Being a substance abuser means waking up every day feeling the crushing weight of a desire that you can’t control and little power to resist. It’s an empty and hopeless feeling, an out-of-control emotion of running from the things you’re feeling right into the arms of the things that make you feel that way in the first place. It’s miserable, isolating, and terrifying. And it’s all because of addiction.
But being an addict does not have to mean being a substance abuser. There are paths to treatment and recovery for addicts, and you can reclaim your life and build the future you want and deserve. If you’re an addict and a substance abuser, you need to take action to protect yourself and begin the healing process for yourself and those you have hurt.
Admitting that you have a problem
Addiction isn’t just a single thing; it’s a whole host of symptoms, physical changes, and mental health problems. One issue that looms particularly large is denial.
Denial is the primary obstacle to a substance abuser’s recovery, and it’s one that can be conquered by only substance abusers themselves. You can and should take online quizzes and seek the advice of mental health professionals to become convinced of your own problems, but outside influences will have little chance of convincing you of something you’ve chosen not to see. If you want a bright future, you need to acknowledge your substance abuse problem and take action.
Therapy, counseling, and more
Admitting that you have a problem isn’t the last thing that you’ll have to do to seek recovery, but it is, perhaps, the last thing that you’ll have to do alone. Beating substance abuse is not something that you have to do by yourself, and the most effective path forward for you will involve the support of your peers and, most importantly, the assistance of mental health professionals.
Addiction is a disease. And just as you wouldn’t try to cure pneumonia on your own, you shouldn’t try to tackle addiction without the help of a trained mental health care provider. This can mean turning to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist who specializes in addiction. And you don’t even need to go to in-person appointments. Thanks to the internet, you can now get online addiction counseling on your own time. The important thing is to get the help you need from the people who are trained specifically to deal with mental illnesses like an addiction.
Your whole mental health and your long-term future
Addiction is a mental health condition, but mental health means more than just a list of conditions and illnesses. All the different aspects of our mental health are connected. And, for that matter, our entire mental health is connected to the whole of our physical health. To stay sober and protect your mind and body, you need to address all of your health issues and keep seeing mental health professionals long after you kick your substance of choice.
For people of all ages, addiction can be connected to other mental health issues, explain experts who offer rehab for teenage depression. Tackling your addiction can involve talking about your depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, too. And treatment, from weekly therapy to stints in rehab, can address the intersectional nature of these mental health issues.
You should, too. Take the lead from the experts who treat you and embrace the entirety of your mental health. Remember that the choices you make, from the way that you eat to the way that you manage negative thoughts and impulses, will have a lasting effect on your entire mind and body. Getting sober and staying that way will change your life, but you need to change your life to accomplish those things, too.