Renowned for his prowess on the field, Waisale Serevi – Fijian rugby legend and former coach – once suffered from poor mental health and substance use disorder, according to a new book titled “Waisale Serevi, The King of Sevens.”
According to Nic Darveniza, the author of the book, life wasn’t a bed of roses for the former rugby champion. Being weighed down by several financial breakdowns, followed by the sudden end of his playing and coaching career in 2009, the member of World Rugby Hall of Fame gradually slipped into a mental battle.
Serevi, 49, had to spend most of his money on providing for his large extended family, teammates and community members, as it was the social norm in the Pacific island. Further, after the former rugby star was removed from the position of coach, he was cornered by several tax auditors, who forced him to borrow to settle the pending tax issues. “As problems compounded, he slipped deeper into depression and alcohol addiction,” Darveniza writes in the book.
However, as a religious man, Serevi maintained that only God helped him while he walked through the “shadow of the valley of death.” He never imagined that a trip to Vancouver where he played for a Fijian invitational team would help him in his battle with against depression and alcoholism. It was in Vancouver that he met fellow Fijian Semi Lotawa of Seattle’s Old Puget Sound rugby club. This meet proved to be the opportunity of a lifetime, as it opened the door for Serevi to start afresh in the U.S. Now settled in America, he founded the rugby development initiative Serevi Rugby that trains children in the sport.
Digging deeper into dual diagnosis
The co-occurrence of a mental disorder like depression and substance use disorder is a big issue. It’s a fact that the two conditions coexist because they depend on each other for sustenance. It is obvious that those experiencing depressive episodes or any other debilitating mental problem for that matter tend to seek easy escape routes to find relief from their agonizing state of mind. A few pegs of alcohol or a shot of any mind-altering drug can make a depressed individual experience temporary relief. But such efforts to self-medicate one’s worries away often push individuals to allow something life-threatening as dual diagnosis to gain a firm footing in their lives.
In the U.S., millions suffer from the co-existing mental health and substance use problems. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 8.2 million Americans aged 18 and above had both any mental illness (AMI) and substance use disorders (SUDs) in the past year. Besides, an estimated 2.6 million adults had co-occurring serious mental illness (SMI) and SUDs in the past year. Sadly, the majority of patients battling co-existing disorders are deprived of any treatment for either condition, with self-medication being one of the major reasons forcing people to stay away from professional medical intervention. Under the effect of stimulants, patients feel less anxious. But once the effect begins to wear off, the mental chaos returns with more force than ever before. The outcomes are devastating and the victims find themselves trapped in a vicious circle of mental health ailments and drug dependence.
Breaking free from the clutches of dual diagnosis
Dealing with drug addiction has always been a daunting challenge, and matters can worsen if that individual happens to suffer from mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In other words, battling dual diagnosis can throw enormous challenges that require regular care from trained physicians and customized therapies to combat the patient’s comorbid condition.
Sovereign Health of California offers a variety of customized treatments at its dual diagnosis treatment centers to identify the underlying causes of the ailments and prescribe tailor-made therapies based on a patient’s requirements. Additionally, patients can also opt for alternative therapeutic activities to embark on the journey to wellness. If you or your loved one is grappling with dual diagnosis, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representative to know more about our world class residential dual diagnosis treatment centers in California.