Two chronic mental illnesses, schizophrenia and addiction, are more similar than you might think. They actually produce some of the same debilitating symptoms, and can be difficult to diagnose and treat. It’s not unusual for these two disorders to occur at the same time.
There’s still more to learn about schizophrenia, but medical experts have the basics down. Research also continues into addiction, as we seek to better understand its causes. An understanding of both of these conditions relies on continued research in the area of brain science. Both disorders are also based in part on genetics, which we’re still working to understand fully.
The relationship between schizophrenia and addiction is clear, though. They can exhibit similar symptoms and occur at the same time, and should be treated together.
Effective treatments are available to manage both schizophrenia and addiction.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Addiction recovery can be a long journey filled with ups and downs. Facing your addiction and getting into rehab was probably the hardest decision of your life, but it was also the best thing can could ever do for yourself. Sometimes it might be hard to remember that when your recovery doesn’t seem to be going so well.
On the tough days, the advice you will get from a lot of people is to breathe. It may seem too simple a solution for what feels like insurmountable problems, but, in fact, it is often one of the best things you can do to calm yourself down and regain a sense of clarity. Understanding the benefits of breathing to help you manage your recovery, and learning some breathing exercises can help you get through the tough day.
Benefits of Breathing Exercises
Breathing is central to life, as you know.
Some days are good, but some days you are just consumed by emotions you cannot deal with. On the good days, you feel relieved this incident is finally behind you. On the bad days, you are not sure you will ever recover. This is the emotional rollercoaster of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
What Does Complex PTSD Feel Like?
PTSD is a reaction your brain can trigger when you experience or witness trauma. The symptoms of PTSD could sneak up on you over time, or they might begin immediately following the incident. They can include:
- Selective amnesia
Severe traumatic events can cause an overload of emotions. In an attempt to protect itself, your brain can block out certain parts of the event, change the details in your memory or in other ways keep you from fully experiencing these emotions because they are too painful.
When you make the courageous decision to enter rehab and overcome your addiction, you are full of hope. Everyone says recovery is hard, but you know in your heart you can do it. You want a clean and sober life. You just need the help of a good rehab program and some loving friends.
What you later learn is that there are many hard days along the road to recovery, a road that is longer than you envisioned. At some point, you just don’t think you can move forward any more. The reward doesn’t seem worth the pain, you are tired of living a life that revolves around recovery, or you just don’t think you have any more to learn.
Maintaining the motivation to continue your recovery program – in other words, avoiding burnout – is the key to success. It can be done with the right strategies.