Do You Need a Diagnosed Mental Health Issue to Receive Counseling in Fort Myers, FL?

When you seek out addiction counseling in Fort Myers, FL, you may be surprised to find that your mental health will be evaluated as a part of the process. This doesn’t mean you have to suffer from mental illness in order to participate in counseling. The goal of your intake caregivers is to assess your total health condition, which includes determining whether you suffer from physical or mental illnesses in addition to your addiction.

The reason a thorough medical evaluation is necessary is so your treatment program can be customized to your needs. As far as mental illness goes, this means providing you with therapy to treat those underlying conditions. In many cases, your addiction and an underlying mental illness may be linked. This is called a co-occurring disorder and it can negatively affect your addiction recovery process, if you’re not properly treated. So, while you don’t need to suffer from a mental illness to obtain counseling, recognizing the existence of a mental illness is essential to your recovery.

Will I Know if I Have a Co-Occurring Disorder?

In most cases, addicts don’t realize that their substance abuse problems were instigated by a pre-existing mental illness. They simply know that using drugs or drinking alcohol helps them feel better when they don’t feel like themselves. This type of self-medicating is what starts the cycle of addiction. While you may not know that you suffer from anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, or another mental illness, your use of drugs and alcohol helps you feel better.

As the substance stimulates the pleasure center of the brain, you will develop a tolerance to the drug or alcohol. When this happens, you will have to take the drug or alcohol just to obtain that “normal” feeling, which allows you to function in your day to day activities. As a result, the symptoms of your mental illness will worsen and you’ll be forced to take the substance more frequently. In most cases, you may not realize a mental illness is instigating the problem until you do seek addiction treatment at a Fort Myers, Fl rehab.

Why is Mental Illness Treatment a Necessary Part of Addiction Counseling?

In the past, mental illness treatment wasn’t integrated into addiction counseling. If you suffered from a mental illness, you went through rehab first and were referred to a mental health therapist upon your completion of addiction treatment. The problem with this process was that many addicts never followed through with mental illness therapy. Instead, they started to self-medicate again. This led them to recreate the cycle of addiction and, in this way, a higher number of addicts relapsed.

Today, addiction treatment centers in Fort Myers, FL offer mental health counseling in conjunction with addiction rehab. By integrating the two types of therapy in one treatment program, they can address both problems simultaneously. Individuals who receive treatment for co-occurring conditions together are far less likely to relapse. Upon leaving the treatment facility, they’re better able to cope with their mental illness, ensuring it won’t act as a trigger to cause a relapse.

How Are Co-Occurring Conditions Treated?

While you’re in rehab, you’ll begin a fully customized treatment plan. In addition to private counseling to address your addiction triggers and cravings, you’ll also see a mental health therapist to explore your mental illness. Since you’re being treated for addiction, your therapist will help you look for natural ways to treat the symptoms of your illness. When medication is necessary, you’ll be administered controlled doses to help you avoid abusing the drug. As you leave the rehab center, your counselors will urge you to continue seeing your therapist. They know that failing to keep up with your treatment for your mental illness will leave you vulnerable to a relapse. In some cases, this may mean seeking out a new therapist in your community, or your rehab therapist may refer you to someone new.

Just as continuing to attend addiction outpatient treatment is necessary to your continued sobriety, continuing mental health therapy is essential to your emotional and mental well-being. If you only feel like yourself when you’re using, this can be an indication that you are suffering from a co-occurring disorder. To determine if this might be the case, call our counselors at 844-639-8371. A brief phone interview may be able to determine the nature of your condition and help you get the care you need to begin recovery. Our counselors can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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