Addressing mental health concerns is an important part of addiction treatment. Lisa Westerson, Clinical Supervisor of Residential Services at Mountainside treatment center, shares common signs of mental illness and what you should do if you recognize these signs.
We tend to see the majority of our clients with addiction come in with mental health concerns that they may not realize they have because they haven’t addressed it. They have been using substances. What we see for people with addiction is that sometime the addiction occurs because they are treating the mental health issue. So, they may have anxiety or depression and they don’t know how to deal with it so they are self-medicating. And then what we find is that the addiction is then fueling additional symptoms of the mental health concern. You may have more anxiety. You may see more depression, just from the nature of what addiction does.
Some warning signs of mental illness in addiction include: fatigue, restlessness, a change in your emotional stability, a change in your feelings. If you’re excessively sad, excessively worried. You could be hyperactive. You could be doing things you don’t normally do, or a lack of interest in things you normally do.
When you recognize some of the signs and symptoms, the best thing to do is to ask for help. Go to see your friend, see a loved one you trust and ask for help. Look at advocating for yourself. See what the resources are around you. And ask for the help that you need. That’s the most important thing – asking for help.