Dual Diagnosis: Why Substance Abuse Worsens Your Mental Health

Drinking and drugs worsen anxiety, depression, other problems

Mental illness can overwhelm those who are affected and their loved ones. Substance abuse is similarly distressing for addicts, alcoholics and families.

When the two problems merge, a bigger challenge arises: dual diagnosis, or co-occurrence. “We see a large overlap between substance use disorders and mental health issues,” says psychiatrist Mohsen Vazirian, MD.

“For example, substance use disorders are twice as common in those diagnosed with anxiety or depression than they are in the general population.”  more

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To help the homeless, offer shelter that allows deep sleep

I barely slept for the full two years I was homeless. One night, I searched for places to sleep in all the wrong places, including the top of a plastic slide in a playground. At about 3 a.m., I curled up on a portion of soft, thick grass. But an hour later, automatic sprinklers came on, drenching my feet. I sloshed to the edges of a wilderness park, where I finally found a generous-size wooden bench. I changed my socks and fell in and out of sleep for the next two hours, waking up to my own violent shivering.

Sleep deprivation haunts unhoused people, worsening the trauma that sometimes caused their unsheltered situations in the first place, as well as any mental and physical illnesses they have. Bobby Watts, chief executive officer of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, says that “sleeplessness in homelessness is a public health crisis.”  more

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Insane 100 – My Story – Hearing Voices

FROM: INSANE100 BLOG OWNER

To anyone following this blog, I appreciate your support! I started this blog in June of 2018 to share my story of addiction and hearing voices. I am not a great writer, so me and my sister thought putting my story on video might be a better option. In the mean time I have been posting articles dealing with mental health. I hope these articles have brought some attention to mental illness and/or addiction. While I will continue to post articles dealing w/ mental health/illness, I would also like to share my story, any feedback will be appreciated.

 

 

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Mental Health Care Coverage Is Leaving Kids Behind And Families Reeling

One hot summer day in July 2013, a teenage boy with delicate lips and pale blue eyes gathered up his pillows, comforter and sheets and dumped them in the hallway.

Logan was angry and feeling unwanted, he later told doctors. He was also bored. He had lost his privileges for not doing his homework and was cooped up alone in his family’s ranch-style house in Allen, Texas.

His mother, Amanda Brown, and stepfather, Delton Brown, both software systems engineers, were away at work. His younger brother, Elijah, was in day care.

Making his way to the kitchen, Logan found some matches on top of a cabinet and set the pile of bedding ablaze. more

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13 things you shouldn’t say to someone who is struggling with their mental health

Mental health problems — most commonly depression, anxiety, and drug use — are some of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide. In fact, in the past week, it is estimated that one in six people have experienced an issue with their mental health.

It’s likely either you personally or someone close to you has come up against a mental health problem. But unfortunately, we are not always well equipped to know what to do or what to say.

Sometimes it will be obvious that someone is struggling, but other times the signs will be a lot more subtle. According to the Mental Health Foundation, sometimes you don’t actually need to know.  more

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What people taking antidepressants, psychiatric medication want you to know

Telling people that they’re ‘crazy’ or they’ll become an addict if they take psychiatric medications does more harm than good.

A family member notices you taking an antidepressant and suggests that if you smiled a little more you’d be able to beat that depression without drugs. Other well-meaning friends or family don’t hesitate to share their opinions — often based on myths or misinformation — about psychiatric medications with you, or anyone else. It’s pill shaming and it’s simply another way of stigmatizing mental illness, doctors say.

One in six Americans takes some kind of psychiatric drugs, mostly antidepressants. Many people who have a prescription for psychiatric medications also use talk therapy, mindfulness or exercise to manage their symptoms. But it’s the prescription pills that typically bring out the judgy comments.  more

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Substance use for coping can lead to mental health issues

Before Charles Miller got into the car he quickly popped a small tab of 25i — fake acid. It seemed that during the first eight holes of golf everything would be normal, but it wasn’t until after the ninth hole that yardsticks started moving out of nowhere and the fairway turned into a waving ocean. This was an uncomfortable high for Miller that led him to experience severe anxiety for months after, and he coped by drinking alcohol and popping Xanax for a year of his college life.

“I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” Miller, using a pseudonym to protect his identity, said.

The use of alcohol and illicit drugs is more common among young adults than any other age group, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Illicit drugs originally focused on the use of marijuana among college students, but has recently incorporated the use and misuse of prescription, over-the-counter drugs and harder drugs such as LSD. The administration found that 1 in 17 full-time college students aged 18-22 met the criteria for a substance use disorder in 2015.  more

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Center takes strict approach to suboxone treatment

For Cynthia Anders, battling drug withdrawal symptoms came in the form of a black box with a 3-D T-Rex covering.

It has been several weeks since she had possession of the box, but it became a colorful symbol of her ongoing recovery from opiate abuse.

The box was used to keep her prescriptions to buprenorphine, most commonly known by the brand name Suboxone. It is a method, some view as controversial, that uses an opioid to treat opioid addiction by weaning off the cravings.  more

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Tyson Fury has beaten his demons to become a champion for mental health

The heavyweight boxer who used to pray for death has shown that depression and addiction don’t have to be for ever

As a psychiatrist whose job is to preserve healthy minds, it feels a little unusual to be championing a mental health advocate who punches people in the head for a job. But that’s where I find myself with Tyson Fury.

On Sunday, having set my alarm for silly o’clock in the morning, I got up, boiled the kettle and sat down to watch two grown men try to knock each other into states of unconsciousness; the kind I’d always been taught to avoid at medical school. I’m not really a fan of boxing. Besides the risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy induced by a head injury (“punch-drunk syndrome”), I’ve never understood how bloody violence is permissible in society so long as it’s within a ring?   more

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