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The Challenges of Living With Mental Illness

Every day, people all across the country grapple with the challenges of living with a mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 1 in 5 American adults has some form of mental illness. 

One in every 20 adults has a serious mental health condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or chronic major depression.

Mental illness does not discriminate. People of all ages, IQs, social class, and income levels can develop a mental illness. Like any other serious illness that humans get, mental illness is not the fault of the person afflicted. 

Even though mental health and mental illness are becoming more understood, widespread misunderstandings, shame, and stigma are still attached to those afflicted. For this reason, we will also address some of the myths about mental illness.

Breaking the Myths of Mental Illness

Many common myths about mental health may frighten those who don’t understand mental illness and encourage those with mental illness to seek help. 

Dispelling such misconceptions helps break the stigmas of mental illness and create a culture where anyone with a mental illness will feel comfortable in society and seek help if necessary. Also, learning about mental illness helps everyone collectively understand and accept mental illness. 

Here are three common myths about mental illness.

People With Mental Illness Are Crazy or Dangerous

Yes, severe psychiatric mental illnesses can completely detach one from reality. Such cases are often sensationalized in books and movies such as Psycho. However, most mental illness is entirely treatable. Therefore, treatment may be necessary to regulate emotions and balance moods. 

Most people who receive treatment for mental illness look and act completely normal. They are not a bad person, crazy, violent, or dangerous. According to NAMI, only 5% of violent crimes in the U.S. are committed by people with a serious mental illness.

It’s no surprise that mental illness comes with challenges, but it shouldn’t stop anyone from living a full life.  Despite challenges, those with mental illness go to school, pursue careers, start a family, and enjoy life like anyone else

Psychiatric Meds are Bad

Like any other medical condition, a mental illness usually requires medication. For instance, people with diabetes need insulin. 

Those who don’t understand the psychiatric medicine used to treat mental illness may think it’s harmful or refer to it as “happy pills” and an easy way for those with mental illness to avoid their problems. 

Medication is a matter of life and death for some people with mental illness. For others, like those with mild to moderate conditions such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD, medication eases symptoms so they can function normally. 

Proper medication combined with regular therapy will significantly improve the quality of life for someone with mental illness.

Getting Help Is a Sign of Weakness

No one with a mental illness is weak or deficient. Yet, admitting problems related to living with a mental illness is not easy. It takes strength and courage for someone with a mental illness to seek help by opening up to someone. Thus, doing so helps alleviate the stigmas, increase awareness, and promote an overall understanding of mental health.

It’s empowering for someone with mental illness to seek help. The perceptions of others should never deter one from reaching out for help. No one should suffer needlessly, no matter what condition they are afflicted with.  Moving forward with a treatment plan in a place of compassion and healing is the first step toward ultimate recovery. 

No one is frowned upon for getting physical check-ups or procedures. Taking care of one’s mental health should be no different than caring for one’s physical health. 

Treatment is Life Changing

Seeking help and moving forward with a treatment plan may seem daunting and overwhelming. However, the benefits of mental health treatment go far beyond the individual. Consequently, untreated mental illness comes with high social and economic costs. 

Through therapy and medication, mental health patients will learn to balance their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors associated with their illness. 

The benefits of mental health treatment will become apparent, including: 

  • Increased confidence and self-esteem
  • Improved communication skills
  • Learned coping and decision-making skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Deeper insight and self-awareness
  • Better personal relationships
  • Learned healthy eating habits for peak health
  • Eliminating bad habits such as drugs or alcohol 
  • Supportive people who care and understand
  • An overall sense of peace and wellness

Proper treatment can help eliminate the unnecessary suffering and stigmas associated with those who have mental illness. Undoubtedly, the more mentally sound people, the healthier families, relationships, and society are overall.

Celebrate Wellness With Enlightened Solutions

Deciding to seek treatment and work towards a better you is a significant moment in your life, whether you are seeking treatment for a mental illness, an addiction, or a dual diagnosis (co-occurring) mental disorder. Overcoming the challenges of living with mental illness can help you achieve the lasting wellness you deserve. 

Enlighted Solutions offers integrative holistic healing treatments connecting the mind, body, spirit, and earth. Not only do we not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, we take great pride in customizing each patient’s treatment plan. Hence, your treatment is tailor-made just for you.

Our compassionate, professional team is here to help you navigate your way from mental illness to mental wellness for the rest of your life. A joyous world of health and happiness awaits you.

Contact us today and get the answers you need to start your journey to wellness.

Are Stimulant Use and ADHD Related?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders diagnosed in children. About half of childhood cases persist into adulthood, although it is normal for hyperactive symptoms to diminish somewhat.

Adults with ADHD are at much higher risk of developing substance use disorder; between 25% – 40% of adults in active addiction also have ADHD.

ADHD and Addiction

The exact mechanism of what causes ADHD is unknown, but we know that it often correlates with a deficit of dopamine in the brain. This characteristic poses a multitude of challenges to people with ADHD, including:

  • Difficulties with judgment
  • Impulsivity
  • Distractibility
  • Fidgeting
  • Overactivity
  • Short-term reward-seeking
  • Social awkwardness

These traits put people with ADHD at a unique risk of developing an addiction. Young people who struggle to control impulses or behavioral differences are often exposed to drug use earlier in life and are less resistant. At the same time, self-medication is extremely common among people who are not diagnosed. Adults with ADHD frequently abuse substances initially to quiet distractions, calm themselves down, and be productive.

Self-Medication With Illegal Stimulants

Abusing stimulants to self-medicate puts users at the same risk of addiction as using stimulants to get high. In addition, most illegal stimulants cause mental dependence when they are taken long-term, meaning the brain slows down its dopamine production when the drug is consistently in the system.

Using stimulants to self-medicate increases the risk of addiction. To the user, it may feel like these drugs are necessary to function, but this self-imposed treatment sets the groundwork for psychological addiction.

In a user with ADHD, this could cause further issues and make recovering from addiction more challenging. Withdrawal can also heighten ADHD symptoms, and they can be more extreme due to initial low dopamine production in the brain prior to the use of any medication.

Prescription Stimulant Addiction

Prescription drugs used to medicate ADHD are addictive in their own right. The most common drugs used to treat ADHD (Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin) are all central nervous system stimulants with the potential for abuse.

Modern research hasn’t found an overall trend in people developing addictions to their prescription drugs, but it occasionally happens. ADHD stimulant medication tends to produce highs only when it is improperly used or used by people without ADHD – however, dependence can develop regardless.

In addition, when people in treatment start to increase their dose against their doctor’s guidance or use short-acting medications at times of day not prescribed (e.g. outside of regular working hours), this can suggest abuse.

Treating Addiction and ADHD

Dual diagnosis

If a person is suffering from substance abuse disorder and undiagnosed ADHD, addiction treatment is highly likely to help. Effective addiction treatment incorporates dual diagnosis from the very beginning, which highlights the presence of any underlying psychiatric or behavioural conditions. Recovery is different for everyone, and co-occurring disorders require individual treatment. In people with ADHD, an effective treatment program needs to focus on building healthy coping strategies for its mental and behavioral challenges.


Attending any type of professional addiction therapy is universally helpful. However, in many cases, ADHD and drug treatment therapy compliment each other. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to strengthen resolve and empower people to make positive changes in their actions. These changes help people to manage ADHD symptoms and also cope with drug cravings healthily.

We Can Help

If a mental health disorder is complicating a substance use disorder for you or your loved one, we can help. Enlightened Solutions is licensed to treat substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders such as ADHD that frequently accompany them. We offer a range of modalities, including dual diagnosis, psychotherapy, yoga, meditation, art and music therapies, acupuncture, and chiropractic care – all rooted in the 12-step philosophy. If you would like more information about our ADHD and stimulant addiction treatment, please call us at (833) 801-5483.

Do Natural Remedies For ADHD Work?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is common in young people and adults. ADHD which goes untreated throughout adolescence can become problematic in adulthood leading to difficulties in school, work performance, and handling life’s responsibility. Impulsivity, lack of control, and acting without consequence are character traits shared by both addiction and ADHD. Addiction is frequently co-occurring with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Often, people find it necessary to cope with their fast-moving thoughts due to ADHD with external substances. They find relief in getting, high or getting drunk because it helps disconnect them from their own minds.

Treating ADHD has been a source of controversy for some time. Studies have shown that children who are prescribed ADHD stimulant medications like Ritalin and Adderall have a higher risk of addiction later in life. However, early treatment of ADHD is supposed to limit the liability of addiction. Stimulant medications are powerful and often become addictions of their own. For example, college students are known to abuse drugs like Adderall and become addicted. Some studies have suggested that taking stimulant amphetamine drugs like Adderall is no different from taking cocaine or methamphetamine.

Outside of medication, there are plenty of other ways to manage ADHD. Holistic health supporters believe that a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can give the brain the power it needs to find a sense of calm and focus. Yoga and meditation can increase focus and concentration. Many behavioral and organizational tools can help keep someone’s life with ADHD in better order.

Though there isn’t a magical “cure” for ADHD, creating a comprehensive routine including a balanced diet, exercise, vitamins, meditation, and medication can be helpful. For those who have addiction and co-occurring ADHD, stimulant medication usually isn’t prescribed any longer during and after treatment. Non-stimulant medications exist which still help with ADHD symptoms, especially in combination with other methods.

Managing recovery with ADHD requires a holistic approach of mind, body, and spirit. The integrative programs at Enlightened Solutions can help you find balance and healing in your life. For more information, call 833-801-5483.

ADHD Is A Plus, Not A Minus

Within the name, ADHD makes the diagnosis sound as if it is a matter of lacking rather than an actual advantage. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is usually characterized by an inability or extremed difficulty in concentrating or focusing. Along with inattention, ADHD comes with other characterizations that are not negatives. Sadly, ADHD is often labeled as being unmanageable. It is true that learning to live with ADHD requires adopting tools for managing an array of hyper-traits. However, they do not make you deficient, as the name might indicate. Instead, parts of living with ADHD man you an exceptionally unique and gifted person.

For example, you have an endless amount of energy. Though others call it “hyper”, your energy can be used in many different ways. Exercise is very good for managing ADHD. You have enough energy to be great at sports and get tons of things accomplished throughout the day. Harnessing that energy and focusing it on the task at hand is your challenge. When you learn to work with your energy, there is little you will not be able to accomplish!

“Learning disability” has nothing on creativity. People with ADHD think faster and more creatively than other people. You don’t have to work hard to come up with original ideas that are out of the box. You don’t even know what the box looks like!

Your hyperactive attention may sometimes make you feel like you’re not taking any information in. On the contrary, you pay attention to more detail than most people. You have more attention to be paid than you do things to pay attention to. For some, ADHD causes them to be bored because they are not being mentally stimulated by what is in front of them.

When you put your mind to it, there is literally nothing you cannot do. Passion is a factor in changing that boredom to incredible productivity. Once you find something you are interested in, your hyperactivity turns into hyperfocus. There will be no stopping you until you are done. Most of the time, you will do whatever you are doing with great success.

Other characteristics of ADHD that are usually seen with a negative connotation are impulsivity and risky or reckless behavior. It is true that when ADHD is not properly managed, that can lead to dangerous places. ADHD creates a three time higher chance in young people for experimenting with drugs or developing an addiction. However, impulsivity can become spontaneity and reckless behavior can lead to successful risk taking.

Enlightened Solutions is a licensed dual-diagnosis treatment facility equipped to treat patients with co-occurring disorders of substance abuse and mental health issues, like ADHD. ADHD can be managed with the proper treatment and education in life skills and personal development. We see your potential. Let us help you exceed it. For more information call 833-801-5483.

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