Although mental illness is a common condition among Americans, the stigma
surrounding the issue can sometimes make accepting a diagnosis or treatment
difficult for some people. Many are skeptical of prescribed meds and often
question whether or not there might be an underlying issue or cause to
their disorder. For alcoholics and drug users, a “co-occurring disorder”
may exist. A co-occurring disorder is a separate issue that may add to
the symptoms of another disorder or disease. Often, alcoholics and drug
addicts self-medicate with drugs or alcohol as a way to treat the symptoms
of a different disorder, like anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, many
addicts and alcoholics suffer from some form of mental illnesses like
bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, or depression.
Am I Mentally Ill?
Mental illness is any disorder that affects your thoughts, mood, or behavior.
Similar to physical illness, mental illness can be hereditary or come
from environmental factors like abuse or neglect. Anxiety and depression
are two of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses. Being diagnosed
with a mental illness may be shocking or even seem like a mistake. However,
being open to and accepting the doctor’s diagnosis is an important
step in overcoming the stigma of mental health.
Accept the Diagnoses
Be honest when you meet with your doctor. Being diagnosed with a mental
illness is not the end of the world. Many famous artists, musicians, and
public figures have suffered from various forms of mental illness. Similar
to overcoming an addiction, the first step in treating a mental illness
is to accept the diagnosis.
Educate Others About Mental Illness
Talking about the reality of mental illness is perhaps the most important
step you can take to help others overcome the many stigmas surrounding
it. With millions of Americans suffering from mental illness, conversations
about medication management and alternative treatment options are vital.
Open discussions can help society at large better understand that mental
illness is not a “dark” diagnosis. Many other people who have
gone through similar experiences and have shown that you don’t have
to go through the diagnosis alone.
Want to learn more about overcoming mental illness? Contact a Chico Mental Health professional today.
Therapeutic Solutions is here to help you live a healthy and balanced life!