As a direct result of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) efforts about the importance of mental health issues, the U.S. Congress now recognizes the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIA) in 1990. Everyone experiences stress, anxiety, and even depression sometimes – it’s part of life. However, when these symptoms begin to control a person’s life, a mental health illness may be the underlying cause. This is why Mental Health Awareness Week is so important to all those who have been affected by any number of mental health ailments. As science advances, we are beginning to see that outward expressions of dissatisfaction or un-fulfillment may not be a result of being ungrateful for life’s opportunities, but rather an underlying mental health problem like depression or drug abuse. Raising awareness about mental health problems over the years has actually driven millions of affected individuals to seek treatment.
Mental Health Awareness Week
As we enter into Mental Health Awareness Week, we become even more aware of how untreated mental health illnesses actually have the power to fuel drug addiction and/or alcoholism. There are millions of Americans that are self-medicating as a result of their untreated mental health issues. Consequently, many drug and alcohol treatment centers are now providing dual diagnosis programs for those who suffer from both addiction and an underlying mental health illness. Thousands of individuals could more easily maintain long-term recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction if they had the opportunity to also receive treatment for additional, underlying mental health issues.
Check Up From The Neck Up
The Disease of Addiction and Alcoholism
Most addicts and alcoholics hide their drug or drinking problem for years from their doctors or healthcare professionals for fear of being judged or ridiculed. With the development of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, and with the influence of many vocal advocates for recovery like those featured in the new documentary, The Anonymous People, an ongoing movement for the fair treatment of sick and suffering alcoholics and addicts is spreading across the nation. The result of these efforts can be seen in many ways, though most significantly through recognition that alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease and not a moral dilemma. Simply put, alcoholism and addiction fall under a mental health disorder, as well as an allergy of the body.
Mental Health Awareness Week Recovery
Although the stigma associated with mental health illnesses and addiction are not entirely eradicated, there are still treatment options available to those seeking help. Treatment centers, like the Watershed, not only offer a dual diagnosis program, they also provide a full continuum of care for the addict or alcoholic who wants to begin their life in recovery and stay clean and sober long-term. For more information on the best treatment option for you or a loved one, please call us at 1-800-861-1768, you are not alone in this fight!
Written By: Watershed Ashling