How to Recognize That You Are Not Defined by Your Diagnosis

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How to Recognize That You Are Not Defined by Your Diagnosis

Recovering from a mental health or substance abuse diagnosis will depend on your own personal determination and a tailored plan of treatment

Receiving a mental health diagnosis or a substance abuse diagnosis can be a devastating blow. Particularly when you don’t know much about the subject, it can be easy to remember misconceptions of your condition that might have been stigmas in the past. Even more, a person can feel defined by the diagnosis along with others who share the diagnosis.

These misconceptions are limiting in more than one way. First, it can make you lose sight of what makes you unique and therefore leave you following only what others are doing to recover instead of finding what really works for you. Second, it can make you ignore your personal qualities that might help your process of overcoming addiction. Third, having stigmas related to a diagnosis can hinder your determination to recover by creating the belief that your problem come from a personality flaw.

For example, you might be struggling with clinical depression while trying to continue with your career. However, it is a common mistake to believe that depression is a condition that is treated the same way for all patients. And this is worse when we believe that recovery is not possible. But if you are a goal-oriented person, psychotherapy together with modern antidepressants can help you overcome the illness as a process until you are able to continue with your normal routine.

Overcoming Addiction or Mental Illness as a Unique Person

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey of 2012, almost 19 percent of Americans experience a mental health issue, and close to 9 percent struggle with substance abuse each year.

Although these numbers might seem high and can give the idea of a general issue that needs a general solution, in reality they help us see that there is no general cause for one of these diagnosis. Each one of these patients, whether they recover or not, have different qualities and circumstances that they can use in their favor to recover. For instance, in a different publication by SAMHSA regarding anxiety disorders, it is explained that counseling may vary depending on the person and his own particular characteristics. Instead of recommending just one approach, it is clear that the best route needs to take into consideration the strengths and skills of each patient.

It is also important to understand that not all treatment programs are overnight, residential programs. It’s possible to benefit from drug counseling or psychotherapy while continuing to be a functioning member of society if your health care provider deems it appropriate. However, it is important to remember that what works for some might not be as effective in your case, and likewise, what was not effective for others might just be the perfect route for you.

Receiving help from an addiction or mental health counselor is the best way to identify your strengths, qualities and ways to maximize them in order to improve the chances of recovery. These sessions are also good opportunities to express your doubts and answer your questions about preconceived ideas you might have about your condition.

Overcoming a Dual Diagnosis

Perhaps you were diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. This means that you are suffering from substance abuse and a mental disorder at the same time.

In this case the treatment program has to be even more personalized to treat both conditions together. This is important because a Dual Diagnosis most likely indicates conditions that are related by creating underlying causes for each other.

As explained by the MedlinePlus website as part of the National Institute of Health, treating only one of the conditions might result in a relapse after the treatment has ended. The approach will depend on the person and might include treatment in the form of the following:

  • Behavioral therapies
  • Support groups
  • Medications

Overcoming Your Diagnosis With the Right Mentality

Overcoming a substance abuse or mental health diagnosis is a process that might take some time. Sometimes a mental health condition requires lifelong attention or maintenance to receive full benefits of recovery. Whatever the case may be, it is important to keep a positive attitude and not feel like you are must always suffer with a debilitating condition. Instead, this may be a time to make a positive change that actually makes a difference in your life and the lives of those you love.

Call our toll-free helpline open 24 hours a day, and receive free assistance and advice from your own home. We can help you plan your treatment program for you or your loved one. The information we have includes finding intervention services, medically-supervised detox programs, Dual Diagnosis rehab centers, personal and family counseling and more. Don’t forget to ask about receiving the best values for your chosen program and advice to use health insurance for addiction or a mental health issue. Lines are available right now.