The Interplay Between Physical & Mental Health Can Lead to Addiction – Dual Diagnosis Rehab AZ Can Help
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health in broad terms, stating that it depends on “complete physical, mental, and social well-being.” If we are free from physical diseases but suffer from a mental disorder and lack social connections, we cannot claim we are healthy. Poor physical health can impact our mental health and vice versa. And when a substance use disorder accompanies a mental health disorder, Dual Diagnosis Rehab AZ is the treatment recommended to help patients break free from addiction and start on the path to recovery.
Lifestyle Choices That Negatively Impact Physical Health Can Also Harm Mental Health
Some lifestyle choices that have deleterious effects on physical health – such as smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet, and social isolation – can also take a toll on mental health:
According to one study, adults with depression or anxiety are twice as likely to smoke compared to the general population. A separate review showed that when people stop smoking, depression, anxiety, and stress decrease.
We’re all familiar with the idea that exercise promotes good physical health. But it’s also true that those who exercise are less likely to experience depression and anxiety. 
As with exercise, most of us are well informed that good dietary choices are positively correlated with better physical health and that those who eat poorly have a higher mortality risk. But diet also impacts parts of our brain associated with learning, memory, mood, and overall mental health. 
Studies have indicated a positive correlation between social interaction and mental health and higher mortality risk among socially isolated individuals.
Life situations that are not under our control – like unemployment or underemployment – can result in poor physical or mental health. Less income often means restricted access to better food or housing choices. The stress that results from lost wages can impact the quality of sleep, which may also harm both physical and mental well-being.
Mental Illness Can Affect Decision-Making That Leads to Poor Physical Health Outcomes
Poor mental health can negatively impact decision-making and the ability to access good information about healthcare and disease prevention. Those with mental health disorders are also less likely to seek care in the first place.
Studies have uncovered the following statistics:
- People diagnosed with schizophrenia are three times more likely to die from respiratory disease and twice as likely to die from heart disease.
- Depression is associated with a 67% increase in the risk of dying from heart disease and a 50% increase in cancer risk.
- Those with mental health disorders die earlier than those who do not have a mental health challenge.
Poor physical health among those with mental health disorders could also be a self-fulfilling prophecy. People who suffer from depression are less optimistic and have a worse self-perception about their health than non-sufferers. Negative emotions are correlated with heart attacks and other sometimes fatal diseases. Those who generally feel optimistic have a much lower risk of experiencing a cardiovascular episode than those who are pessimistic.
The Connection Between Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Whether it’s poor lifestyle choices, unfortunate circumstances, or avoidance of self-care that results in mental illness, there’s an alarming connection between mental health and substance use disorders. The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 9.5 million adults 18 or older have a mental health disorder in addition to a substance use disorder.
People with a mental disorder may try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, but it’s possible that either mental disorder or substance use can cause brain changes that make addiction more likely.
Dual Diagnosis Rehab is Necessary For Co-Occurring Disorders
Dual Diagnosis rehab refers to a protocol that treats both substance use disorders and mental illness simultaneously. Years ago, many rehab centers did not provide treatment for mental disorders until after the patient was sober. But there’s a connectedness between mental illness and substance abuse, so if one disorder is ignored, recovery may be hampered.
Fortunately, dual diagnosis treatment is now standard for co-occurring disorders. Although there is often no cure for mental disorders, therapies that teach patients how to manage their disease go a long way in producing lasting recovery.
Desert Cove Recovery for Dual Diagnosis Rehab AZ
Our professionally trained and compassionate staff will develop a custom treatment plan for your unique conditions at Desert Cove Recovery. We rely on individual cognitive behavioral therapy, support groups, medication when necessary, and education programs that allow patients to learn how to avoid relapse and function successfully after recovery from a substance abuse disorder. Once they leave the program, recovering patients will have both the tools and the confidence they need to lead a life free from addiction. Contact us to learn more about how our dual diagnosis program can benefit you or a loved one.
Sources: World Health Organization https://www.who.int/about/who-we-are/constitution#:~:text=Health%20is%20a%20state%20of,belief%2C%20economic%20or%20social%20condition.  https://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g1151  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5157710/  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1755296614000490  https://mentalhealthmn.org/learn-more/mental-health-and-physical-health/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150158/  https://onlinedegrees.bradley.edu/blog/how-mental-health-affects-physical-health/  https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-relationship-between-mental-and-physical-health/  https://medlineplus.gov/dualdiagnosis.html#:~:text=A%20person%20with%20dual%20diagnosis,their%20lives%20and%20vice%20versa.