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May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. This special month was established in the United States in 1949 by Mental Health America (then known as the National Association of Mental Health) to raise awareness about the realities of mental illness and reduce stigma. Mental health is not a subset of health—it is health—and yet many Americans struggle. How many? One in five. That’s how many people in the United States live with a mental illness. A staggering 50% of those have co-occurring addiction and mental health diagnoses and require dual diagnosis treatment.

If you are already aware that you need help, or if you are worried about a loved one’s use of substances to mask mental health symptoms, Serenity Light Recovery can help. Call us now at 855.658.6109 or use our secure online form today.

Why Mental Health Awareness Is Important

One of the most intractable barriers to treatment for those suffering from a mental health or substance use problem is stigma. Stigma refers to the negative and unfair attitudes and misconceptions attached to a person or group. The result is often that people feel shame for a perceived deficiency or difference outside their control. Stigma is directly linked to ignorance of the facts resulting from a lack of good information.

Raising awareness about mental health and substance misuse, including how common dual diagnoses are, helps shatter this stigma and thus open doors for people who need help but might never have sought it.

Some stigma-causing misconceptions about mental health, addiction, and co-occurring disorders are:

  • Myth: They are character flaws, not diseases.
  • Fact: We know that mental illness and addiction are diseases and not the fault of the sufferer. When people understand that, they are less afraid to admit they are suffering and thus will seek help.
  • Myth: If you’re functioning, nothing is wrong.
  • Fact: It is possible to suffer from a mental health or substance use challenge, or both, and be functioning in your life. That does not mean you don’t need help.
  • Myth: Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is the best way to handle the situation.
  • Fact: Would we say that to someone suffering from diabetes, allergies, or Crohn’s Disease? Of course not. Like any other disease, disorders around mental health and addiction require professional addiction treatment, and those who suffer deserve nothing less.

Mental Health Awareness Month and Addiction

During the month of May, we want to celebrate the fact that at Serenity Light Recovery, we have the programs, professionals, and safe setting needed to successfully treat anyone with a co-occurring disorder. Our dual diagnosis treatment center is staffed with mental health and addiction experts who understand how to treat co-occurring disorders in a coordinated program for the best, most lasting results.

Substance use disorders are integrally linked with someone’s mental health. Treating the underlying mental health diagnoses is vital for recovery to happen, and conversely, mental health treatment without also addressing addiction has little chance of success.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Options

At Serenity Light Recovery, we offer hope and light for everyone who comes to us seeking support and help for their recovery and healing journey.
One highly successful, evidence-based treatment modality we offer to patients with co-occurring disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helps patients suffering from both a mental health diagnosis and addiction by helping them identify flawed patterns of thought. Thought patterns influence attitudes, beliefs, and actions, as well as the way people perceive themselves, their futures, and the world.

When substance use is linked to past trauma, and there is a diagnosis of PTSD, EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy is very effective. Eye movements affect how the brain processes information and stores memory, allowing traumatic, negative memories to be shifted or replaced by positive ones.

Self-medicating a mental health disorder is a common root cause of substance use that can lead to addiction. CBT therapy and EMDR therapy, as well as other therapeutic systems, treat the root causes of addiction to prevent relapse.

Serenity Light Recovery Can Help

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, make May the month you reach out for help or encourage someone you love to do so. We can offer the information you need and help with the first steps in getting your life back. Call us at 855.658.6109 or use our easy online form to reach out.