An estimated 20% of veterans with PTSD also have an SUD, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Unfortunately, many veterans who do not have access to professional mental health treatment oftentimes turn to unhealthy coping strategies, like drugs or alcohol, to try and relieve their symptoms. While drug abuse short-term may temporarily relieve symptoms, long-term drug abuse inevitably leads to drug dependency and addiction which only exacerbates your mental health symptoms. In this article, you’ll learn more about the common mental health challenges among veterans, why many veterans struggle with a co-occurring disorder, and how you can seek help to take back control of your life.
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Why Mental Health Challenges Among Veterans Are Prevalent?
Although mental illness is relatively common among non-veterans, veterans experience a higher likelihood of developing mental illness due to being exposed to higher amounts of traumatic events and stress. From witnessing combat firsthand to getting injured, or seeing their friends/ other soldiers get wounded or killed in battle, all of these examples can bring about a great deal of negative emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, and even anxiety.
Unfortunately, these traumatic events and negative emotions can increase mental health challenges among veterans from PTSD to depression, anxiety disorders, and more. Left untreated, mental illness can lead many veterans to turn to unhealthy coping strategies, like abusing drugs or alcohol, as a means to relieve their mental illness symptoms. This not only increases a veteran’s risk of developing an addiction but also typically worsens their mental health disorder.
Why Many Veterans May Struggle With a Co-Occurring Disorder?
A co-occurring disorder (or dual diagnosis) is when an individual struggles with both a mental illness and substance use disorder. While mental illness does not cause drug addiction (and vice versa), both conditions can increase the likelihood of developing the other as explained previously. Because many veterans may turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve their negative feelings during combat, over time continued drug abuse can not only lead to addiction but worsen your mental illness.
If you or someone you know is struggling with both a mental illness and drug addiction, it’s critical you seek co-occurring disorder treatment to safely and effectively treat both conditions simultaneously. Otherwise, failure to treat one of your conditions, but not the other condition, can increase your risk of relapsing. During dual diagnosis treatment, you’ll not only safely overcome your addiction, but learn healthy coping strategies with veterans mental health therapy to manage your symptoms and lead a healthier, happier life– all at the same time.
Why Seeking Professional Treatment Is Important For Recovery
Mental illness and addiction can significantly interfere with your health and quality of life for the worse; however, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are a number of professional mental health and addiction treatment centers that offer a wide range of treatment options to help you take back control over your life.
Seeking professional veterans mental health treatment at a veterans drug rehab can significantly help support your road to recovery. Below are some top reasons to consider seeking professional treatment to support your recovery journey:
- Structured routine to focus on overcoming your drug addiction
- Learn healthy coping strategies to reduce the risk of relapsing
- Connect with peers who understand what you’re going through
- Help repair relationships with friends and family members
- Receive expert guidance from addiction and mental health professionals
- And so much more!
Leading Addiction Recovery Center in the Midwest
There is a wide range of mental health challenges among veterans from PTSD to depression, substance use disorders, and more. While not all veterans suffer from mental health or substance use disorders, there is a significant percentage of veterans that do. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, it’s critical you seek professional treatment to best support your road to recovery.
At Arista Recovery, we offer a comprehensive range of mental health and addiction treatment options so you can receive the right care to support your recovery. Whether you are struggling with drug addiction or a co-occurring disorder, we’re here to help you every step of the way to not only overcome addiction but thrive on your path to life-long sobriety.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can best help support your road to recovery.