the age of 18.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affects about 6.8 million adults in the US. Fewer than half of them receive any kind of treatment for their condition. Anxiety disorders affect a quarter of children between the ages of 13 and 18.
It is now widely recognized that these psychiatric disorders frequently co-occur with substance use disorders. Co-occurring disorders (also referred to as dual diagnosis) is a term used for people suffering from a substance use disorder who experience mental health issues at the same time. Either condition—SUD or mental illness—may develop first. Depression, anxiety, mood and personality disorders, eating disorders, unprocessed trauma, and other mental health issues are common dual diagnosis conditions.
Bipolar disorder is often linked to clinical depression and anxiety disorders, many bipolar individuals are treated for all three disorders. Alcohol and other drugs often make bipolar symptoms worse and can even cause bipolar disease in someone with no prior mental health issues.
Those diagnosed with bipolar disorders are usually placed into one of the following severity groups:
Bipolar I: Typically have difficulty in school, keeping jobs, or staying in relationships because of their extreme mood swings between depression and mania. Manic episodes lasting seven days or more are considered so severe that patients require immediate hospital care. Depressive episodes usually last about two weeks. They can also have episodes of mixed features where they experience manic and depressive symptoms at the same time. They have had at least one manic episode or mixed episode and most have had at least one depressive episode.
Bipolar II: Typically can maintain relationships and keep a job but occasionally suffer from depression. Typically have a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes which are less severe than full-blown manic episodes. They have experienced one or more depressive episodes with at least one hypomanic episode.
Cyclothymia: Is the mildest form of bipolar disorder. The disorder may still cause some disruption in their life but they do not feel such severe highs and lows. They experience multiple periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms lasting at least two years (one year for children and adolescents). Symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a manic or depressive episode.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a seriously debilitating mental illness characterized by impulsiveness, extremely unstable emotions, distorted self-image, and intense unstable relationships. People with BPD often suffer from other mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. They can experience intense episodes of anxiety, depression, or anger for a few hours to a few days. While they may be seen as manipulative, dependent, and dramatic people, mental health professionals know that it is because of their overwhelming emotional pain and fear.
There are four related but distinctly different sub-types of BPD:
Petulant BPD: They go between outbursts of anger and feelings of unworthiness. They have a strong need to manipulate and control others, are possessive, and often experience dissatisfaction in their relationships. May lead to substance misuse and other problematic behaviors.
Impulsive BPD: They have difficulty with impulse control and are at high risk for self-harm. They tend to involve themselves in thrill-seeking activities and may attempt suicide.
Self-destructive BPD: They have extreme feelings of self-hatred and bitterness. They tend to find comfort in the attention of others but it doesn’t last for long and they can turn to self-destructive behavior including suicide attempts or threats, substance misuse, or thrill-seeking.
Discouraged BPD: They are dependent on others and are very clingy. They seem passive but when they feel as though they have been abandoned they will have issues with anger control and emotional stability. No amount of attention will satisfy them.
While this all may sound discouraging, especially as a co-occurring disorder with addiction, there is treatment available to those with BPD. Recovery Ways has the qualified staff and tools to help patients work through and overcome their addiction and live happy lives.
Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Individuals typically experience hallucinations, delusions or thought disorder, which includes unusual thinking or disorganized speech.
Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of schizophrenia symptoms with either depression or mania. Many people with schizoaffective disorder are often incorrectly diagnosed at first with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Psychoactive drugs such as LSD have also been linked to the development of schizoaffective disorder.
Addiction and Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders
Since mental health conditions frequently co-occur and often drive substance use disorders, they need to be addressed in addiction treatment. If co-occurring disorders are not adequately addressed in treatment, relapse is much more likely.
At Recovery Ways, every SUD patient receives evidence-based treatment that addresses both substance misuse and co-occurring mental health issues. A licensed member of our treatment team helps each patient develop an individualized plan tailored to address their specific needs.
Our holistic approach to rehabilitation allows patients to heal their mind, body, and spirit and start their life-long journey of recovery from addiction.