The primary reason people develop an addiction is because of a psychological disorder. Often times, individuals may be unaware of their mental health disorders. However, sometimes a person knows they have psychological disorders, but they don’t treat them. In any case, seeking treatment helps you work with your mental illness and strengthen your recovery.
How do Psychological Disorders Turn Into Addiction
Unfortunately, many people don’t fully understand different types of mental illness. You may develop the symptoms and believe you’re going crazy. This is scary and confusing and leads to fear of seeking help. Mental illnesses can develop at any time, but they most commonly occur between ages 14 and 24.
The most common mental illnesses include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
Without the proper coping tools, a person may turn to drugs or alcohol. You might eventually lose control and use compulsively. This may lead to a full-blown addiction, and thus obtaining dual diagnosis treatment is necessary.
Habit Forming and Psychological Disorders
The brain motivates you to seek rewarding and pleasurable behavior. When your brain realizes using drugs soothes your mental illness symptoms, it desires more. Our brains transform us into creatures of habit, so when feeling depressed or anxious, you’ll want to use. Eventually, this habit becomes psychologically embedded and you’ll begin using compulsively.
This is called context-dependent memory, and it involves a trigger, behavior, and reward. For example, you might get depressed (trigger), drink alcohol (behavior), and not feel sad anymore (reward). Unfortunately, the behavior (using) eventually becomes less rewarding so you’ll continue seeking more. To change these behaviors, intensive therapy is necessary.
How CBT Helps with Psychological Disorders
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based form of addiction treatment that can help. Evidence-based treatment methods are important because there is scientific proof they work. Those who go through CBT show psychological changes as they heal. This is the primary reason we use this method at Driftwood Recovery.
CBT is about identifying unhealthy thoughts and behaviors involving your addiction and changing them. The first part of this process is understanding your triggers. The next step is changing your thought process when experiencing a trigger and the behavior that follows. With small steps, you’ll rewrite your behavior after a trigger, leading to a successful recovery process.
Mindfulness Helps as Well
You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about a form of meditation called mindfulness. This helps because you’ll become aware of specific thoughts and behaviors. This creates a gap between your triggers and behaviors so you can replace them with healthy coping mechanisms.