The phrase “mental illness” still carries a stigma. It suggests a person who has lost complete touch with normal life. The truth is, though, mental illness is silently around us. What are the types of mental illness?
One of the major concerns with all types of mental illness is the chance that it can lead to other problems, such as substance abuse. Statistically speaking, people with a mental illness are at greater risk of substance abuse than the general population. When that happens, it’s called a co-occurring disorder and requires a special approach typically involving addiction treatment therapies.
Mental illness looks different than you think. It could be impacting your neighbor, your co-worker, your family. Knowing the types of mental illness and its relationship to substance abuse encourages greater understanding and support.
Types of Mental Illness
Mental illness is more prominent than you think According to statistics provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated one in five adults, or 20 percent, experience mental illness each year; about one in 25 experience serious mental illness. Only half get treatment.
Mental illness is complicated, the result of a mix of genetics, environment, and lifestyle. No single event leads you down this road. Some of the principal mental health disorders include:
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
The stress of life and work and family doesn’t help, which is why it’s so important to develop excellent coping skills to reduce the impact of mental illness.
Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
The data show that people who suffer from mental illness are at greater risk of substance abuse. It makes sense – as life spirals out of control, we turn to substances to ease the pain.
According to an article on HelpGuide.org, studies from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest:
- Half of all individuals with severe mental disorders face challenges from substance abuse annually.
- More than a third — 37 percent — of people suffering from alcohol-use disorders have at least one serious mental illness
- More than half — 53 percent — of people struggling with substance use disorders also suffer at least one serious mental illness
Within a recovery center, simultaneous occurrences of substance abuse and mental illness are common challenges. These conditions, known as dual-diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder, require a special approach to treatment.
Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders
The philosophy of dual diagnosis or “co-occurring disorder” calls for integrated care – doctors seek to address more than just your addiction to drugs or alcohol. The most successful outcomes come from addressing both the substance abuse and types of mental illness at the same time — sequentially, starting with the substance abuse, then dealing with your depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other psychological issues.
The idea is that you can’t really get to the underlying issues involved in your mental health while you continue to ingest drugs or alcohol. So, you first must go through detox, with careful management of withdrawal, and addiction counseling, before working through the mental illness.
The structure of care for co-occurring disorders remains the same. You start with an assessment, go through detox, and receive counseling. Follow-up aftercare will remain an important part of your life moving forward to prevent relapse.
The various types of mental illness pose major challenges, but with treatment and the love and support of family, you can return to a stable, happy existence.
Stability and Sobriety
Understanding the different types of mental illness, and how they can lead us down the road to substance abuse, is important in knowing how and when to seek help. Awareness is key. But if you do need help, we want you to choose Georgia Addiction Treatment Center. We focus on a broad understanding that everyone’s journey through recovery is unique. Our care team and our leadership are experienced in the latest evidence-based treatments for addictions. We provide a full range of rehab and recovery services, such as our intensive outpatient treatment center. Our services include partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment programs. Call us at 833.641.0661 for a consultation.