Dual Diagnosis

The brain is an enigma. Despite the mounting and continuous research, our understanding of the human mind is tentative and tenuous. However, we continue to develop a more thorough understanding of the most complex organ in any organism on the entire planet. It’s important to be knowledgeable on afflictions like addiction and its relationship to mental illnesses. This can afford the ability to help those who suffer from such conditions find quality treatment for their symptoms and achieve better quality of life. Addictions are not limited to alcohol and drugs, there are many addictions that you may not even have realized was an addiction. One most commonly unrecognized addiction now a days is video game addiction, which can cause a mental illness or make one worse and recovery a lot harder. The addictions that are not easy to spot are the kind that can be more harmful than you could ever imagine – what video games does to someone’s brain, for instance, is more harmful than an addiction to drugs. Just one more level, one more level and I’ll be done (over and over again). Even things like shopping or shop lifting are addictions if you aren’t careful about it, and movies, reading, obsessions with people or a person, food, and the list goes on.

But does mental illness cause addiction or vise versa? Yes, they can go hand in hand. There are so many overlapping symptoms that it’s hard to tell which came first sometimes. The important thing is recognizing the illness and getting treatment. Don’t worry about all the stigma or think this is dumb, just get help, because if you don’t the consequences will be unimaginable. I myself have been dealing with a dual diagnosis and it seems like it will never end, but thanks to therapy and medication I now have days where I can see the world instead of the mental illness and addiction taking over. My problem is that I get lazy with my recovery and think, I’ll do this tomorrow. But you can’t think like that. Use your coping skills today, right now, and try not to look back.

~ Carrie Lee

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