Substance abuse refers to the continuous intake of harmful psychoactive substances including alcohol and illicit drugs. The condition is set to be at a dangerous state when a person is resistant to withdrawal even though they are aware of the hazardous consequences which come along with its consumption.
When mental health issues like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety etc and substance abuse exist together, it’s known as a co-occurring disorder. They both have a proportional effect on each other. If mental health issues aren’t taken seriously and treated, the substance abuse usually worsens. Similarly, when substance abuse isn’t controlled or toned down in the time it leads to an aggravated situation of mental health issues.
Accepting is the first and hardest step. Mostly, people who indulge in substance abuse remain in denial of how they’re dependent on alcohol/drugs and likewise in case of mental health problems. Constant fear of being judged and viewed as weak or abnormal persists which leads to them being rigid in seeking treatment.
SYMPTOMS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Bloodshot or glazed eyes.
Dilated or constricted pupils.
Abrupt weight changes.
Changes in hygiene.
Problems sleeping or sleeping too much.
Increased aggression or irritability.
Changes in attitude/personality.
Sudden changes in a social network.
Dramatic changes in habits and/or priorities.
Involvement in criminal activity.
MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS THAT USUALLY CO-OCCUR WITH ADDICTION ARE -
6.Borderline personality disorder
SELF HELP TIPS
Recognise overwhelming emotions-
When one goes through a substance addiction as well as a mental health issue, it's fairly usual to relapse in times of distress. So, managing stress level is an important key. There are also numerous circumstances that may trigger a person, hence it is advised to be ready with an action plan on how to tackle the situations when and as they occur because coping with unpleasant feelings is the only way out from the constant cycle of surrendering to your addictions.
The best way to cope with unhealthy emotions is surrounding yourself with positive energy. Being around loved ones who care for you can help you create the positive aura necessary to help you grow out of your mental illness and addictions. One can also be a part of support groups as it instils a sense of belongingness and helps one become comfortable with the idea that ‘they’re not alone in this’. In such testing times, it is also very important to keep in regular touch with your doctor in case you think of changing/stopping your medication.
Change your lifestyle-
Exercise is a natural way to bust stress, relieve anxiety, and improve your mood and outlook. One can also practise meditation and other relaxation techniques. Though healthy physical changes are suggested, it is also important for one to take care of maintaining a proper healthy diet and getting enough sleep.
Both mental health disorders and substance abuse problems are conditions which can be recovered from. It sure takes time, commitment, and courage, but people can and do get better.