Mental Health Services

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being.  It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others.  Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness—it is essential to your overall health and quality of life.  [1]  Therefore, seeking mental health services will help you obtain mental stability.-

When to Seek Professional Help

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, you should seek professional help if you are experiencing severe or distressing symptoms of mental illness that have lasted two weeks or more, such as:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes
  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable
  • Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities
Mental Health Services
Only a professionally trained medical professional can diagnose mental disorders

Co-Occurring Disorders

Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups.  These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often severe, but they are treatable, and many people recover.  Mental disorders involve changes in thinking, mood, and behavior.  These disorders can affect how we relate to others and make choices.

Reaching a level that medical professionals can formally diagnose often depends on reducing a person’s ability to function because of the disorder.  Severe mental illness is for someone over 18 that has (within the past year) a diagnosable mental, behavior;  or emotional condition that causes severe functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

For people under the age of 18, the term “Serious Emotional Disturbance” refers to a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder in the past year;  which resulted in functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits the child’s role or functioning in the family; school, or community activities.

Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including:

  • Health problems
  • Disability
  • Failure to meet primary responsibilities at work, school, or home

The coexistence of both mental health and a substance use disorder is also known as co-occurring disorders.

Dual Diagnosis

The original development of addiction may have come about as a response to a mental health issue.  Without proper diagnosis, many seek to control their disorders by self-medicating with alcohol or tranquilizers for anxiety, amphetamines, or cocaine for depression.  And, the short-term relief or distraction makes the experiment look like a success.  Repetition can then lead to dependency, and a substance abuse disorder starts when one previously might not have been.

Substance abuse can exacerbate the mental illness and the mental illness can impede long-term sobriety.  This cyclical effect of dual diagnosis makes it difficult to treat without the proper support.

Alternatively, a person relatively free from mental health problems can experiment with drugs and continue past “recreational use” to dependency;  then, secondary mental health issues can emerge.  Untreated, these can, in turn, exacerbate the ongoing drug abuse.

Also, certain drugs, like amphetamines, can cause psychotic episodes that may repeat themselves.  In fact, the stress in life can trigger these flashbacks even in the absence of drug use.

Treating Both Mental Health and Addiction

While addiction, once fully formed, becomes an insidious disease in mind, it does not start that way.  Instead, if we view it as a symptom, we can trace it back to its origin.  For example, substance abuse may have begun as a remedy for esteem issues, improving social status, or stemming from a need to self-medicate due to previous burdens.  Some of these origins are circumstantial, but some may have to do with a pre-existing chemical imbalance.

Many mental disorders, like addiction, are better treated when you fully understand what you are suffering.  Similarly, like diabetes, one must familiarize themselves with its causes, symptoms and conditions for safely living with the disease.  Understanding PTSD, depression, other disorders, and their effects on you goes a long way to recognizing your own treatment needs.

While you likely seek to live a life free from the bonds of substance abuse, it may be necessary for some patients to utilize the medication for certain mental disorders.  These medications are rarely addictive or high inducing in their quality.  However, medication as such may be needed to improve your life quality and drastically increase the chances of your long-term recovery. To emphasize, for every medication you take, you must consult with medical professionals and let them monitor you in the process.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness. But, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier once the medical professionals adequately diagnosed and treated your addiction.

If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery.

What to Expect from Our Mental Health Services

An excellent dual diagnosis drug treatment program and drug addiction therapy facility need to treat both conditions without treating one as the sole cause of the other.  Addiction is a complicated disease, and no one thing is to blame for it.

There are various options available to handle drug addiction therapy.  A good drug treatment program will offer several levels of treatment as well as multiple treatment options.  This allows the rehabilitation facility to meet the individual needs of its patients.

Most programs begin with a detox process to remove the physical dependence on any substances, then a residency program.   This type of program can last two months and is designed to provide intensive focused therapy in a controlled environment;   to help you get over the first hurdle and give you the tools necessary to face the cravings and temptations of everyday life.

Psychiatric Disorders and Mental Health Services

During the inpatient treatment process, dual diagnosis cases are identified, and treatment begins. The next step is an intensive outpatient drug treatment program that provides drug addiction therapy by meeting at the site several times a week for intensive treatment to help you deal with daily life. Finally, a standard outpatient therapy program provides the continued support necessary to maintain a sober condition.

As the addiction treatment community realizes that addiction is a mental disorder, the relationship between substance abuse and mental disorders becomes more complicated.  Unfortunately, the more significant treatment community largely lacks a proper understanding of dually diagnosed conditions, so these conditions are still treated separately, or worse–not treated or diagnosed at all.

These Psychiatric Disorders May Include

Our dual diagnosis treatment center in New Jersey is one of the facilities with professionals trained to help treat co-occurring disorders concurrently.  This type of tandem treatment provides some of the best success rates.

Get treatment for individuals struggling with substance abuse and mental health disorders. Call us today here at We Level Up New Jersey. We can help you with our evidence-based mental health services.


[1] Caring for Your Mental Health – The National Institute of Mental Health