A mental illness can impact the way a person thinks, feels, relates to others and copes with everyday life. These are serious illnesses that stem from chemical changes in the brain, and as a result, they can’t be overcome through simple willpower. Instead, people with mental illnesses often need to obtain targeted help from dedicated professionals in formal treatment programs. At Michael’s House, we provide care for people who have both mental illness issues and addiction issues. These are the treatments we use, and the conditions we focus on.
A Common Disorder
According to statistics released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 1 in 17 Americans live with a serious mental illness. Some of these adults know about their conditions, and they work closely with their doctors on treatment programs that could provide relief. Many other people, however, are unaware that they have a mental disorder, and they may look for reasonable ways to help reduce their distress and allow them to feel slightly more hopeful about their lives. Sometimes, these people turn to drugs or alcohol in their quest for relief. Unfortunately, addictions and mental illness tend to reinforce and strengthen one another.
People with co-occurring disorders like this may experience severe life disruptions as a result, such as:
- Lack of employment
- Fights with family members or friends
- Frequent visits to the emergency room
- Arrests or incarceration
While addictions can exist next to almost any mental illness, they’re quite commonly found in people who also have a diagnosis of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder. Left untreated, these conditions can bring about devastating consequences. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the rate of both intentional and unintentional injuries in those with a mental illness is two to six times higher than the rate found in the general population. Statistics like this make it clear that mental illnesses are too dangerous to ignore.
Mental illnesses were once treated solely with medications, but often, a person needs more than pills in order to truly recover. This might be especially true of people who have both addictions and mental health issues. These people need comprehensive, integrated treatment programs that are designed to treat both conditions at the same time. This is the kind of care we provide at Michael’s House.
Some clients benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approaches, in which they’re asked to focus on the thoughts and beliefs that can lock them into a cycle of poor health. Through therapy, they can change the way that they think and the way they view the world, and this can allow them to keep symptoms of mental illness, and symptoms of addiction, at bay. Other clients benefit from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in which they’re asked to compare the way they’re acting and the way they’re feeling with the way society expects them to act and feel. In time, a middle way that represents the client’s personality and societal expectations can be found.
People with mental illnesses sometimes benefit from group therapies, in which they’re provided with the opportunity to practice their new skills in a supportive environment, but other people find these group environments too threatening or overwhelming. Our therapists work closely with clients, ensuring that their wants and needs are respected, and that they aren’t pushed into situations in which they don’t feel comfortable.
A brief overview like this can’t possibly explain how our programs work. In fact, our programs are so tailored that providing a generalized description of a treatment program is almost impossible. Each person is provided with an individualized path toward recovery, and one person’s treatment plan might not look anything like the treatment plan another person follows. If you’d like to know how a treatment program for your condition might look, please call our operators. The call is both free and confidential. We’re happy to outline your options.