If you are reading this, it is probably because you know or suspect that a loved one – a child who is a young adult, a parent, a spouse or sibling, or someone else you care about – has a substance abuse, a mental health problem or both. You may just have suspicions, or you may be certain.
Millions of people have difficulties with substance abuse, and one in five Americans will have a mental health issue in his or her lifetime. Some people have a dual diagnosis of two or more co-occurring disorders. These conditions are diseases caused by a combination of factors including biology, heredity and environmental issues that shape personality. Some people are more vulnerable than others, so it is important for patients and health care providers to understand underlying causes and appropriate coping skills and mechanisms.
While your loved one’s problem is not your problem, it is still something that you are living with. One of the most difficult things when dealing with a substance abuse or mental health problem is the feeling of helplessness when you don’t know what action to take. You have come to the right place for help.
Sovereign Health of California is a leading behavioral health provider, accredited by and dually licensed for treatment of mental health, addiction and dual diagnosis. We can help you learn more about treatment. Please contact our 24/7 helpline listed on this webpage.
Talking to Your Loved One
Having a conversation with a loved one about mental health or addiction is never easy. First of all, many people do not realize the extent of their problem or how it affects their lives or the lives of others. Even if they are aware of the problem, being confronted about it is likely to provoke an emotional or defensive reaction.
Many people are afraid of confrontation with anyone. When it comes to a loved one, a common fear is that a confrontation will damage the relationship. But the relationship is already strained because of substance abuse or mental illness, and it is probably deteriorating. You may want to bring matters into the open, but you hesitate because you don’t know the best way to go about it. Meanwhile, if both parties are willing to pretend that there is no problem, then it is unlikely that there will be any effort to find a resolution.