Tips for When Addiction and Mental Illness Co-Occur

Tips for When Addiction and Mental Illness Co-Occur
Thursday, May 3, 2018

New Jersey drug and alcohol rehab offers tips for people with co-occurring disorders.



(press release: summitbehavioralhealth) // New Jersey // Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC | Chief Operating Officer

New Jersey addiction rehab, Serenity at Summit, offers some useful tips for those who are suffering from co-occurring disorders.

Tips for Continued Recovery of Co-Occurring Disorders

Getting clean and sober is just the beginning of recovery for people with co-occurring disorders. Your continued recovery will depend on continuing psychiatric care, an addiction recovery program, utilizing new coping skills, and making positive life decisions. The following are some tips to help you stay on the path of recovery:

#1: Identify and Manage Stress and Emotions

Manage and reduce stress – There is no way to eliminate stress from your life completely. That means that you have to employ healthy coping skills to deal with stress and overwhelming emotions without returning to your addiction. Utilize the tools that you learned in treatment for stress reduction and stress management.

Know your triggers – When you have co-occurring disorders it’s important to be able to identify triggers for both your addiction and your mental illness. When you are able to recognize those triggers quickly, you can intervene before you spin out of control. Come up with a plan for what you will do when you are triggered.

#2: Stay Connected

Friends and family – Both addiction and mental illness often cause individuals to isolate themselves from other people. So, it’s important to surround yourself with supportive friends and family for positive emotional connections. Face-to-face interactions with others will help you feel safe and supported in your recovery.

Therapy and support groups – Your chances for successful recovery improve significantly when you continue with support groups and/or group therapy after your initial treatment.

Doctors – Once you are out of treatment and sober and feeling better, you may think that you don’t need psychiatric care or medication any longer. It’s likely that you’re wrong about that, so you should stay in close contact with your doctor and/or psychiatrist. Keep your appointments, continue your medication as prescribed, and allow yourself a significant amount of time before you seek to make any changes to your treatment routine – and always talk about it with your doctor first.

#3: Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Relaxation – Relaxation techniques like meditation, mindfulness, and deep breathing can lower stress, relieve anxiety and depression, and increase feelings of emotional well-being.

Sleep – When you are tired you are likely to experience more triggering situations. So, try to get enough restful sleep at night (7-9 hours for most people), and nap when you are tired.

Diet – A healthy diet – rich in fruits and vegetables – eaten in small meals throughout the day will help keep you from feeling hungry and having low blood sugar, which can cause you to feel angry and anxious.

Exercise – Physical activity is a natural way to reduce stress and improve mood and outlook. Shoot for half an hour of exercise each day, and you will feel better physically and emotionally.

Recovery for co-occurring disorders may be more challenging than recovery for just one disorder, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done successfully. Keeping yourself healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally may take more work, but it’s well worth it.

Find Help for Co-Occurring Disorders at Serenity at Summit

Serenity at Summit can help you with your co-occurring disorders. With holistic and integrative addiction and mental health treatment programs, we are equipped to guide you into your recovery, laying the foundation for long-term sobriety and mental health. Please contact us today for more information.

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