Mental Illness, Addiction, and the Importance of Treatment

Mental health and addiction
Mental health and addiction

It is not uncommon for mental illness and addiction to occur simultaneously. Of course, this also means that treatment for both becomes even more critical. If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental illness, you may be at risk for addiction and vice versa. It is important that you understand both the risks of your illness and the effects of treatment, as well as where you should begin tackling your problems.  Here are a few things to know if you have either an addiction or a mental illness.

Many People with Mental Health Problems Experience Addiction

Though the Western world is becoming more accepting and aware of mental health concerns, many people still struggle with getting mental health care. Many people have limited education on mental health or simply cannot afford care. These difficulties too often result in self-medication.

Self-medication describes the actions of a person who has a physical or mental illness and attempts to treat their symptoms with addictive substances. Alcohol is a legal substance that is commonly used as a means to self-medicate.

As a depressant, alcohol makes mental processes slower, which may make thoughts or anxieties seem easier to cope with. For example, a person with anxiety may find that alcohol slows their racing thoughts and eliminates the persistent knot of worry in their stomachs. With alcohol’s social acceptability, it is all too easy to unintentionally become addicted.

Many People with Addictions will Develop Mental Health Problems

Addiction is considered a mental illness. However, it can also cause the symptoms of other common mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. Unlike other mental illnesses, a substance-induced mental illness can be treated and potentially resolved with sobriety and therapy. If the substance abuse continues, the symptoms of mental illness will only become worse as time goes on. Treatment should be found as soon as possible in order to prevent or reverse the effects of an addiction.

There Are Many Forms of Effective Treatment

While many treatments will focus on only a mental illness or only a mental addiction, there are also options that tackle both issues. Talk therapy, art therapy, and exercise therapy are all valid options that can work to smooth your road to recovery as well as handle any mental health concerns. You may also opt to treat each condition separately.

To find a good treatment plan, seek the advice of a counselor who specializes in addiction and mental health. They may be the ones to treat you or they may refer you to a successful program. The most important thing you can do is seek help as soon as you recognize a problem. The earlier your treatment, the easier it will be for life to return to normal.

Recognizing that you or a loved one may have an addiction or a mental illness can be a frightening revelation. However, you should remember that by catching the problem, treatment can begin to take place and things can only get better as you continue to work through treatment with a qualified provider. Whether the problem is self-medication or a substance abuse issue, there is a treatment out there that will make your better.

Celebrities Who Have Lived With Mental Illness

Celebrities Who Have Lived With Mental Illness

Knowing about a few celebrities Who Have lived With mental health challenges is a great way to help not feel so alone.

So we thought we would share this infographic to make up the positivity this holiday season.

If you can suggest a few more names please do share in the comments section below!


Celebrities Who Have Lived With Mental Illness

From Visually.

World Mental Health Day 2015 – Dignity in mental health. Check out the Mental Health Atlas country profiles


World Mental Health Day - Dignity
World Mental Health Day – Dignity
Today as you may know is World Mental Health Day 2015 this year’s theme is “Dignity in mental health” You might be interested in our World Mental Health Day infographic which can be found here.

Thousands of people with mental health conditions around the world are deprived of their human rights. As well as being discriminated against, stigmatized and marginalized, they are also subject to emotional and physical abuse in both mental health facilities and the community. Poor quality care due to a lack of qualified health professionals and dilapidated facilities leads to further violations.


This year, the World Health Organisation will be raising awareness of what can be, and is being, done to ensure that people with mental health conditions can continue to live with dignity, through human rights-oriented policy and law, training of health professionals, respect for informed consent to treatment, inclusion in decision-making processes, and public information campaigns.

To find out about the state of mental health provision in your country have a look at Mental Health Atlas-2014 country profiles.

Let’s talk about depression……………


When I was young depression was a health issue which was hidden under the carpet.

Indeed at PatientTalk.Org we are strong supporters of the “Time to Change” campaign. You can read up about it here.

So please feel free to share this great infographic which will people open up about depression and get help.

Talk About Depression


Telemedicine – does it actually work? Have your say at our discussion blog!


As many of you know I’m very interested in the whole area of using technology to improve the quality healthcare. We have covered many different varieties of social media over the last couple of years. You can see a few topics here.

Telemedicine Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Telemedicine Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the last few months the subject of telemedicine has reared its head. Whether ugly or not remains to be seen. Telemedicine being defined as “is the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities” according to our friends at Wikipedia.

So I was very interested in a report from the UK government which has just come out. The report is entitled “Evaluation of the Telephone Support Psychological Wellbeing and Work Feasibility Pilot”. You can read a summary here. Though I have to say it is one of the worst written documents I have ever cast my eyes over. Which bureaucrats can’t write comprehensible English beats me.


Anyhow the evaluation of the ‘Telephone Support’ intervention which hopes to improve employment and health prospects for people with mental health conditions was on the main pretty positive and further trials are recommended.

So what do you think?

It would be great if you would consider using the comments sections below.

You might want to consider the following questions:-

a) Have you ever used Telemedicine? If so for what reason?
b) How effective was it?
c) Would you recommended it to others?
d) If you have not tried it would you consider doing so?
e) Is telemedicine privatization by the back door?
f) Overall what is your view of telemedicine?

Many thanks in advance